The big headache fac­ing TV net­works

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

EX­PERTS say that Chan­nel 9 has the two big­gest headaches in Aussie tele­vi­sion right now — but ev­ery chan­nel has a sticky prob­lem that is giv­ing the bosses sleep­less nights.

Nine’s two big ones are The Footy Show and To­day show. It seems un­think­able that the chan­nel that screens rugby league won’t have some form of footy show and it needs to work out how to use Erin Molan.

Mean­while, To­day is on the ropes with fig­ures dip­ping be­low 200,000 view­ers across the five cap­i­tal cities in re­cent times and that has led to a rash of ru­mours that Karl Ste­fanovic is to be re­placed.

Over at Chan­nel 7, they can’t find a show that can lay a glove on The Block and are sweat­ing on whether The Blake Mys­ter­ies can work with­out Craig McLach­lan and how to cre­ate a hit dat­ing show.

Across at Chan­nel 10, they have a loom­ing night­mare of a sum­mer sched­ule with­out sport af­ter los­ing the Big Bash cricket. Ten also needs to get I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! back on track.

Nine is per­haps the one with the most skin in the game. Break­fast tele­vi­sion reaps a re­ported $300 mil­lion per year in ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue so ev­ery lost rat­ings point hurts.

Nine CEO Hugh Marks has ac­knowl­edged that Ste­fanovic’s per­sonal tra­vails, in­clud­ing a messy di­vorce from Cas­san­dra Thor­burn, have hurt but that he is stick­ing by the em­bat­tled host.

Me­dia an­a­lyst Steve Allen said that is wish­ful think­ing and that Ste­fanovic will never re­gain the trust of view­ers.

“Nine needs to axe Karl and get a new co-host along­side Ge­orgie Gard­ner,” Allen said. “To­day’s rat­ings have been trend­ing down­ward for months on end and hit­ting decade-lows. There has to be a cir­cuit-breaker.”

Seven needs to find a ma­jor new re­al­ity show to take on The Block or con­sider two sea­sons of My Kitchen Rules. And it needs to find a dat­ing show view­ers will love af­ter a string of flops.

Over at Ten it is a very grim Jan­uary now Ten has lost the rights to the Big Bash cricket. How it tack­les this could de­fine its 2019.

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