Tag Archives: Ten

Lowest Ratings ever: What should Channel TEN do?

Here’s a series of points I wrote about TEN late last year and what they could do to claw back ratings but never ended up publishing anywhere. It is quite astounding that TEN’s ratings have continued to suffer in 2014 – even moreso than 2013.

 

TEN’s overall ratings in 2013 ended up being 4th – the first time in OzTam ratings history that a commercial network has fallen fourth in end of year overall ratings behind Seven, Nine and the ABC.

 

A combination of failed shows, poor management, last minute schedule changes and lack of direction for the network is to blame for the result, driving ratings down. Continue reading

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ONE HD Regional SC10 From July 2

*** Updated June 16 2009 ***

Regional television viewers can rejoice and finally join their capital city friends as regional affiliate of Network Ten Southern Cross Ten will begin transmission of 24 hour sports channel One HD from July 2. Viewers who already receive a high definition signal from the broadcaster in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT will start to see One HD from July 2 and can find the channel on Channel 50.

*** Updated June 1 2009 ***

An announcement as to when Southern Cross Ten will launch the 24-hour sports channel One HD is expected within a fortnight as the channel finalises testing.

Southern Cross Ten COO Greg Dodson has told the Canberra Times that final testing is underway and the slideshow is ready for the official launch, but when pushed for a date:

“While I can’t give a firm date, we are so close to getting that date and we reckon people in Canberra will be viewing One [HD] around the middle of year.”

Dodson did confirm though that a launch date will be announced in less than two weeks and that the broadcaster had spent more then $10million on the infrastructure that will make carrying the station possible.
 
Meanwhile, tomorrow sees the commencement of SBS TWO which will replace the SBS World News Channel.
During the day, SBS TWO will continue to carry news in languages other than English, while at night will carry a mixture of repeats and new programming.   Later this year SBS TWO will also carry coverage of both the Ashes cricket and Tour de France cycling.
 
Source: Media Spy

After looking around in various TV blogs and forums, there are examples of people who have actually bought HD set top boxes in regional areas thinking they will be able to receive ONE HD only to be let down when they discover it is not available to them.

Sure, they can do some searching on the internet, but like I always say, not everyone gets their TV information from the internet – and why should they. A number of issues comes out of this situation – here’s the list and some solutions.

1. ONE HD should be promoted only in the 5 cities it is being broadcast to. A disclaimer should be attached to any advertising for ONE HD specifying the areas it is available in.

2. The CH 10 Web site should do the same. Strictly speaking, the ch 10 website is for ch 10 itself, which is broadcast into the 5 TV capital cities, but they would surely be aware from their own forums and site membership that there are regional viewers there as well. One in forum contributor from Darwin said he spent $180 to buy an HD set top box hoping he would receive ONE HD and was disappointed when he couldn’t get it. Furthermore, Southern Cross Ten (SC10) does not have a TV web site (there is a website but its more of a corporate site as opposed to an entertainment site like the TV sites usually are) so regional fans of 10 shows use 10’s web site.

3. SC10 on their own web site, in a clearly visible location (like the home page) should have the ONE HD logo with clear commentary below it stating (words to the effect of): “ONE HD is coming to SC10 at a future date, possibly mid year. Until then ONE HD is NOT able to be seen on SC10’s HD or secondary SD channels until then. We are working as hard as we can to deliver this exciting new channel to you. Keep up to date and register your interest here… ” – you get the drift. It’d take me not even 5 minutes to set that up on a home page of any site – and it keeps your viewers informed rather than having them all over blogs and forums expressing their disgust or just asking how they can get the channel. Like anything in business, it all comes down to communication.

If you go to a shop after being lead to believe a product is in stock by advertising, and then get told once you are there that is is not in stock and there will be a 3 month wait until it comes in, then you will not be happy. If, however, you know beforehand that the product will not be in for 3 months, then you’ll wait. no problem. In fact, in the retail world, this is known as deceptive and misleading advertising and businesses can be heavily fined for that sort of behaviour.

Here in the world of TV, the viewers are the customer. They have been mislead. The situation is the TV version of  the example above. The only place I have read anything about ONE HD not coming to SC10  from its’ launch date is on TV Tonight. That’s it. A web site frequented by several thousand TV fans a day, bu tnot necessarily by sports fans looking to know what is happening with ONE in their area. Nothing on Ten’s web site, nothing about it on SC10’s, nothing in the papers. Unless you are on the net looking for this sort of information, the assumption would be that ONE HD should be on SC10 from day one. Furthermore, there have been a few misleading reports, one I spotted on Media Spy in January that ONE HD would be on SC10 from its March 26 launch.  

4. The FreeView web site should also inform its visitors where ONE HD is available.

As previously stated in earlier posts, a simple press release would solve the problem.

As it stands right now, all we know is that ONE HD will on SC10 “mid year”. Let’s hope so.

Ten to One HD

Lucky for me, last night was one of those nights I could receive the digital signal of ch 10 Sydney without any drop outs. Usually, where I am on the Central Coast, 10 Sydney is one FTA signal which I cannot always receive without drop outs rendering it unwatchable. This is despite the fact that all 8 FTA channels come from the same transmitter site (ABC, SBS, 7, 9, 10, Prime, NBN, SC10).

I tuned into ONE HD at 7.30 to view their 30 minute introduction even though I had already looked at the program and knew what was coming. Just in case there was a last minute miracle, I tuned over to SC10 HD to see if there was anything different there other than the scenery loop we are used to. The answer, of course, was no. SC10 HD continues to broadcast scenery. And seemingly will continue to do so until “mid year”.

As a person not really into sports myself, I probably won’t watch much on ONE HD but can see there will be an audience and a following. The programs on ONE HD currently are not that different to when FOX sports started in Australia 14 years ago. Over time, FOX sports gained ground, gained rights to more and more sports and has split itself over 5 channels in the process (3 SD sports channels, one HD fox sports channel and fox news). Perhaps, based on the Fox sports history, the future of ONE looks bright. A sports channel in a sports mad country really is not a bad idea! Until analogue finishes in 2013, ch 10 should consider showing ONE overnight instead of infomericals for the benefit of those still living in the analogue age.

And I will point out that ch 10, quite fittingly I thought, won the ratings last night convincingly. Even if ONE was only a small contribution to that win, I think it might be a sign of things to come. Congratulations to Ten for giving it a go. If you look at subscription TV ratings each week, sports events usually make up all of the top 10.

The downside, of course, is the fact that you can no longer see any program on ch 10 in HD. I almost forgot that myself when, at 9.30, I was about to chose whether to watch Life on Mars live on 10 or record it and watch Bill Maher on Comedy channel live. I thought – Life on Mars, can watch on HD… oh, hang on, that’d be ONE now… ok – record and watch later. Perhaps 10 could have made the 2nd SD channel the sports channels, with the HD as hybrid between the two, but it just does not have the same ring to it. Sport is one genre that is best seen in HD. The difference is quite substantial. This is no doubt, why on Foxtel, sports channels were the first to be available in HD, together with documentary channels (another genre that is best seen in HD).

Last night, on SC10, the channel 10 news which comes from Sydney spent 5 minutes covering the fact that ONE was starting that night. Viewers of the news were told that all they needed was either a digital TV or a digital set top box to receive ONE. And for ONE HD, the TV and set top box would have to able to receive HD signals. They told us that ONE HD could be seen on digital channel 1. There was absolutely no mention that ONE was not available in regional areas at this stage as well as the fact, that in regional Australia, there is no such channel as digital channel 1.

I wonder how many people in SC10’s viewing area – its northern NSW viewing area is a market about the same size as Adelaide covering over 1 million people – went out today and bought set top boxes as a result? Or finally decided that a new big screen TV with a digital receiver was the best way to spend some of their stimulus money? If SC10 cared about its viewers, not only would it have information out there – either on their web site (which looks like it is not kept up to date), in local papers, or on SC10 itself – relating to what they are doing with ONE, they would have put a disclaimer on the screen during the news or even a 5-10 second announcement stating that ONE will not currently be available in the SC10 viewing area but will be coming soon. It just shows the lack of respect for viewers they have. Maybe television is the lowest priority for Southern Cross, who never delivered 10HD in any case despite promising last year, it would be available “mid year” as well.

Since the announcement of ONE HD late last year, there has been plenty of time for both 10 and SC10 to come to some sort of arrangement. As I have previously mentioned, SC10 has shown some programs simulcast on the HD channel, with he ads replaced by the scenery. Since digital TV started, I am sure that the ch 10 capital city feed they receive contains the full digital bandwidth inc all SD channels and the HD channel. Hence ONE could be shown. But no, not SC10. Out of all the regionals, its programming is the most identically the same as its capital city counterpart just with an extra infomercial or two. Its not as if they have an identity to maintain or to lose. And, like in the cities, SC10 is a distant 3rd in the ratings after NBN and Prime.

All SC10 needs to do is to come clear and explain what the problem is. Explain what they are doing. Explain why, despite being an almost exact copy of capital city ch10, they continue not to offer the same services as far as multi channeling is concerned. It is simple communication. It would take one of the decision makers there less time to write out a quick press release explaining what is going on than it has for me to write this artical pleading for answers.

Come on, SC10, speak up. Tell us what is happening. Lets break out of this annoying code the free to air networks all seem to follow where they do not communicate with their viewers.