Tag Archives: TV Tonight

Channel Tens’ Broken Promise

I always thought, that the network that puts in place a time slot guarantee, would gain respect from their viewers and thus, hopefully, ratings. That is, the network that promises a show will be on at the same time very week, on time, and not repeated for a set period of time – say 12 or 13 weeks.

Back in January, prior to the current ratings period beginning, ch 10 promised exactly that – with House. They promised that the show would run 12 weeks without repeats or interruption. This morning, as reported by TV Tonight, I read that next weeks’ episode of House will be a repeat, and that the episode that would have been on next week, will be aired one week later – when ratings return.

Channel 10 have made the promise of showing House for 12 weeks without repeats or interruption. They would have done so knowing full well that this period would carry through the Easter non-ratings period. It seems that they have decided to withhold what apparently will be a good episode purely for the sake of putting it on during the ratings season so it can count towards there ratings share for the year.  

If you make this sort of promise, you need to stick to it. Ratings or not. Its not like House is a top rating show in any case. Last week, it scored about 800,000 viewers – which is about where it sits usually. Now that the promise is broken, they can no longer use it in their advertising to promote a show. Noone is going to trust it now.

There goes a good idea, from the only network that seems to be showing some respect for their viewers most of the time. Unlike 7 and 9, 10 are the only network to update their EPG to reflect the time that shows really start as opposed to what they are advertised for. If your EPG for 10 says 8.33, then thats when the show starts – usually within a few seconds. On ch 7 and 9, if it says 8.30, its more likely 8.35. And later in the night, 11.30 means as early as 11.20. 30 Rock on 7 is a classic example. I can get the whole episode of 30 Rock record by using the “R+20” button on the show before 30 Rock (usually Boston Legal; R+20 on Foxtel IQ2 allows you to add 20 minutes to the end of a recording) as opposed to actually setting it to record 30 Rock itself.

Channel 10 were onto a good thing here. Now its lost. Trust is gone. And all for the sake of this absurdity of non-ratings period where you still have full ratings reports, but because it does not count to the networks’ win for the year, they don’t care what they do. We the viewers always lose out.

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Heroes Coming Back

According to TV Tonight, Heroes is set to return April 23 at 10.30pm on ch 7. Its been showing in the US since Feb (Click on TV Tonight to read the article there).

As a Heroes fan, I look forward to seeing the show again. Until recently, though, the 10.30 time slot meant you did not get to see it in HD while ch 7 had its breakaway HD programming. There were some Thursdays where it was “replayed” on 7HD an hour or two later, but for the most part, having the HD breakaway meant that you could not see a show after 10.30 on the main channel in HD. I think it is more important to show what is made in HD in HD rather than having a regular HD breakaway for the sake of it. Both 9 and 7 have been guilty of this.

I do hope 7 will leave Heroes on, untouched at the 10.30pm Thursday night timeslot until it catches up with the episodes shown in the US. We are now 2 months behind, but gaps in the US programming means over time we’ll catch up. I still, to this day, cannot understand why 7 did not finish the whole season when Heroes was last on. There were only a few more episodes to go. The show has not been treated fairly by ch 7, being left to summer last year rather than brought on earlier in ratings season, only to have the last episodes left in limbo when ratings started. For me, the Heroes and Prison Break combination, together with ER in 9, meant there was actually some free to air TV to watch over summer.

I look forward to Heroes. I hope they also play Prison Break within a reasonable time after its US airing. Yes, I know I could download if I wanted to, but Heroes to me needs to be seen in HD. Even if I knew where to download it in HD, one episode would send my monthly internet cap over the top. Besides – if the networks did not mess around with these sorts of shows, showed them at a reasonsable time frame, did not bump them ,etc, noone would even think of downloading, would they?

And now is the time to point out this: ER on 9 used to get about 800k in ratings (off the top of my head). Heroes on 7, gets about 400k. Life on Mars on 10 gets about 500k. 7 puts Heroes on. 10 keeps Life on Mars on. 9 – who’s ER rates better than those two shows, still does not put the show on at any time. Just goes to show which network cares more for viewers.

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.