Fresh from announcing its earnings had plummeted 49 per cent in its end of financials last Tuesday, Seven appears to be taking a “content is king” route out of its financial woes announcing over the weekend it had snared the rights to The Voice away from rival network Nine.
The long-running talent show will appear on Seven from 2021 and be hosted by Sonia Kruger. It’s as yet unclear who the judges will be. It will be done inconjunction with ITV Studios Australia.
Nine did not have an option included in its contract, which meant that Seven was able to secure the show without Nine entering an exclusive negotiated period.
And The Voice may well be the first of many shows Seven attempts to pinch from rival networks.
Nine’s The Sydney Morning Herald is today reporting that it could also make a play for shows such as Australian Ninja Warrior and Love Island (both currently airing on Nine and done under contract with Endemol Shine and ITV Studios respectively.)
Seven’s strategy clearly being to make its own content and then use it online and on-sell it to overseas broadcasters. Something that can’t be done when simply syndicating content from overseas.
Following Thursday’s news that Nine had posted a $500 million-plus loss for the 2019-2020 financial year, Nine CEO Hugh Marks indicated to shareholders that content that was expensive to produce would likely face the chop from the network’s line-up. Sports rights and reality programming the two under the closest scrutiny.
In a statement to B&T, a Nine spokesperson said of The Voice’s move to Seven: “Unfortunately due to the age of the show and declining demographic profile, The Voice had become by far the poorest financial performer on our slate. We wish Seven well in their quest to revive yet another Nine show.”
Commenting on The Voice’s move to Seven, Seven CEO James Warburton said: “This is a coup for Seven. Adding The Voice to our 2021 program slate is another brick in the wall of our content-led growth strategy of using proven, power formats. The Voice is a television megabrand that will deliver on our promise of more tentpoles, audience growth and consistency across the year. It is a strong performer in BVOD and will give audiences what they want: the world’s best television.”
Seven’s director of programming, Angus Ross said: “The Voice remains the biggest entertainment show in Australia averaging over 1.5 million viewers each week – delivering on broadcast, demographics and streaming. We jumped at the opportunity to bring this juggernaut into Seven’s 2021 schedule. Our plans to supercharge the format are well underway.”
Ross added the 2021 series will be reimagined to capture the spirit of the times. A new tighter format adapted for latest viewing trends will see the new series maintain all the momentum of the past while injecting the dynamic pace that audiences love.
“We’re accustomed to working with some of the best production studios in the country to deliver refreshed formats that have new life breathed into them,” said Ross. “We’ve done it with Big Brother and Farmer Wants a Wife this year – and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to responsibly reimagine the format for The Voice 2021. We’ll deliver an established franchise ramped up for newer and bigger audiences, in a lean production format that speaks to modern viewers.”
David Mott, CEO and managing director of ITV Studios Australia said: “This is truly a significant day. It is the beginning of a new era of The Voicein Australia which is still the biggest entertainment brand globally. Seven did not hesitate in securing the rights when this opportunity came up and we cannot wait to get cracking on the series for 2021… and to welcome Sonia back to the biggest entertainment stage on Australian television.”
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