2013 is a “desperate year for Ten” and Nine will struggle to deliver its promise of a 5% lift in key demographics, according to a metro television report.
Fusion Strategy’s official Ratings Year Forecast for Metropolitan Television report has thrown doubt over Nine’s pledge describing it as a “bit of a king hit” and a “really big ask”.
Steve Allen, principal at Fusion Strategy, said Nine will increase its audience this year, but not the promised 5%.
Instead, Allen predicts Nine will push just ahead of Seven in the 16 to 54 age bracket.
“We do not see gains coming from Ten, so they have to come principally from Seven,” Allen said.
“With a median age older than competitors (at just 49) this will not be that easy for Nine in the right demographics.
“No doubt Nine are trying to ‘wedge’ Seven, but with new shows to Nine like Australia’s Got Talent, Parades End is another, which has been above this media age, demographically will be a challenge.”
At Nine’s upfront presentations last year Peter Wiltshire, Nine Entertainment Co’s sales director, denied the 5% boost was “arrogant”.
“It’s just a simple statement of confidence around the product,” Wiltshire said at the time.
“With all these shows together 5% is a reasonably confident call. We wouldn’t make it if we didn’t feel able to achieve it.”
In comparison to Nine’s lofty ambitions, struggling Ten has promised 40 survey weeks of consistency, stability and continuity.
According to Allen, the key question for Ten now is whether or not it has enough new commissioned inventory to recover ground lost over the past two years.
“Our answer is, probably not,” Allen said.
“Ten has been airing in 2012, pretty much every week, with four or five hours per week of repeats.
“This is a lot of hours to replace, especially with a renewal slate not performing for the most part of 2012.
“Ten therefore need pretty much everything to perform.”
The “first roll of the dice” for Ten was MasterChef: The Professionals, which on Sunday evening pulled 1.165 million viewers.
Seven’s mission for 2013, according to Allen, is “a constant renewal and building programme, leadership on the front foot”.
“Seven has looked in the box position for a number of years,” Allen added.
“Seven’s biggest advantage over competitors, for the past decade and particularly the past five years, is inventory.”
Looking ahead at the new shows set to hit the television screens this year, Fusion strategy compiled a list (below) of those they forecast to be “winners” based on the 16-54 demo.