The second part of the Sunday program’s special report on 50 years of TV in
Australia left us wondering if there will be a third instalment in which the role of the Ten Network is properly considered.

The fact is that Ten has been far more adventurous in programming than either Nine or
Seven – it gave
us TV nudity, the first sympathetically drawn homosexual character in TV anywhere and other well written soap
operas.

It
also first showed us that TV was not a
licence to print money, and that badly run by
incompetents, it could become a black hole, sucking managements and investors to
their doom. But it
has shown the way.

Recognising the younger audience was a dramatically different way of
attacking the business of TV broadcasting, and Nine and Seven still
struggle in this area. And it now uses a low cost approach to the business
of TV that’s the envy of the rest of the industry, even if Sam Chisholm
won’t acknowledge it.

But Ten was
a silent player in Sunday‘s special, except for some gratuitous
insults flung its way by Nine boss Sam Chisholm, former
Nine newsreader, Brian Henderson and former Seven reader, Roger Climpson, about Big Brother and how terrible it was.

The
Nine barbs were especially hypocritical. Does anyone remember the Sex show on
Nine in the 90s or the Doug Mulray show pulled off air by Kerry Packer
in mid broadcast? And what about those appalling soap operas, Chances and Pacific
Drive
?

Big
Brother
at least uses enthusiastic amateurs whose actions are similar to many of
the same age group in the audience. BB
has been used by Ten as Nine attempted to use Chances, but failed. Ten has been far more successful. Sour grapes?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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