Nine uses upfronts to pledge a 5% audience increase in 2013
Sales director Michael Stephenson made the pledge at an event held in Sydney to launch the network’s 2013 programming.
Advertisers and media agencies focus on the 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54 demographics. Stephenson told the audience: “We will guarantee 5% audience gain in the demographics that matter to you.” The pledge was then repeated in a slide in his presentation.
This year has seen Nine and Seven virtually neck-and-neck in the key demos after a period of dominance by Seven. Nine’s recovery was led by the success of the Voice, along with a successful rebooting of Big Brother off the back of The Olympics.
Among the key programming unveiled by Nine for the coming year was another instalment of Southern Star’s series of Kerry Packer biopics, this time featuring a portrayal of the young Rupert Murdoch. Power games: The Packer-Murdoch story covers 1960-75, a period which saw the families fo battle for control of Australia’s TV and print industries.
Southern Star is also behind Gallipoli. Although the network put the production at the centre of today’s presentation, it is unlikely to air in 2013, as the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing is not until 2015.
Another drama production will be Schapelle, which comes from FremantleMedia. The drama claims it will get to “the truth” about the convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby. The drama is based on the book Sins Of The Father by journalist Eamonn Duff who suggests that Corby acted as a courier for her father.
Among previously announced shows in the sizzle reel was a remake of the Ten 1980s drama Return To Eden, Australia’s Got Talent, The Block, Celebrity Apprentice and Big Brother.
There was no word of a replacement for Keith Urban on The Voice, Judges for Australia’s Got Talent or cast for Celebrity Apprentice.
Among the overseas acquisitions to be given emphasis in the presentation were BBC-HBO co-production Parade’s End which is set around the time for the first World War, Kevin Bacon thriller The Following and super hero series Arrow.
Nine is also pushing into cooking territory. As well as the previously announced The great Australian Bake Off, hosted by Shane Jacobson and former Masterchef judge Anna Gare, Nine will air the US-made The Taste, featuring Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson. There was no word on whether Nine also has the rights to a local version.
Meanwhile, group sales and marketing director Peter Wiltshire told the audience that consistency would be the key to next year’s schedule. He said: “We’ve had the best year this network has had in over a decade.”
There was also an announcement from ACP Magazines, which is shortly to become Bauer Media. Sales boss leigh Monti said that Elle magazine – announced a year ago and then shelved – was back on the agenda. He said: “You may have heard this before, but we are launching Elle in 2013 and , yes, it will happen.”