Nine chasing 40 per cent share as Gyngell takes aim at Ten

Nine CEO Gyngell

Nine CEO Gyngell

Nine Network CEO David Gyngell said he expects the company to win a 40 per cent share of the market by the end of next year, as he claimed Ten is unlikely to recover any time soon, and ruled out paying a premium for he 2016 Olympics during the company’s half-year results presentation.

Gyngell told shareholders a 40 per cent share was a “realistic” goal as he did not expect Ten to achieve the 24 per cent share has been forecast.

“I don’t believe Channel Ten will get anywhere near the share that has been quoted,” Gyngell said. “I do not agree that Ten will get to a 24 per cent share in two years. That gives us confidence that we believe we can get our 40 per cent share in by the end of next year.”

While admitting Ten had made a smart acquisition of the Big Bash League and Winter Olympics, Gyngell said it had missed an opportunity to invest in its local content to launch off the back of it.

Ten’s share plunged to 6.4 per cent on Sunday, following the end of its Olympics coverage, as it has received poor ratings for its new event TV show So You Think You Can Dance, while on Monday the main channel won a 6.8 per cent share with ratings declining for its reality show The Biggest Loser in competition with My Kitchen Rules on Seven and Nine’s The Block.

And although Ten has the V8 Supercars lined up this year, he does not expect it to lift ratings as it will share coverage with Fox Sports.

Meanwhile Gyngell said Nine will continue to drive investment into news and current affairs programming, having made the nightly news an hour-long program and moved A Current Affair into the 7pm timeslot, which he said would create a halo effect for its primetime schedule in its push for 40 per cent share “with very little impact on the cost base”.

Gyngell also ruled out paying premium prices for the Olympics in Korea and Japan. “I think the Olympics are fantastic, but they are also expensive,” he said.

“I’m looking for a very consistent and not lumpy business. It’s the stuff off the back of it, not the event itself. In 2012 we launched a bung off stuff off the back of it. When you don’t have that you get a problem. Ten is doing that now. They didn’t commit to Channel Ten enough.”

Gyngell also wants to reduce Nine’s dependence on international content as output deals such as its contract with Warner Brothers come to end next year. He said he plans to keep international content on the secondary digital channels while making the main channel for news, current affairs and its own local programming.

Investment in news, current affairs and local programming has seen Nine’s share increase year on year, Gyngell said, and he said the products launching in the next 12-18 months is the strongest he has seen.

“We are going to continue to chase hard on a 40 per cent share. We see nothing that can stop us, if we continue to keep our eye on the ball,” he said.

Saying Nine is a content business, with television the strongest medium of its digital and events divisions, the network plans to launch a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service to a digital subscriber base later this year.

A spokesman for Nine said SVOD was still in the planning stages and “a handful” of staff had been hired.

However its digital business Mi9 is bracing for a reduction in web traffic as its deal with Microsoft to make news site NineMSN the logout for Hotmail comes to an end in June.

A Network Ten spokesman said: “Naturally we disagree with David’s comments. Of course he would say what he has said, but it is just competitive spin. The last thing David wants to see is a resurgent Ten.”

Megan Reynolds


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