Feb 26, 2013

Ten’s hairy-chested bid for sport a losing game

Ten's new idea to get into a bidding war for sports rights will increase the Murdoch family's control of the network but won't help it in important demographics.

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

So Hamish McLennan’s first attempt to revitalise the struggling Ten Network is to get into a bidding war for sports rights such as cricket and tennis and pay wads of money to both sports for entertainment that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and deliver little in the way of prime-time ratings growth? Nine holds some of the cricket rights, while Fox Sports/Foxtel has others (one-day, four-day and Twenty20 competitions). Seven has the main rights for the tennis, and Fox Sports/Foxtel have subsidiary rights.

The only way McLennan and chairman Lachlan Murdoch can win a major TV sports rights contract is with the financial assistance of News Ltd/News Corp via Foxtel and Fox Sports. Ten is already an affiliate of News, and Murdoch is chairman of the board and owns 9% of the company, supported by three other shareholders with more than 30% between them. More importantly, News Corp controls the most important parts of Ten’s prime-time schedule through programs made by Shine and Fox. Getting into a joint bid for sport like cricket or tennis with News/Foxtel/Fox Sports will mean even more of Ten’s programming is being paid for or produced, one way or another, by the Murdoch empire, at least in part.

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6 thoughts on “Ten’s hairy-chested bid for sport a losing game

  1. drmick

    Old white male stuff again. Everything, and I mean everything the old white man that runs that organisation touches is spoiled, permanently and irreparably tainted or destroyed. He already destroyed rugby league as a game and looks to wreck cricket and any other old white mens sport he can buy.
    The rugby league he created, with its fixed games, crooked referees & players, over-paid simpletons who get into trouble within camera shot of his photographers & newspapers are typical; even the top award in the game regularly goes to wife beaters who he then has to exclude from the following years advertisements.
    Cant wait to see pictures in the limited newspapers of Lawn Bowlers found urinating against Clubhouse walls, visiting known knock shops near retirement villages and photos of players in compromising positions dumping used incontinence equipment; not to mention the drug use.
    The new pay TV, where they will have to pay us to watch it.

  2. Scott

    Good thing about live sport is that it can’t be downloaded earlier from the internet (unlike other tv shows) So you are less likely to get seepage of your viewers
    But sport is only one tent pole of a successful network. Why no Australian network is fast tracking hot US shows like “Girls” and “Game of Thrones” is beyond my understanding. You can’t just rely on endless repeats of “Modern Family” and “The Simpsons”. We have seen them already.

  3. Liz A

    Oh god, WHY? Why do these execs think that the old white guy demographic is valuable or desirable? Its no wonder that the rest of the population is driven to illegal downloads when there is nothing but wall to wall sport on all the channels.

    On the upside, I got to watch all of the currently screening series of Downton Abbey during the Tennis because Channel 7 is too slow to show it in Australia, cricket is dull and 10 had reruns.

    There are plenty of good TV shows out there that could be accessed by Channel 10, if they just changed their mindset. For goodness sake, for the past 2 years I have paid for the itunes subscription to Game of Thrones, and will do so again this year because no-one is showing it.

  4. archibald

    Good piece Glenn.
    My Uncle’s expression “The fat lamb is closest to the ute” seems appropriate.

  5. Christian Kent

    Glenn, Ten is not an affiliate of News Corp, and it wasn’t Lachlan’s idea to make ONE into a sports channel. It was his idea to turn it FROM a sports channel back into a normal one. So, the opposite of what you said.

  6. Hamis Hill

    So the circus part of the Panem Et Circeses mob control methods brought over from that other “evil” empire is losing it’s affect. (from the Satires of Juvenal, is this a banned book?)
    Take away food security, it is already precarious, given all the financial insecurity and we are ripe for mass insurrection as the “scales fall from the eyes” of the mob.
    Mudorch the inadvertant “Revolutionary”?
    So it is not all bad then?
    Sic semper Tyrannis: Thus always with tyrants?
    They carry within them the fatal flaw leading to their own destruction?
    As happened when Howard gained control of the Senate?
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Might be why voters won’t give absolute, waLl to wall power to the coalition( and Mudorch) come September.
    A gambling nation knows how to balance the odds even under
    all the chaos of collapsing national “idols” such as sport.
    “Always look on the bright side of Life” Ta dah.

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