TV ad revenue down…again. TV ad revenues again fell in the last six months of 2009, hurting all three commercial networks. But the Ten Network was the big winner from the second half commercial TV advertising battle, with Seven and Nine the losers.

Figures released this morning show than Ten took a 30.08% share in the six months, compared to 28.32% after the June half and 27.74% for the December six months of 2008.

Ten’s Masterchef Australia and Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation helped the network boost its share of second half ad revenues, while its two bitter rivals stumbled.

Seven’s share fell from 41.28% in the six months to December 2008, to 38.51% for the six months to June 2009 while Nine’s share in the latest half was 31.91%, down from the 33.16% at June, 2009. Overall the total TV market in the six months to December fell 4.4% to $1.871 billion, from the $1.957 billion in the six months to December, 2008.

Sydney was the worst performing market with revenue down more than 7%, followed by Melbourne, down 4.5% and Brisbane, down 4.49%. Glenn Dyer

Has BSkyB hit its peak? On the face of it, UK Pay TV giant BSkyB, 38% owned by News Corp, continued to outperform in the December half year, lifting net profit more than 54%.

That seems to be a tremendous result, but is after extraordinary items, which included big losses a year ago. Ignoring those, operating profit before extraordinary items edged up 4.2% to 401 million pounds, less than market estimated of 413 million pounds. That’s still OK, and will please Rupert Murdoch as he prepares News Corp’s second quarter and first half results for release next Wednesday morning, Australian time.

The company said overnight that net profits were 256 million pounds ($A462.85 million) in the half, up from 166 million pounds ($A300.13 million) in the same part of the previous fiscal year. Revenues rose just 10.5% to 2.873 billion pounds ($A5.19 billion), with 172,000 net new customers added in the half, but that was just 1,000 more than were added in the six months to December 2008 when the crunch and recession were at their fiercest. More than half a million customers took up the more expensive High Definition service. The company said cost cutting and the sale of more premium services boosted revenues and profits.

“While the economic outlook remains uncertain, we remain well positioned with high-quality products offering customers great value for money,” Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said in the release.

As good as the results were, the shares fell 1% in the feeling that the company is at its peak. In contrast, shares in its terrestrial one time target, ITV, jumped 8% on the announcement of a new CEO. BSKYB was finally told this week by an appeals court in Britain, to cut its 17% stake to around 7%. So the rise in the ITV share price will be appreciated at Sky, even if it is still smarting from the court decision.

The announcement from ITV, however, has a nice ‘insiders’ ring about it. The new CEO is a British businessman called Adam Crozier. He comes from the Royal Mail (the old British post office) and knows nothing about TV. The chairman of ITV is well known UK retailer, Archie Norman, who was a consultant at Coles for a while a couple of years ago.

Mr Crozier was appointed to the top job at Royal Mail by Allan Leighton, its chairman, who in turn was chief executive at Asda, the retailer, when Mr Norman was chairman. Mr Crozier is also a former chief executive of the Football Association and ran the Saatchi and Saatchi advertising agency. But no TV experience. Neither has Mr Norman. The most experienced TV executive at ITV is John Cresswell, the acting CEO, who departs when Mr Crozier arrives later in the year.

Only in the UK. — Glenn Dyer

Wyalla News taken for a skate? Always keen to provide the most comprehensive round up of community activities, the Wyalla News provided this photographic coverage of a local skate park on the 19th of January.


After having a careful look at the skaters’ names, one Crikey reader couldn’t help but think that these youngsters at ‘Riskit park’ might have taken the News for a ride.

Huffington Post predicts ‘hybrid Future’ for newspapers. While she’s adamant that traditional newspapers are not dead, Arianna Huffington spelled out why new media has the upper hand during a talk in Toronto yesterday. Huffington sees a “hybrid future” where the old media and new media work together and learn from each other. — Marketingmag

Obama to media: Stop behaving like the blogosphere. Did President Obama give the media a subtle smackdown last night? In the last fiery quarter of his speech (which began with a SCOTUS dress down and ended with Obama weirdly chanting USA) this admonishment to Congress was particularly notable. — mediaite

How Pepsi got it right with social media marketing. Social media marketing campaigns are proving to be goldmines rich with customer engagement and insight that companies wouldn’t likely have otherwise. Companies like PepsiCo are going to extensive lengths to foster this type of collaboration with fans, and the payoff has been big. — Mashable

Perth Shock jock has on-air heart attack. Popular Mix 94.5 radio presenter, Ian Blackley, “Blackers”, had a heart attack yesterday afternoon on-air. The radio station’s website said that “Blackers” called in the content director Russell Clarke complaining of pain in his chest, with “tingles” in his arms. — PerthNow

Peter Fray

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