Nine to premier Sherlock in Perth in bid for bigger audience share

SherlockViewers in Perth will get the opportunity to find out how Sherlock faked his own death before anyone else in Australia as Nine pushes to strengthen its position in the market.

The network has taken the unusual decision to premier the BBC show, which features Star Trek’s Benedict Cumberbatch and The Hobbit lead Martin Freeman, in Perth on Sunday, January 19. It has not revealed when it will premier in other markets, but it is believed it will be longer than a few days’ delay.

Nine bought out the WIN station in the Western Australian capital in September as it looked to establish a national footprint, and installed former Ten programming boss David Mott to lead the station there.

The first episode of the three-part third season of Sherlock aired in the UK on January 1, and the second on Sunday night, but a Nine spokeswoman told Mumbrella the network is not worried the decision to delay broadcast in most markets may lead some fans to pirate the series online.

Traditionally Nine has struggled in Perth, with the main channel taking just 14 per cent share in the city in last year’s survey results, with Seven in front with 26.6 per cent for its primary channel, according to the consolidated yearly OzTam ratings released yesterday.

Mott told TV Tonight the opportunity to show the program, which finished season 2 with Sherlock apparently jumping to his death from the top of a building, first in Perth arose because the One Day International cricket match between Australia and England in Sydney will finish at 10pm in east coast markets, but only 7pm in the west.

He added: “Rather than run a repeat movie in Perth when the cricket concludes we thought we would showcase this outstanding series in prime time leading into the 2014 survey year. It will also assist in the ability to promote other key series such as the brilliant Love Child, Fat Tony, Schapelle and The Block,.”

Renewed interest in the cricket after Australia’s whitewash of England in the Ashes and Perth having one of the biggest percentage population of people from the UK in Australia may also lead to a strong performance for the show.

Alex Hayes


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