Nine tries to buy some men More details on Top Gear at Nine next year and I’m afraid I stuffed up with the estimate yesterday of $100,000 an ep. Try $450,000. It is very, very expensive for a TV Network that will be struggling to pay its way in 2010 when it has to resume paying interest on the $3.8 billion of debt. Nine has a two year, 10 eps a year deal with BBC Worldwide, or around $9 million. It has bought series 2 to 13, most of which have already been seen and paid the BBC a substantial fee to get it away from SBS (this is on top of the per ep costs). The first series won’t be seen until the second half of 2010.

Will it make a profit? No one can tell. Why Nine wanted it is that it delivers a strong male audience, which are harder to reach than females. But the program (as seen in the ratings on SBS) has a substantial female audience of around 35%. Most are in the 16 to 49 groups. This is the prime TV audience these days, especially younger males.

Nine has told its sales groups to approach media buyers with clients who look for male audiences. Nine will try to convince then to lift their allocations for its programs and then Nine will allocate the ads from each clients from the buying groups, to the programs. Grog advertisers are out, as will be some car companies. Car insurance is OK as will be car care, travel, sports related products and drinks. Superannuation, banks and other financials will be OK.

The programs are not sold on a per minute or half minute cost, unless it’s a casual or spot ad bought at the last minute outside existing buying deals. What Nine has to do though is ensure the demographics being bought, are delivered in terms of ratings and audience share. — Glenn Dyer

Facebook App developers making big cash. So much for the first generation of big Facebook/MySpace social application startups. Slide and RockYou both got huge valuations in venture rounds. But a new generation of application developers has taken center stage and are racking up big revenues and their own eye popping valuations: Zynga , Playfish and Playdom. — TechCrunch

Is Apple’s Tablet its next big thing?: New York Times executive editor Bill Keller may have let slip something about an upcoming Apple tablet — but you have to make a lot of assumptions to interpret his comment as confirmation that an Apple tablet is really coming. Speaking to the digital media group at the Times, Keller spoke of his hopes that the newsroom would get more involved in delivering the news via various online media. — Wired

Off with his head! The Sydney Institute seems a trifle half hearted in its promotion of an upcoming speech by Greg Combet. This man is a politician, so we can’t show you his face in an email …. :

Which high profile war correspondent is a spy? Journalists are often accused of being spies. Military sources now say that one, currently working in a war zone, is in fact a real-life secret agent. The sources, one recently retired and two current special forces soldiers (who did not want to be named for about 37 blazingly obvious reasons) have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. — Gawker

A dwindling list… Here are the top 25 newspapers in the country ranked by daily (Monday-Friday) circulation for the six months ending September 2009 from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The percent change compares the same six-month period ending September 2008. — Editor & Publisher

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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