The Seven Network knows that if it doesn’t do anything it will continue to lose audience and money in the post 9am timeslot, which doesn’t really make sense after turning the 6am to 9am timeslot into such a profitable earner.

There’s also a demographic split in the audience which makes it very attractive, so attractive that if Seven doesn’t move, Ten will end up dominating.

Seven knows that while 7am to 9am Sunrise is fully booked and most ads (if not all) attract a premium, the demographic Ten’s 9am with David and Kim is offering advertisers is attractive  — the young to middle-aged viewers, people over 16 and under 55 — and could end up draining ads from Sunrise.

Sunrise from 6am to 9am has a younger age profile among viewers, Today on Nine attracts more older viewers. So by attacking Ten after 9am, Seven will be able to offer advertisers a four hour block in which to advertise.

Nine’s Mornings with Kerry Anne Kennerley is dominating the over 55 age group, which Ten certainly doesn’t want and which Seven views as a poor second prize.

Yesterday morning KAK’s program, averaged 168,000, Ten’s 9am with David and Kim averaged 149,000 and Seven’s repeats etc had around 113,000: that makes more than 430,000 people watching TV on the three networks at that time.

Now that’s an audience worth getting a share of, even if it was boosted by holidays in Melbourne and other southern states. And if Seven could turn its 100,000 plus into a paying program, it would have a share of the $30 million or more available a year and probably help grow the market.

TV viewing from 9am to 11am has grown dramatically in the past three years with the battle between Ten and Nine.

In the first four weeks of ratings KAK’s program averaged 134,000 and Ten’s program, 126,000. Ten had more viewers in the 18 to 49 age group, The two networks split the 25 to 54 group and Nine had more viewers over 55. Ten had more women 25 to 54 and Nine had more grocery buyers.

But comparing this year’s first survey period with last year, Nine and Ten have lifted their audiences from 9am to 11am, while Seven’s has fallen. In the 25 to 54 group, Ten and Nine lifted their audiences, Seven’s didn’t move. That means in the three way commercial share battle, Seven’s share has fallen.

And no matter the timeslot no commercial channel likes that, especially if there’s money involved, and especially if the two other commercial channels are carving up millions and boosting viewing numbers.

It makes Seven’s decision easy. Do it or lose audience and money!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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