Ten has made an impassioned plea to media buyers to give the network a fair share of the revenue pie at its annual upfronts event in Sydney.
“You keep telling us that you need three viable free-to-air networks and that means, respectfully, giving Ten the revenue share we deserve, and that’s a revenue share that reflects our audience share,” said Louise Barrett, Ten’s chief sales officer.
“There’s no need for you to be excessively compensating the competition. I know you all and I know what you want and what you need. And we will deliver compelling content, consistency and innovation in 2015.”
Barrett’s comments came during the polished presentation at The Star hosted by Grant Denyer, presenter of Ten’s Family Feud, which the network triumphed as one of its hits of 2014.
Beverley McGarvey, the network’s chief programming officer, said: “Ten Eyewitness News, Family Feud and The Project have delivered strong audience growth in early evening and we’ll build on that in 2015. We’ve really not had such a stable, promising early evening line up for nearly a decade.”
Overall, however, the network is focusing on the 25-to-54 demo which CEO Hamish McLennan said: “Quite remarkably, we’ve been able to grow in that demographic so significantly in such a short period of time. We said to you this time last year that this was going to be a big priority for the network. That’s where there’s a large body of viewers, as you well know, and that’s where all the money is earned and spent in this market. We’re providing real competition to Seven and Nine in this regard so we need your support.”
Much is being invested in the forthcoming I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here with the room decked out like a jungle and proceedings opened by a group of of African drummers.
The reality franchise, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2015, is being produced by ITV Studios with seasoned executive producer and the man who helmed Ten’s original seasons of Big Brother, Peter Abbott, on board.
“I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here is going to be our new Masterchef, Bachelor, Big Brother or even Australian Idol. One of the reasons we commissioned I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is because of the deep integration it offers our advertisers,” said Barrett.
While viewers will apparently have to tune in to see which 10 local and international ‘celebrities’ will be dropped into the jungle, Ten revealed the series, which will be stripped across weeknights, will be hosted by comedienne Julia Morris and celebrity vet Dr Chris Brown.
Other big reveals from the network included a female centred spin off of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and a potential sixth season of fan favourite Offspring, which drew a gasp from the audience of media buyers.
The network has also commissioned two new dramas, one based on the life of Princess Mary of Denmark, the other on a different sort of Australian royal, Peter Brock.
Ten is also looking beyond free-to-air with the upcoming launch of brand The Baby Circle. The parenting offering will span across TV as a daytime branded content program, online, social and will include a loyalty program.
“Parenting and children are massive drivers of consumer spending and it’s a market that hasn’t got a lot of attention in some media sectors, particularly TV,” said Barrett.
McLennan concluded his speech: “There’s really just one thing we ask from you. We’ve got an audience that is growing. At the moment it’s sitting at around 23% audience share. The only commitment we want from you for next year is that you match our audience share with the revenue share. That’s really important for us. We think its fair. We’re not asking for too much. We’re not being greedy. But what we want from you is to support us in that regard. If you do that then you’ve got a vibrant and robust free to air TV market in this country.”
“Ten is coming back. Ten is coming back with a roar.”
See pictures from the night in the slideshow gallery above.