Over TV? Not by a long shot

Kim Portrate
By Kim Portrate | 23 November 2020
Kim Portrate

If you think TV was popular during the pandemic, wait until you see what’s yet to come says ThinkTV’s Kim Portrate.

Australians have an enduring love affair with TV. Each month, more than 21.5 million people engage with TV consuming an average of 68 hours. This relationship has strengthened in recent months and as we head into summer and beyond, there’s a whole lot of exciting programming that will keep audiences entertained.

The reason for this is that unlike big Hollywood blockbusters that were put on hiatus due to the pandemic, the Australian TV production sector has been a world leader in terms of continued content creation. When 10’s Neighbours returned to production in April, it caught the world’s attention as the first English language soap to resume shooting under strict COVID protocols and many more programs have since followed suit. There’s also sport which is now in full swing right across the country – from netball in Queensland to The Australian Open which is coming soon to Victoria.

In the coming months, Australian audiences will be inundated with viewing options starting last night with the finale of Nine’s The Block, a program which has continued to deliver on schedule attracting massive audiences despite a five-week pandemic-imposed break in shooting.

Nine is also getting ready for its summer of tennis which will be followed in the new year by ratings juggernaut Married at First Sight, currently in production. There’s also Amazing Grace, Lego Masters Celebrity Apprentice, and Travel Guides to come in early 2021.

Likewise, Seven has the Cricket Test Series and Big Bash League. Big Brother will return in 2021, along with the debut of the family-friendly Holey Moley, which has proven to be a smash hit in the US. Farmer Wants A Wife will also be back, and entertainment megabrand The Voice will have its Seven premiere along with new comer Ultimate Tag. 

Over on 10, you’ll see I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! which is in currently in production in Northern NSW. And fan favourites The Amazing Race Australia, Australian Survivor, MasterChef Australia, The Bachelor franchise, The Masked Singer Australia and The Project will be back on our screens in the new year.

While Foxtel has the Vodafone Test Series: Australia versus India cricket coming our way in addition to locally produced audience winners Wentworth and Gogglebox as well as international offerings The Undoing and The Third Day.

And let’s not forget about Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVOD). This summer, BVOD is going to be hotter than ever with broadcasters catering to the rapidly increasing BVOD audience with shows, shows and more shows. BVOD is poised to be the home of the summer binge.

Content fatigue? Not a chance. More like content overload.

And with thanks to all of this top-notch programming, TV continues to deliver watercooler moments that Aussies love, moments that get people talking and coming back for more.

As we head into summer, many people are craving social experiences and we’re seeing this reflected in viewing data across the TV landscape. The recent inclusion of co-viewing data in OzTAM’s Video Player Management (VPM) reporting shows connected TVs – in addition to linear TV – continue to attract families and friends alike for shared viewing experiences that are immersive, engaging, memorable and COVID safe.

With restrictions changing from state to state on a daily basis, that final point is worth noting. Research conducted by McKinsey suggests Australians remain cautious about going out in public, even in areas where restrictions have been lifted with many choosing to stay close to home for entertainment.

TV has been there for Australians throughout 2020 and will continue to be a source of information and escape right through summer and for many years to come.

Kim Portrate is the CEO of ThinkTV.