Ten CEO declares ‘we’re running our own race’ as he teases six new shows to go to air in 2016

The recently installed CEO of Network, Ten Paul Anderson, says the broadcaster is now “running its own race” and predicted audience growth in 2016, with six new shows to be launched next year.

Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson in conversation with Dominic White: “we are running our own race”

Speaking at the Screen Forever conference in Melbourne, Anderson told the audience: “I don’t think we are surprised (by the ratings improvement) but it has been a long time coming. Over the last four or five years we have gone through a pretty rocky period and we are the first to admit we made a range of programming decisions that weren’t right for us.

“We know what Ten is and I feel that Ten is very much back to running its own race, programming the channel for itself and not looking over its shoulder, running over the schedule and hiding from the other networks.”

Anderson made the declaration during a session in which he also teased much of the 2016 upfronts – to be held on Thursday evening – revealing they would have six new programs to announce as well as bringing back five of its key 2015 franchises.

While being coy on the details of the 2016 program Anderson responded to a question on whether it could again lift its audience by saying: “Yes I think we can. We have launched five new shows this year I’m a Celebrity, Gogglebox, Shark Tank, Bachelorette and [The Great Australian] Spelling Bee.

“They have all launched very well and we see some real futures in those five shows. We have got six new shows that we are going to announce and that we are really excited about.”

Anderson also indicated that Masterchef would be run alongside the return of Offspring in the winter and the CEO argued that its programming “7.30 backbone” had returned.

“For the first time in a long time Ten has got this 7.30pm backbone of domestic content that is the building blocks for our schedule across the night,” said Anderson.

“The combination of having that consistency across the night and being able to launch these shows, plus having the early evening flow that we have got from Family Feud and The Project is giving us consistency.”

Questioned about the lack of drama in Ten’s 2015 programming Anderson noted Offspring would return in 2016 despite reports it had been axed, adding: “We have had a lot of success with Offspring but there is a tradeoff between doing dramas that cost less than doing the dramas that are much more pricey but give you a higher chance of success.

“Our challenge is finding the local Australian dramas that will do the job for us. Princess Mary did great for us, we have the Peter Brock miniseries next year which we are excited about, plus Offspring and a new drama series which we will announce tomorrow night.”

On the decision of his rivals to move to live streaming their various channels Anderson said: “We have been live streaming since 2012 and in September alone we’re streaming half a million minutes of TV.

“We have the ability to (broadcast all three channels) but the reality is the audience is small. We know that during Formula One we get a certain number of streams and the same with Melbourne Cup, but with 24/7 streaming at the moment the constraints around that are bandwidth and the constraints around people’s data plans.

“Until consumers are there and they want that, we are taking a pragmatic approach – that’s when we will do it.”

Nic Christensen


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