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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Less tentpoles in Seven's programming wall – TV Tonight

Seven boss James Warburton is downplaying the importance of ‘tent pole’ programming, telling The Australian Financial Review the network was less concerned about having the top show in a particular slot than giving advertisers options to target particular audiences.
Whether this means Seven is giving up on Total People to win Demographics is less clear.
It could also suggest more shorter runs in commissions, which The Voice has already demonstrated. The days of endless MKR and House Rules are thankfully behind us, although Big Brother was still an 8 week season.
It comes ahead of the outcome of future AFL rights, which Seven and Foxtel are tipped to retain.
“It’s economics over ego,” Warburton said. “The days of saying you must have a piece of content, or you must have a sport, or however you want to describe it, [they’re over].”
Seven West Media has always backed a “bricks in the wall” approach to programming, which is less explicit of late but still a visual message to advertisers.

MKR recently launched to 503,000 metro viewers but that grew to 974,000 in Total TV numbers.
The most recent Total TV episode is also at 974,000 which puts it ahead of The Masked Singer (727,000) but trailing The Block (1.77m).
Last week it was Seven’s best performer behind Seven News.
“We brought it back, the soul and heart being around food. It’s cooking in peoples’ houses, it’s not bitchy dinner parties … we took it back to the purity of food,” said Warburton.
“It’s growing in every measure.”
Yesterday Seven announced a new balloon design show for 2023, Blow Up to target family viewers.
Update: James Warburton: “Tentpoles are absolutely fundamental to our strategy.”
They all say this when their shows are underperforming.
They talk about tentpole programming, the funny thing is, what is the AFL? I mean yes its sport but its still tentpole programming holding up their network. Without AFL Seven would be in shambles i think. In fact, you could almost say that Sport is holding them up rn. Olympics and Commonwealth Games plus the AFL and The Voice not much else has really fired in 2022.
Another thing too on The Voice, they say oh its shortened season worked so well but they’ve ruined that format. Fans on social media have had scathing reviews if you look. While the blinds over the past two seasons have been epic, it’s been let down afterwards by an absolute shambles of a format by cutting out so much. Even 2 or 3 extra weeks of performances would be enough. It honestly could be an even better series if Seven didn’t chop it up. Also will be interesting to see in coming months if they retain the AFL and also what happens with the Cricket and other major sports like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Seven have real challenges with 7.30-10pm. Their morning and evening news is top rated. That’s significant. The Voice and Farmer wants a wife do ok. MKR ratings wise are moderate – 500k in overnights against the block is ok. SAS hasn’t set the world on fire but probably does just enough. So seven still have a problem with their 7.30pm slot but against MAFS and The Block, so does everyone else.
The production values on MKR this year are really bad, the format is sound but the producing is terrible.
I’ll take this comment in the context of the current negotiations over AFL rights…
“It’s economics over ego,” Warburton said. “The days of saying you must have a piece of content, or you must have a sport, or however you want to describe it, [they’re over].”
Agreed. A somewhat lame attempt to moderate expectations from the AFL on $$$$. Hard not to believe seven will pay whatever it takes to retain the rights. As for ego’s, sevens response to losing the tennis by overspending on the cricket either shows their ego mindset or is the proverbial cautionary tale.
I can see a scenario where seven retains the cricket but more BBL going to Foxtel (so seven paying less) and seven going hard for the tennis. The test cricket has done ok for seven and with the Perth test being largely in prime time in the eastern states and with the Adelaide night test (and perhaps one more night test), this translates to some decent prime time viewing hours for show casing their New Years offerings. Nine presumably would fight hard to retain the tennis and I guess would have the rights for the final bid making it harder to dislodge from Nine. This all depends on how much seven are required to spend on the AFL but seven wests latest financial results were less bleak than many forecast putting them in an interesting place. All that said, Comm games and Olympics both attractive so as Bill Lawry might opine: ‘It’s all happening…”
“The days of saying you must have a piece of content, or you must have a sport, or however you want to describe it, [they’re over].”
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we’ll see if they still feel the same way when the Aust Open tennis rights come up for renewal after they ditch the cricket.
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