Mumbrellacast interview: Rod Prosser and Beverley McGarvey on Ten’s strategy for the year ahead

Ten ViacomCBS became the latest free-to-air network to launch its 2022 Upfronts yesterday, via a virtual presentation.

Chief content officer, Rod Prosser and executive vice president and chief content officer, Beverley McGarvey join the Mumbrellacast this week, to speak about the presentation, and the year ahead for the network.

The network stepped out for the first time to present itself as a multi-channel media company, doing so with a broadcast that felt light hearted in its nature, contrasted with the very corporate and formal attire worn by its presenting talent and group of executives.

Chief sales officer, Rod Prosser

“I think with the big legacy formats, they’re cyclical,” says McGarvey in response to a question regarding Network Ten’s somewhat underperforming formats in 2021. “MasterChef was down compared to its monster year in 2020, but as a trend that was relatively stable, and we certainly think that we can grow it.”

“So many people watched MasterChef in 2020, they’d seen a lot of it. I think when you look at the big legacy brands across any of the networks, they kind of dip and they peak […] and you really have to be careful to rebuild them every year, not walk away from something that audiences really love and that’s really successful.”

While Ten has a majority of its formats returning, one that won’t be was the new format this year, ‘Making It Australia’, with McGarvey saying, “it won’t be back, and that’s ok. We don’t expect to have all of our shows returning every year”.

Executive vice president and chief content officer, Beverley McGarvey

“Making it didn’t cut through the way that we’d liked. The team that made it did a great job and the talent were great. It was really interesting and different and it delivered all the things that we wanted, but the audience just wasn’t big enough and we just couldn’t get it to cut through.”

Focus on integrating advertisers into BVOD products, with new ecommerce opportunities, whether a similar route would be taken to Seven’s 7Shop announced last week. On the new Happy Hour integration as well as Dynamic e-Trading Placements, Prosser says this is only the beginning of a growing space.

“It’s now an opportunity for broadcast to play in that space as our digital assets grow and the technology is more advanced. Look, it’s huge for us, and as you said with some of our free to air friends, it’s an important category, and I think that we’ve just got to continue to meet the needs of our clients, and the pandemic has again, really accelerated that.”

McGarvey expects Masterchef to bounce back, after a cyclical down year

In regards to the upcoming A-Leagues seasons, to be broadcast in its entirety across Network Ten and Paramount+, Prosser also says that while the full suite of sponsors is not public yet, Ten ViacomCBS is “very close to announcing” it.

“What I will say is that all the major categories that tend to lean into sport, we’ve secured. We’re probably a week away from making a more broader announcement around who they are, but we’ve been really, really pleased with the uptake.”

Across the rest of the podcast interview, Prosser and McGarvey touch on the rest of the upcoming content slate, getting a return on the investment in football, with the pickup of the FA Cup, whether a push for the English Premier League rights is likely, Ten’s network share, and how it stacks up against its rivals in the digital registration space, and Paramount+ progress and the likelihood that we see more ad integrations at some stage.

The full interview is available below, and you can subscribe through your favourite platforms here. 


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