Analyst: Ratings failures pushing desperate TV networks into unprecedented schedule changes

Nine and Ten face their advertising share being “decimated” if they fail to pull their audiences up in the next few weeks, analyst Steve Allen has predicted.

In a briefing issued to the market this afternoon, Allen – boss of Fusion Strategy – said: “Both are under extraordinary pressure to lift ratings before ‘upfront’ annual negotiations begin in November. If either face negotiations with present performance, their cash cow primary channels will be decimated or plundered.”

Nine had a particularly poor start to the year, although The Block helped it to get its performance back on track somewhat. Recent weeks have also seen a decent performance from Underbelly on Sundays.

Ten did well while Masterchef was on, but The Renovators has underperformed badly.

According to Allen’s analysis of OzTam figures, the peaktime audience in the key demographic of 16-54 year olds is down by 18.1% for Nine and 21.68% for Ten so far this year. Seven has been the main beneficiary.

Allen said: “There are an unprecedented number of changes to programming and formats due to the extreme pressure Nine and Ten are under in the ratings game.”

Describing Nine’s scheduling as looking “desperate”, he added: “As a consequence Nine and Ten Management and Programmers are skittish in the extreme.”

Allen also compiled a list of shows which have experienced ratings failure this year from all three networks:

failed shows

Allen concluded: “Nine, and Ten, main channel, have a massive amount of work to do to even make a dent in turning things around. If you hold your breath you’ll asphyxiate.”


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