Economic woes hit Channel Ten. The downturn in the domestic economy engineered by the Reserve Bank has now hit the media, with the Ten Network blaming the slide for an unexpected 10% drop in its forecast 2008 profit. ”Recent further deterioration in external economic conditions is now adversely impacting the free to air television advertising market in Australia,” Ten executive chairman Nick Falloon said in a statement to the ASX. ”Given these influences, combined with the already anticipated impact of the Beijing Olympic Games in the fourth quarter, management forecasts now indicate that TEN’s (television) 2008 EBITDA (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation) will be down approximately 10% when compared with the $237 million achieved in 2007.” Looks like industry hopes of a solid last few months to 2008, running up to Christmas, have been dashed, especially without the cream from the election campaign spending of 2007. Seven Network said it had no statement planned and Nine doesn’t really figure, except as an investment of Consolidated Media Holdings. Its shares fell to an all-time low of $3.01 this morning before recovering slightly $3.09. Lachlan Murdoch has also been saved from making a costly mistake by not being able to pay the $4.83 that James Packer wanted: James Packer has probably lost his chance to sell out of Nine finally until next year, and has seen an easy few hundred million dollars in profit slide away as a result. The news of the downgrade, delivered with Ten’s third quarter earnings figures this morning, saw the network’s shares sold down by 20% at one stage before they recovered to be off around 11% at around 11.30am at $1.775. Ten’s forecast means the fourth quarter, which finishes at the end of August, will be very tough, and could even see the company suffer a break even or small loss result. It’s the second time in a couple of years that the network has been hit by a combination of a one-off event like a big Games and an ad market downturn. The Network’s results in the 2006 year were hurt by a combination of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March 2006 and sluggish TV advertising. — Glenn Dyer
Killer headline. Memo to LiveNews: Unless you’re watching a re-run of Ghost Whisperer — not advisable — a dead person cannot face her killer.
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You got the wrong guy Eagled eyed movie buff Amber Sloan pointed out to us this morning that The Age have got their movie stars mixed up — this is Tim Roth, not Ed Norton:
Satin watch. Ten News presenter Helen Kapalos got cheers this week for her buttoned-up, kaftan-satin look. Subdued, but still shiny. We’re feeling it too.
Ten giving viewers enough credit? We’re used to TV stations cramming the credits with ads for upcoming programs, but Ten is now taking it a step further: for new local programs, it’s telling producers not to include any end-of-show credits at all. The Australian’s Media section reports that the change is designed to ensure people don’t switch over between shows, or, as a spokesperson ludicrously put it, “maximise accelerated audience flow”. — Lifehacker
Coren mouths off. Has Today Tonight host Anna Coren blown the terms of Seven’s confidential settlement with Mercedes Corby after it lost a defamation case to the sister of Schapelle? Coren, speaking on Brisbane radio to publicise TT being broadcast out of Queensland for the week, said: “Even though we did lose the defamation case, we certainly stand by our story, without doubt. “We stand by Jodie Power and her allegations and, you know, I think that in the court … of public opinion, we certainly still have people’s support. — The Daily Telegraph
Newspapers are Google’s charity case. Google Inc. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said Wednesday that the Internet search leader hopes its recently acquired advertising service DoubleClick will aid newspapers as they struggle to corral more online revenue. “It’s a huge moral imperative to help here,” Schmidt said during a question-and-answer session at an event hosted in San Francisco by Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. — The Huffington Post
Letter of the week. Wednesday’s Geelong Advertiser featured this letter from Steve of Corio who adds his two bucks worth…
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Seven News was tops again with 1.458 million. My Name Is Earl was second in it’s old slot of 8pm Thursday night with 1.311 million after being buried on Sundays at 8pm. Nine’s Getaway was third with 1.301 million and Today Tonight was 4th with 1.272 million. How I met Your Mother was 5th for Seven at 7.30pm with 1.268 million and Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.268 million for 6th. Ten’s Law And Order SVU averaged 1.233 million. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.228 million and Home and Away was 9th with 1.140 million. A Current Affair was 10th with 1.130 million and Nine News was 11th with 1.116 million. Seven’s Bones was next with 1.098 million at 8.30pm, just in front of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen with 1.094 million. Seven returned The Amazing Race to 9.30pm and 900,000 viewers. The Gil Mayo Mysteries started on the ABC at 8.30pm and averaged 837,000, and added over 300,000 to 400,000 to what the ABC was getting there with the appalling The State Within.
The Losers: Big Brother, 816,000. There’s no doubting the residue of support the program has among younger viewers. I only hope that some stayed around to watch Jamie Oliver in repeat for an hour from 7.30pm show them how to do something interesting in their lives by learning to cook tasty food. Million Dollar Wheel, 522,000 at 5.30pm for Nine: settling down to mediocrity. Deal Or No Deal with 933,000: 400,000 viewer difference is embarrassing. The Footy Show: 914,000 for 90 minutes from 9.30pm, Medium, on Ten at 9.30pm to 10.30pm, 965,000.
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market, Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne where Eddie McGuire and ACA won big. The 7pm ABC News finished second in Sydney and Melbourne to Seven and in front of Nine News. Ten News averaged 857,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 379,000. Nine’s Nightline, 339,000. The 7.30 Report, 961,000, Lateline, 238,000, Lateline Business, 140,000. SBS News, 165,000, the late News at 9.30pm, 183,000. 7am Sunrise 370,000, 7am Today up to 295,000.
The Stats: Nine won with a share of 28.2%, (29.8% a week ago), with Seven second on 27.4% (27.9%), Ten with 21.2% (19.4%), the ABC with 17.8% (16.6%) and SBS with 5.3% (5.8%). Nine won Melbourne and drew Adelaide with Seven. Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The NRL Footy Show just doesn’t have any traction now Thursday nights for Nine in Sydney and Brisbane. Nine still leads the week, 29.7% to 26.7% for Seven. In regional areas a win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 30.6%, from Prime/7Qld with 28.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.5%, the ABC with 15.2% and SBS with 5.5%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: The AFL Footy Show last night had its smallest audience in Melbourne since San Newman’s Caroline Wilson atrocity in early April. The program averaged 374,000 last night, 109,000 down on the 483,000 who tuned in the week after the Wilson insult to see what Newman would do next. He’s not there. How long will it be before Nine brings him out of the “rest” to where he was sent three weeks ago? If the loss of viewers continues, Newman might have to be wheeled out and Nine take the flack. Seven switched My Name Is Earl to Thursday nights after burying it on Sundays at 8 pm to try and give the network something to work with up against 60 Minutes. It was a foolish idea and Seven should have pushed something else there because Earl not only finished second on the night in All People, but was top of most of the right demographics up to 25 to 54s. The program was either top or top three. It replaced the rapidly fading Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen which is now a bit of an also ran. Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday its football and a bit of golf and a bit of cricket and a bit of soccer, and other non-sporting stuff….
Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports