Advertiser backlash over poor performance of The Biggest Loser

With sliding ratings and a reshuffle in its programming schedule – which saw it removed from Sunday night television – Ten’s new season of The Biggest Loser: Transformed is now facing backlash from an advertiser who is concerned about the show’s performance.

The Biggest Loser: Transformed trainer Libby Babet, host Fiona Falkiner and trainer Shannan Ponton

Off the back of the show’s dismal ratings, Ten axed the reality series from its Sunday night timeslot, removing the show from Sunday night television altogether.

The show’s performance however has continued its downward trend – after debuting with 450,000 metro viewers last week, the show averaged just 289,000 viewers for last night’s episode.

An advertiser affiliated with Ten told Mumbrella they found out about Ten’s change in programming and the show’s progressive loss of viewers from media reports.

According to the source, Ten failed to contact the company to alert them of the scheduling changes and what it meant for their reach and frequency.

“Are we going to hit the target audience that we wanted, not just for reach and frequency but for an audience that should’ve been watching it and as potential customers for us?” said the advertiser. “It is not good to hear.”

“[Ten] held very strong on their expectations and what they charge advertisers, so for us to invest it’s a considerable amount of our annual budget,” they said.

A Ten spokesperson told Mumbrella the network “alerted clients on the same day the decision was made,” and no further changes have been made to the show’s schedule.

“As is the standard practise across television advertising, all shortfalls are made up across other parts of the schedule,” said the spokesperson.

In response to questions from Mumbrella about the backlash and The Biggest Loser’s ongoing struggles, a spokesperson from Ten flagged that I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! was up 10.3% year on year and Network Ten had its highest commercial audience share in total people and under 55s since 2012.

During weeks one to 11 this year Network Ten’s share of under 55s is just over 30% and the network has had its third highest commercial share in 16 years, the spokesperson said.

Sharing their opinion on the show, the advertiser said they didn’t expect the show to do as badly as it has.

“We actually thought it would be good and a bit of a re-surge because of the different format. Honestly I don’t think it was marketed very well in the lead up to it.

“There’s two different sides, I don’t know whether their own marketing was good enough, but on top of that I was bored [watching the program].”

The weight loss transformation reality program underwent a makeover for this year’s iteration following poor ratings in 2015, swapping out long-standing trainers Steve ‘Commando’ Willis, Tiffany Hall and Michelle Bridges – leaving only Shannan Ponton from the original cast and bringing on board new coach Libby Babet.

Ponton called for the show “to get back to content that shows the essence of weight loss” in an interview with Mumbrella after season 10 concluded.


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