Risks and rewards for Network Ten
Network Ten’s switch of focus to the 25-54 age group next year has a major upside but carries inherent risks, according to Fusion Strategy.
The T20 Big Bash Cricket, which runs from December 20 to February 7, will give Ten a significant promotional platform for the first time in a decade or more, says Fusion’s Steve Allen.
But Allen believes the Winter Olympics in Korea (February 7-23) will potentially disrupt the network’s efforts to launch and bed down its first batch of new shows.
“The whole landscape could change if Channel Ten forges a recovery,” says the analyst. “It will not be like any previous surge or recovery.. . as they have pretty much turned their back on 16-39 and now firmly chase and program to 25-54.
“But this places them in direct head on competition to Seven, Nine, SBS and ABC, all of whom chase and position themselves for 25-54 and various sub group targets.
“Network Ten have historically run a ‘flanking’ strategy. Their strategy is now far more difficult where essentially Ten are assigning their younger skewed programs to Eleven (those which are left) and are now (creating or) bidding for the same programs Seven and Nine chase.”
Allen’s analysis of the median ages of the free-to-air networks versus the population illustrates the challenges that Ten is facing. This year Ten’s primary channel audience had a median age of 41, compared to the three commercial FTA broadcasters' median age of 46. The median age of the population in the capital cities is 48.
The median ages for most of Ten's shows skew to the younger demographic:
The Biggest Loser 37
The Bachelor 38
Recipe to Riches 38
The Project 41
Under the Dome 43
Graham Norton 44
Sleepy Hollow 46
Hawaii Five-O 47
The Good Wife 49
NCIS Los Angeles 52
The median age for So You Think You Can Dance (which returns to Ten in 2014) was 37 and for T20 it’s been 48 years. Last telecast on Nine, the Winter Olympics had a median age of 50.