Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Television - TIM MARTAIN

THE Nine Net­work has long shown an over- reliance on big- event pro­gram­ming to boost its rat­ings in pe­ri­odic in­ter­vals rather than con­sis­tent per­for­mance across the whole year. But there is no deny­ing it usu­ally pays off.

And Nine also ap­pears to have re­cently taken a leaf from Seven and Ten’s books in terms of sat­u­ra­tionbomb­ing its sched­ule with crosspro­mo­tions for its flag­ship se­ries.

The Voice, a re­al­ity TV con­cept that be­gan in the Nether­lands and has since spread to many other coun­tries, came to Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion in mid- March, hosted by Dar­ren Mcmullen and fea­tur­ing Delta Goodrem, Keith Ur­ban, Joel Mad­den and Seal as the four coaches.

While the con­cept is noth­ing ground­break­ing or orig­i­nal, Nine’s mar­ket­ing of it has been quite ef­fec­tive.

The pre­miere episode went to air on the same night as the Lo­gies, a decision no doubt in­tended to at­tract view­ers who were plan­ning to watch Nine/ WIN for the rest of the night any­way.

But this first episode ran about an hour over time, also push­ing the start of the Lo­gies tele­cast back by an hour.

While this an­noyed peo­ple who were tun­ing in to watch the start of the Lo­gies, it also had the side- ef­fect of boost­ing The Voice’s rat­ings be­cause of the num­ber of peo­ple who be­grudg­ingly sat through the final hour as they waited for the Lo­gies to be­gin.

And it worked: the rat­ings for The Voice peaked at 4.11 mil­lion, with an av­er­age of just over 3 mil­lion.

In con­trast, the Lo­gies au­di­ence peaked at a pretty weak 774,000 peo­ple, a blow for Nine’s big- event men­tal­ity. But af­ter wait­ing an ex­tra hour for the al­ready de­layed tele­cast to be­gin, it is un­sur­pris­ing that so many peo­ple lost pa­tience and switched off or changed chan­nels. Then the cross- pro­mo­tion went into over­drive. To­day and A Cur­rent Af­fair have been over­flow­ing with re­caps, be­hind- the- scenes pack­ages and feel- good fluff pieces re­lat­ing to the con­tes­tants, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to avoid The Voice.

This is a tac­tic reg­u­larly em­ployed by Seven with shows such as Danc­ing With the Stars and Ten with Masterchef.

Go­ing by The Voice’s on­go­ing rat­ings suc­cess, it is work­ing. And by con­tin­u­ing to run over time ev­ery night it is on, The Voice con­tin­ues to snag those ac­ci­den­tal view­ers – pos­si­bly lur­ing a few of them in to be­come re­peat view­ers.

But The Voice did fin­ish pre­cisely on time one Sun­day night re­cently.

That was to en­sure a punc­tual start for the tele­movie Bea­cons­field, about min­ers Todd Rus­sell and Brant Webb, who were trapped in a Tas­ma­nian gold mine. That night, 134,565 Tas­ma­ni­ans watched The Voice and 139,513 stayed for Bea­cons­field – a big vic­tory lo­cally.

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