Seven grabs The Voice from Nine

Seven has announced The Voice Australia for its 2021 content slate, after nine seasons of the show on rival network Nine.

The 2021 season of the format will be hosted by Sonia Kruger who moved to Seven in 2019. CEO James Warburton referred to the addition as a ‘coup’, but Nine wasn’t so complimentary when approached for comment.

“Unfortunately due to the age of the show and declining demographic profile, The Voice had become by far the poorest financial performer on our slate. We wish 7 well in their quest to revive yet another Nine show,” said a Nine spokesperson.

“We are very excited about the schedule we have now set for reinvigorating our slate and we will have announcements at our upfronts on September 16. We remain focussed on our audience and the financial performance of Nine.”

Sonia Kruger will host The Voice on Seven

Nine CEO Hugh Marks had hinted that the show’s run may be drawing to a close last week, during Nine’s investor presentation. He said the $40m cost of the show made it a ‘little more difficult to hold onto’.

But Warburton says the show is perfect for Seven’s continued content evolution.

“This is a coup for Seven. Adding The Voice to our 2021 program slate is another brick in the wall of our content-led growth strategy of using proven, power formats. The Voice is a television megabrand that will deliver on our promise of more tentpoles, audience growth and consistency across the year. It is a strong performer in BVOD and will give audiences what they want: the world’s best television,” he said.

Nine’s last season of The Voice only wrapped in July, plagued by COVID-19 production issues. Its final drew 911,000 metro viewers, a slight drop from just over 1m metro viewers the year before, but enough that Nine still went ahead with a casting notice for the 2021 season.

Seven’s director of programming, Angus Ross, said the network had plans to ‘supercharge’ the format.

“The Voice remains the biggest entertainment show in Australia averaging over 1.5 million viewers each week – delivering on broadcast, demographics and streaming. We jumped at the opportunity to bring this juggernaut into Seven’s 2021 schedule. Our plans to supercharge the format are well underway.”

Seven has promised a ‘tighter format adapted for latest viewing trends’, which may also reduce the costs associated with the format. The judges for 2021 haven’t yet been confirmed – Nine’s final season featured Guy Sebastian, Kelly Rowland, Delta Goodrem and Boy George in the judges’ seats.

“We’re accustomed to working with some of the best production studios in the country to deliver refreshed formats that have new life breathed into them,” said Ross.

“We’ve done it with Big Brother and Farmer Wants a Wife this year – and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to responsibly reimagine the format for The Voice 2021. We’ll deliver an established franchise ramped up for newer and bigger audiences, in a lean production format that speaks to modern viewers.”

David Mott, CEO and managing director of ITV Studios Australia said: “This is truly a significant day. It is the beginning of a new era of The Voice in Australia which is still the biggest entertainment brand globally. Seven did not hesitate in securing the rights when this opportunity came up and we cannot wait to get cracking on the series for 2021… and to welcome Sonia back to the biggest entertainment stage on Australian television.”

Kruger previously hosted The Voice for Nine, before Darren McMullen and Renee Bargh took over in 2020. This year, she hosted Big Brother for Seven, but was initially announced as the host for Holey Moley, which was postponed due to COVID-19.


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