Southern Cross Austereo touts revenue lift, as TV networks work ‘feverishly’ to lock in last markets

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) CEO Grant Blackley has touted an 80% year-on-year lift in revenue on the back of its decision to switch affiliates from Ten to Nine as the networks work to the last minute to ensure Nine’s signal in key regional markets does not go to black.

Blackley told Mumbrella: “This time in July compared with this time last year revenue is 80% higher than what it was last year.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 3.31.42 pmThe declaration comes as the SCA boss conceded it and its affiliate Nine were still working “feverishly” to avoid dead air in key regional markets in Western Australia and Tasmania where SCA and Nine are yet to secure deals with its respective  counterparts WIN and Prime.

“In our case there is only one market (where there isn’t a deal) which is Tasmania,” said Blackley. “There is also the WIN/Prime joint venture over in WA but we are working feverishly today to ensure we have a seamless transition in Tasmania as well.”

Managing director of Nine Amanda Laing noted that Nine was hopeful of a deal in both markets before the midnight deadline.

Laing: deal should be done tonight.

Laing: deal should be done tonight.

“It should be sorted before midnight tonight,” said Laing who also argued that Nine would get a real benefit from having its brand go nationally across SCA’s stations.

“The commitment and enthusiasm working together has been extraordinary. As Grant was saying from the moment we signed that agreement we worked together and everyone has gone above and beyond to make things work.

“We have always had nationwide reach but from a branding perspective this really is a new era. To have the iconic Nine branding in all of those markets is a real milestone and quite historic.”

The switchover is set to happen at midnight with SCA’s headquarters having to shift 105 separate TV signals throughout Australia.

Blackley: switchover should be seamless.

Blackley: switchover should be seamless.

“We are delighted with the changeover,” said Blackley. “With more than 100 people directly and probably more than 2500 people indirectly to bring us to today.

“We have all the systems and go all the things we needed to into place. We will switch successfully and tomorrow you will see us as Channel Nine.”

Negotiations for the final joint venture markets have been ongoing right through the week with Nine securing deals in key regional markets such as Mildura, Griffith and the Riverland in South Australia as recently as this week.

Nine and SCA also used the event to promote some of its 2017 line up which will include Australian Ninja, Hamish and Andy, Hyde and Seek, House of Bond, The Last Resort, Travel Guides, Doctor Doctor and This Time Next Year.

It also confirmed the return of key franchises like Here Come the Habibs, The Block, Married at First Sigh and House Husbands.

Declaration of interest: Southern Cross Austereo and Nine are currently advertising with Mumbrella. 


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