Ten in 'terrible' ratings position

Ten in 'terrible' ratings position
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Network Ten has named Under the Dome and Elementary its “breakout hits” for the first half of 2013, but the ratings spikes can’t mask Ten’s “terrible position”.

In Ten’s ‘first half ratings report’ release the network today said it had retained the “title of the top-ranked commercial television network during day time in 25 to 54s and women for the 13th consecutive year”.

Ten described American dramas Under the Dome and Elementary as “breakout hits” in its release, which covered official survey period of weeks seven to 27 (including Easter).

Under the Dome debuted on June 26 to a preliminary metro audience of 1.175 million. Elementary premiered on February 4 with 1.2 million viewers, yesterday [June 7] the drama was watched by 738,000 viewers.

However, the view is less rosy for the network when only the “cover-all revenue demographic” of 16-54 year olds and peak  night (1600 – 2229) is considered, according to media analyst Steve Allen.

“It’s been a shocker, and they are in a terrible position,” Allen, managing director of Fusion Strategy, said.

Allen said it was surprising that Ten “is down so far” in peak nights 16-54s. A Fusion Strategy analysis of OzTam data found the network was down 18.86% in peak night live average viewing audience among 16-54s in the year to week 20, excluding Easter.

While Ten was not the only commercial network to be down in the important revenue attracting demo, it stands apart due to the size of the drop (see table below).

A raft of new programs are set to break onto Ten in second half of the ratings year, including Puberty Blues 2, a local version of The Bachelor, A League of their Own, This Week Live and more.

But Allen says it “does not yet look like it can make any serious headway”.

“Next week’s function [at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal on July 18] could tell us more.”

Beverley McGarvey, chief programming officer Network Ten, said in the release that the launch of the new shows is just the start of what the network is planning for 2014.

“We know Australians want big, noisy, compelling and engaging television programs that they can talk about the next day,” McGarvey said.

“That is what we will be delivering across the rest of 2013 and into 2014.”

The end of this week starting July 8 is the ‘official’ half way point with Easter taken out of the equation, according to Allen.

Ahead of further analysis to come next week, Allen today reiterated his original forecast in January, with Seven expected to close the gap on Nine in the second half.

“We don’t see any ‘break out’ new hits for second half other than Great Australian Bake Off,” he said.

The Bake Off is a new program for Nine that is set to debut at 8.30pm on Tuesdays. Nine described the program as the “UK’s smash hit”, topping 4.5 million viewers per episode.

Australia’s Got Talent, which has moved from Seven to Nine, will be a “minor hit” according to Allen, who believes there are “plenty of good high rating headline grabbing shows” to return in the second half.

They include Big Brother and Underbelly on Nine, with The X-Factor and more on Seven.  

“The second half will be a closer race,” Allen concluded. 

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