The big headache facing TV networks
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.