Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner has hit back at the company’s free-to-air TV rivals who claim it has an ageing audience.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting today, Worner said Seven’s competitors “do their best to dismiss our achievements by saying our audience is old”.
“In fact, there are more young people watching Seven than any other network by some margin,” he said.
“This year we will not only win all the key demographics that are so important to our commercial partners, we will have our highest ever share of the key 16 to 39 and 25 to 54 demos.”
Worner said that despite winning overall ratings honours last year, Seven wasn’t happy with its performance.
“We said that we would address that and we have,” he told shareholders.
“I’m very proud to report we will deliver the biggest share of any network in the history of Australian TV ratings.”
Seven is banking on its new food channel, announced at its Allfronts event late last month, to help deliver ratings success in FY19
Worner said the TV network has received a “strong response” from the market in regards to 7food, and has already signed a number of commercial partnerships.
“We are also very excited by the response to the cricket,” he said.
“As Kurt [Burnett] said at our recent Allfronts, he’s never seen as fast an uptake in his 28 years in television. December is looking very strong.”
Worner said the first quarter of this financial year was flat for Seven, with a softer September and October partly due to a pullback in spend from banking and insurance due to the royal commission as well as government spend.
“Off the back of that successful cricket take-up, we expect Seven’s metro FTA revenue share to grow in the second quarter and first half,” he said.
“The market performance in the second half is expected to be stronger driven by increased ad spend from a number of sectors including election money.
“Overall we expect the metro TV ad market to be broadly flat in the financial year, but for Seven to increase share.”
As such, Seven has upgraded its net cost saving targets for FY19 from between $10 million and $20 million to between $20 million and $30 million.