Dose of reality crucial for Nine, Gyngell.
A portent of what is coming next week in Australia, when The Voice
on Nine goes up against Australia's Got Talent
on Seven: ITV, the UK's main commercial network, has shifted Britain's Got Talent
to a later timeslot. The change happens on April 21 and has been made after BBC1's The Voice
defeated the show in the time they overlap on Saturday nights (yes, Saturday nights for two expensive, ratings-grabbers -- fancy that!).
starts at 7pm on BBC1 and runs until 8.20pm. Talent
was starting at 8pm and running to 9.15pm. Now it will start at 8.30pm and end at 9.45pm. UK media and TV industry reports say the overlap has been just 20 minutes and for the three weeks the two shows have been on air, The Voice
has consistently had a bigger audience in that 20-minute period. In the 20 minutes the two shows were both on air last Saturday night, The Voice
was the clear winner with 10 million viewers against the ITV show's 6.4 million. And there's an ironic note here: ITV brought forwards the launch of the sixth series of Talent
as a spoiler tactic to try and attack The Voice
from its debut episode.
Nine debuts The Voice
on Sunday night at 6.30 against Seven's Dancing With The Stars
. Nine also runs the Logies on Sunday night from 7.30. On Monday both programs will clash for an hour, from 8-9. Talent
starts at 7.30, Voice
at 8 o'clock (after the first episode of the new series of The Block
). On Tuesday night they both start at 7.30: Talent
runs for an hour (roughly), Voice
ends at 9 o'clock. On Wednesday, no Voice
on Nine, but after an hour episode of The Block
Nine runs the 90-minute first episode of the new series of Celebrity Apprentice
. Talent runs for an hour (roughly) from 7.30, then up against the special episode of Titanic
Nine needs to either win every night or bleed Seven and win a couple of key demos with The Voice
k and Apprentice
. There's well over $50 million of program costs in those three shows. It has already lost millions on the failure of Excess Baggage
at the start of February (dead in three days). If two work, then Nine is the winner (from its point of view).
Seven wants to win, but has the ratings wins (especially this year), the audience numbers and the financial strength to be able to ride out one or two moderate performances. Nine is throwing these three programs against Seven in an effort to halt the terrible start to 2012. If they work then the financial pressures on Nine and parent Nine Entertainment (and CEO David Gyngell) will ease for a while. If one doesn't work, then questions will be asked, if two only achieve moderate ratings then administration for the parent moves much closer. There's an awful lot riding on this trio for Nine and its owners, CVC, plus the remaining banks and the two hedge funds who control much of its debt.
And Ten? Well, it has ducked for cover and will run its standard ratings line-ups, hoping it and its weak ratings and ad revenues don't become collateral damage in the battle between Seven and Nine. Ten is running Offspring
next Wednesday night at 8.30, aiming at 16 to 49 women viewers. Could be a clever move. -- Glenn Dyer
How Murdoch hacked: a conference.
A symposium on investigative journalism at UC Berkeley in California this weekend looks at the power of the press and the public interest. But the most interesting part of the conference will be a panel entitled
"The Murdoch Effect: The News At Any Price?"
It will feature UK lawyer Mark Lewis, who has represented many of those hacked by Murdoch's News of the World
(and who was followed by investigators and journalists from the paper for some time). Also speaking at the conference is Lowell Bergman, who made a documentary on the phone-hacking scandal for PBS Frontline
last month. -- Glenn Dyer
Front page of the day
. Yesterday's 8.6 earthquake
off the coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia caused widespread panic in that region. Thailand's Bangkok Post
The Department of Corrections. The Australia
n today corrects the record: