Just three months after their respective launches, Nine Entertainment and SBS are both celebrating the successes of their new multi-channels: reality-focused 9Life, and SBS’s Food Network.
The two multi-channels launched late last year with modest industry expectations as to expected audience size; however, both appear to have defied expectations.
“Both channels have been a great success,” said media analyst Steve Allen. “Well beyond what competitors, like Foxtel, had forecast for both of them.”
Nine’s director of acquisitions, Hamish Turner, told Mumbrella he was particularly pleased with how the new TV channel was performing among a female demographic.
“We kicked it off on November 26 and, yeah, it has done well,” said Turner. “It has well and truly exceeded our expectations and delivered above and beyond what we expected.
“It has been doing an average of around 2.4 (% share) in total people, but if you look in the demos it is around a 5% share within the target audience of women aged 18-54.”
“That’s the most interesting thing to me; we went out to target a very specific audience and so far we have been successful in appealing to that audience.”
Turner also noted that the audience on 9Life didn’t appear to be time-shifting much of the content.
“People don’t tend to time-shift (this content) as much,” he said. “There is a real immediacy about it helps that 9Life is targeting an audience that none of the other multi-channels are going after.”
Public broadcaster SBS was also trumpeting how the Food Network had boosted its overall audience share.
“We are getting a net jump of a 2.2 share and we are delighted in that performance especially for a new channel,” said Chris Keeley, Food Network channel manager.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the ratings performance,” he said. “The target demographic for us was females 25-54, and the performance there has been really strong.”
A Fusion analysis showed that while both networks took a dive around Christmas and New Years, outside of the holidays both 9Life and SBS Food Network have performed above expectations, achieving an average audience of between 30,000-40,000 people on SBS, while 9Life has achieved between 60,000-70,000.
Among 25-54, SBS has received an average audience above 25,000, while 9Life has been above 40,000, with both skewing female.
“This is helping SBS the most because (Food Network) is so successful and because they are off a small base, relative to Nine,” said Allen.
“With Nine, without 9Life (it) would be well behind in (total) network share and this makes up for some of the slide in the main channel and existing digital channels.”
Nine’s Turner also dismissed previous comments made by Foxtel content chief, Brian Walsh, attacking 9Life as content from production US house, Scripps, which they had rejected.
“American lifestyle content caters to a younger demographic, the numbers speak for themselves,” said Turner.
Allen agreed, noting SBS and Nine were performing well with Scripps content, despite having previously been rejected.
“This is largely US content, mainly coming from Scripps,” said Allen. “All the networks have looked at this before but the parts that looked like they were best suited to Australia had already been picked up.
“The rest of the stuff, while it was on the market, wasn’t thought to be of much appeal to Australians and that has been shown to be patently wrong.”