Free-to-air multi-channels now account for a commercial market share of about 25 per cent, according to a new Deutsche Bank report.
Ten’s One HD was the first digital multi-channel launched in March 2009, although its sports format failed to attract substantial audiences and has since been revamped in response to the success of its rivals.
The Deutsche report points to the success of Seven’s 7TWO and 7Mate, which have attracted shares of 5.6 per cent and 4.1 per cent over the year-to-date respectively.
“Seven has implemented the most successful multi-channel strategy thus far, however 7Mate in particular faces increased competition from the recently re-launched OneHD which has the same target demographic,” the report says.
“Whilst Ten’s multi-channel strategy has performed better in recent weeks following the revamp, the strategy is nonetheless a major step up in Ten’s cost base and moves Ten’s primary channel from the more differentiated market position it has traditionally occupied.”
Ratings at Nine’s GO! and Gem channels remain steady at about 5 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.
While fragmentation caused by the launch of digital multi-channels has hurt the ratings of many long-running shows, Seven's Packed to the Rafters (drawing an average 1.8 million viewers despite a 5 per cent decline) and Australia's Got Talent, as well as Ten's MasterChef (drawing an average 1.41 million viewers despite an 11 per cent fall) remain popular.
Deutsche Bank analysts predict the TV advertising market will grow by 1.8 per cent in 2011 after a strong 14.6 per cent rebound last year. The market declined by 8.5 per cent in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.
Multi-channel commercial ratings share
Source: Nielsen, Deutsche Bank