Letter to the editor: Network Ten defends programming schedule

neil shoebridge tenNetwork Ten’s director of corporate and public communications Neil Shoebridge has penned a letter to the editor in response to an opinion piece by Alex Hayes on Friday on Ten’s upfront presentation the previous evening. 

Dear Alex,

The column you posted on November 14 described Network Ten’s 2015 programming slate as “frugal”, “lean” and “minimalist”. That description is inaccurate, misleading and puzzling.

At our Upfronts 2015 presentation on November 3, we laid out a full 12-month schedule, including eight new local productions:

  • Shark Tank Is Coming to TENI’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
  • Shark Tank
  • Gogglebox
  • The Bachelorette Australia
  • Mary: The Making Of A Princess
  • The Peter Brock Story
  • The First ANZACs
  • Baby Circle

Add those eight new local productions to the KFC T20 Big Bash League, MasterChef Australia, The Bachelor, TBL Families, Family Feud, The Project, The Living Room and other returning local shows – plus new and returning international shows, and the return of V8 Supercars to TEN – and there is no way Ten’s 2015 line-up can be described as “frugal”, “lean” and “minimalist”.

There are more local productions which are yet to announce, including – as mentioned on Thursday night – a new, multi-night entertainment franchise.

To write that “almost everything ratings wise next year” is pinned on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is  nonsense. The media release issued on Thursday evening outlined a broad and deep programming slate for 2015 and clearly telegraphed that we are not relying on one or two shows to maintain the ratings and audience growth momentum Network Ten has posted in 2014.

In reference to some of the other, specific things you wrote, the Sochi Winter Olympics were not mentioned during the Upfronts 2015 presentation because they were a one-off.

Our Chief Programming Officer, Beverley McGarvey, in no way suggested Asher Keddie would not be part of Offspring if it returns. That is a completely misleading interpretation of what she said.

Re The Odd Couple: have you seen the pilot of the new version? No. So perhaps you should reserve judgement.

To describe the line-up of Network Ten stars on stage as “some form of cattle auction” is extremely insulting.

And, finally, there was no “hint of desperation” in anything our Chief Sales Officer, Louise Barrett, said. Louise simply pointed out that based on Network Ten’s audience growth and share during 2014, there is no need for advertisers and media buyers to excessively compensate other networks. Her message was that it is entirely reasonable and fair for our revenue share to match our audience share. That message was delivered calmly and is supported by the facts.

Neil Shoebridge, 
Director of Corporate & Public Communications, Network Ten


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