Gyngell: “Pay TV will flatten out”

By David Knox on December 5, 2009 / Filed Under News 40

davidgyngellNine CEO David Gyngell spoke pragmatically to media buyers yesterday in Melbourne, at the end of his three-city tour.

Born and bred into a television world, he was again frank about the network’s upcoming slate. After the showreel featuring Underbelly, Hey Hey, Top Gear and many obscure titles such as Send in the Dogs he conceded that not everything will work.

“There will be a lot of good ones, and a few bad ones -I did put out Dance Your Ass Off this year which wasn’t one of the finest CV moments for me. There will be a few more to come and there’s been a few more before that,” he admitted.

Gyngell’s approach to Nine is for GO! to complement the Nine brand in its programming. He signalled a third channel “early” in the new year and yesterday addressed the success of GO! with a gentle reminder.

“I don’t want anyone for a second to be under the illusion that it’s not about anything other than driving the engine of Channel Nine. It’s still about making big shows that rate. Big local shows. You use your overseas output deals to pepper the schedules of your local shows.

“I really believe Pay TV will flatten out in this country,” he predicted.

“This time last year you had five choices of television. This time next year you’re going to have 15. So the challenge for all of us is to give people choice to watch but also to reinvest the money you put with us to make great big broadcast television.

“The most important thing is to make broad television and it’s also the hardest thing to do.”

Frequently in 2009, Nine scheduling often stretched a little a very long way. Gyngell was candid on the network’s output deals.

“We haven’t got as many one hour dramas as our competitors. It’s a lucky dip. You can’t be too proud because you put CSI on a Thursday night about how smart you are. You didn’t make it, commission it, you got it as part of the deal. What makes you proud to be a Channel Nine worker is you make it, you come up with the idea, you put it to air.

“It’s been well documented what happened to this company and it’s sad. But it’s not sad anymore. We didn’t miss out on the Olympics thanks to Eddie and (Jeffrey) Brownie, we didn’t miss out on the World Cup Rugby Union, we didn’t miss out on Tiger Woods, we didn’t miss out on Warner Brothers. Trust me, we will be at the table on the AFL.”

Gyngell’s only slip up in the launch was again dubbing GO! “the new TEN” and Nine “is the old Nine.”

GO! is most certainly not TEN which has original Australian dramas, reality, news, children’s, sport and many shows attracting stellar audiences. GO! is a new kid on the mostly-US programming block, giving Pay TV channels a run for their money, with the occasional alternative in Free to Air.

One Sunday night win does not a channel make.

As for Nine being the old Nine, it’s a confusing statement. Nine is back to its former glory? Nine of the past is no more and there is a new Nine?

In addition to the titles announced yesterday, here are some of the other titles promised for 2010. Some are Australian, some are renewed titles, some are international acquisitions, some have been sitting on the shelf, and some have been promised to us before.

Surprising Facts About Food
When I Grow Up
Cook Along live
Australian Families of Crime
FAQ
Between The Lines
The Jo Frost Roadshow
Next Door Nightmares
20 to 1: Adults Only
The Secret Millionaire
Celebrity Singing Bee
Two and a Half Men
Cold Case
Cops LAC

40 Comments »

  1. stephen December 8, 2009 at 12:03 am -

    Pay tv will flatten out, but FTA’s will fall off a cliff.

    I presume they must offer the media buyers a fair amount of liquid refreshment before they’ll believe this tool and this year’s excuses.

  2. League Freak December 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm -

    Only watch Channel Nine for the Rugby League, and they do a terrible job with that! I think what Nine hasn’t understood about the changed Television Market in Australia is that, with so much choice, you can not expect to find too many shows that draw in a huge cross section of the viewing audience. What Seven and Ten have done well over the last few years is cater for many different audiences with their programing. Be strong on one area with a certain show, rather than drawing a below average audience across all demographics. This see’s Seven and Ten having a more committed for many of their shows. (Hope that makes sense!).

  3. Craig(Buzz) December 7, 2009 at 12:41 am -

    Pay Tv has nothing to worry about.Nothing has changed and as i have mentioned before the digital channels even started they are just bonus channels the Primary channels will always be number 1 priority.
    Digital channels as everyone is finding is just old shows,programs that never rated the first time around and were removed,now being dusted off to be shown again.
    Free to air dos’nt have the money as it is to serve up new programs on the digital channels.Be interesting to see down the track for example if Jay Leno keeps being shown or not.
    I’m surprised David Gyngell admitted to airing Dance Your Ass Off,you could tell by looking at the commercials it was never going to work very poor decision on his part

  4. sam December 6, 2009 at 11:09 pm -

    Once you have Pay Tv, you will find most of the FTA shows are full of craps. Overseas shows are really good and there are so many channels that you can choose. And Pay TV has many good locally made Australia shows like Project Runaway Australia, Selling Houses Australia, Satisfaction,Tangle and many more.

  5. hey December 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm -

    @ Jack i reckon a gardening/life style show for nine at 6:30 sundays, attracting an older audience away from sunday night on 7

  6. Trent December 6, 2009 at 12:53 pm -

    Who would want to get Pay TV with all the choice you have now. Plus Pay TV is almost all overseas shows. Judging from the recent ratings, people want to be watching more australian content, so why would Pay TV rise when this issue is against them, plus the fact that it is not free?

  7. sam December 6, 2009 at 11:04 am -

    No way Pay Tv will be flatten out, this guy is way behind time and he doesn’t knows what a thing!
    Pay Tv will become better and stronger and FTA will be struggling as it’s happening in the world.

  8. KFed December 6, 2009 at 10:54 am -

    When Ten started out it was pretty much American programming wasn’t it? I think it is fair to say Go! is the new Ten, it’s just Ten circa 1965. I look forward to Go!’s version of Number 96.

  9. Bella December 5, 2009 at 11:54 pm -

    GO! is really hit and miss for me. There are a few good shows, but Saturday nights .. Hogan Heroes? Why can’t they repeat some of the good old WB shows.

  10. Justin December 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm -

    Thanks for confirming Two & Half Men will be back in 2010…

  11. daqua_99 December 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm -

    I can see where he is coming from, saying that pay-TV will flatten out. There are only going to be more and more channels launched in the upcoming years, which will make pay TV less and less attractive.

    The networks could easily ‘kill’ pay-TV if they put their minds together. Aggressively pooling their resources into obtaining the rights to Australian sports would break the back of pay TV in this country. Imagine how many people would not renew their Foxtel subscription if, next year, Nine and Ten took the rights to all NRL games, Seven and Ten took the rights to all AFL games, and Ten (through One) and SBS got all international football (soccer) games.

  12. RichoTB December 5, 2009 at 7:41 pm -

    Go! started off as a great channel but has been bastardised with random schedule changes and typical Nine-programming moves. Stop pi**ing off your audience, Nine, put Gossip Girl back on at a decent timeslot and quit screwing around. Oh yeah, and Gyngell looks like a bogan in that picture

  13. David S. December 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm -

    I’ve also been watching more GO! than Nine; the problem is I’m outside their target 14-39 demographic. Which goes to show how out of kilter their programming is for that channel – repeats of Frasier, Seinfeld and Hogan’s Heroes, et al are not 14-39 shows and every time I look at the guide for GO! (as unreliable and error-prone an activity as that is) I shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking, or drinking… However, as I watched virtually no Nine at all prior to GO! starting up I guess they’re somewhat better off than they were. Still, a youth channel it ain’t.

  14. Boy Wonder December 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm -

    @Tex. I read a lot and my fave international site is TV By The Numbers. Broadcast / FTA tv is going down hill. Look at the ratings for the top 10, five & ten years ago. 1.5million now would have been dismal then. Shows in the top 10 were 2.5millionish. These are the facts.
    Cable tv in the US, UK, Germany, Italy and other developed places are booming. Murdoch has even made inroads with the Chinese Govt! (sorry,thats a whole other story).
    The only critically acclaimed stuff is coming out of cable and that trend is happening here in Oz too, slowly but clearly.
    I know numbers can be fiddled with and spun to suit who ever but this is a consistent and obvious trend.

  15. tomothy December 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm -

    GO! has gone down hill rapidly. The over the air guide is completely incorrect, the content of shows has dropped since i it started (Get Smart, Hogans Heroes etc). I thought this was was supposed to be a youth channel. I guees they are looking for the youth of the 1960’s.
    What is annoying me with GO! and Nine is the titles “Friday/Saturday Night Movie” on the guide, rather than the actual movie name.

  16. Kay December 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm -

    I do not have pay tv and wont get it. Why should I? Repeats, commericals and movies arent on when we want to watch them. Yes I know the docos are good but what i dont see I dont miss. Its Free tv for me.

  17. Benno December 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm -

    Here’s a free tip to Mr Gyngell, which he can take or leave:

    Your audience numbers, especially the younger demographics, will decline at a faster rate when your schedule does not match up with what was advertised, including starting times.

  18. AA December 5, 2009 at 2:25 pm -

    FAQ-a Can we help style show maybe?

    Glad that 9 is reviving regular Millionaire (which I love) and not opting to reintriduce shows like Temptation. Glad to see Nine did not forget about the Signing Bee

  19. timmy December 5, 2009 at 1:12 pm -

    “Nine is the old Nine” = “Nine is irrelevant”.

  20. vinny December 5, 2009 at 1:10 pm -

    Is it just me (no offence) but does that photo look like the guy off The Chaser 10 years older ?

  21. Jack December 5, 2009 at 1:02 pm -

    He needs stronger shows- I’d suggest he take a better look to international television stations and localise their shows here.

    If he were sharp- he’s would put ‘celebrity singing bee’ agianst ‘it takes 2′.
    He should also put a ‘better homes and gardens’ type of show in the same timeslot as seven on Friday- in having a chance at destroying 7.

  22. Guy December 5, 2009 at 12:58 pm -

    Totally agree… this guy knows nothing about TV.

    Nine has lost the plot and GO! has no idea either.
    I thought the target demo for GO! was young people. Why show really old shows? I mean Gen Y/Z don’t want to watch Get Smart or Green Acres. Any idiot could tell you that.

    Where is Gossip Girl? Where is The Hills? Aria music show? The should get 90210 and other CW shows as well. There should be no shows on here made before 2000.

    At least pay TV know their demographics and stick to them!!

    I think their new channel should be a HD family channel with movies and classic shows that are currently on GO!

  23. Tex December 5, 2009 at 12:56 pm -

    Boy Wonder: “Look anywhere around the world…….FTA is going backwards and cable is booming.”
    I’ve no figures, just anecdotal info, but on the US boards & blogs I read the opposite seems to be the case. Now that they’ve gone totally digital, I see quite a few people ditching cable where possible & going for OTA HD & multichannel. They now get their fix of ‘must-watch’ cable shows via iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, & good ol’ ChannelBT.

    Woody – I _know_ I’ve watched more GO! than 9. Not because it’s any better; they just have slightly more stuff I may be interested in, and it tends to start somewhere approximately near its scheduled time. This has changed somewhat since 7Two appeared, & GO! fell back to Nine’s usual “let’s-change-the-schedule-at-random” practice.
    GuanoLad: “Gyngell’s dumbing down his channel, and treating his audience like they’re brain dead drones. It’s sad to watch it unfold.

    It’s been unfolding that way for at least the last 20 years. Nine’s ‘flagship’ 60 Minutes is a pale imitation of what it was in its first few years, Sunday went the same way (& died), its news was only ever better in comparison to the other commercials (& for at least a dozen years now 10 has beaten it in quality), current affairs was always a cesspit of prurient hype & half-truths & is now overloaded with programme & personality promos, & the recent successes of “unmissable Aussie drama” like Underbelly have been so bad they work best if you treat them as outright comedy &/or add your own “BargeArse / Olden Years”-style rifftrack.

  24. Trent December 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm -

    When and where are we able to view this showreel?

  25. mac December 5, 2009 at 12:43 pm -

    your not the only one confused david about nine being the old nine and go being ten, what a confusing and stupid statement. and why does he think that these new multi channels will hurt pay tv, at the most fta will have 15 channel which is great but this doesn’t make up for the 150 channels on foxtel. also how could he seriously think dance your ass of would rate, when probably every single person who saw the ad knew it would fail.

  26. GuanoLad December 5, 2009 at 11:50 am -

    I haven’t seen any evidence that Nine understands audiences, understands the changing face of entertainment, or understands what the future has in store, and how rapidly things will change again and again.

    Gyngell’s dumbing down his channel, and treating his audience like they’re brain dead drones. It’s sad to watch it unfold.

  27. tasmanian devil December 5, 2009 at 10:56 am -

    Actually this time last year you would have had up to eight choices of TV: ABC1, ABC2, SBS One, SBS World News Channel, 9, 7, Ten, and a community TV channel in some areas. And how is he expecting to launch a third channel? The only way to do that would be to replace Nine High-Def.

  28. Woody December 5, 2009 at 10:53 am -

    I think I watched more on Go! this year than Nine proper.

    In fact the only time I actually sat down and watched something from beginning to end was the Hey Hey reunions so they have a long way to go before getting me to tune in to their schedule.

  29. Nick December 5, 2009 at 10:46 am -

    This guy has no clue about the TV Industry, he’s in his own world. “Pay TV will flatten out” yeh ok, we’ll see. A statement like that shows his understanding of the situation is foggy, the networks need to work harder to be able to keep up Pay TV

  30. Rob December 5, 2009 at 10:35 am -

    You wonder if he got this job on th eback of his name or some business nouse.

    Copying paytv doesn’t take skill it’s just someone else has done the hard work figuring out what people want to see, in the case of paytv for a regular fee.

    With old shows back for Nine obviously he has little imagine bu then again maybe that’s what some people want, 80’s and 90’s rubbish at a time when you can watch live or near to live new content from around the world. Nine is really now the TV equivalent of Golden Hits radio stations where you will see the same thing over and over because you just don’t like all that new music the young people are listening to.

  31. JM December 5, 2009 at 10:27 am -

    @Darrell Tohi – How can you say we have enough game shows ???? There are only 3-4 on our screens (with real contestants) that i can think of.

  32. Boy Wonder December 5, 2009 at 10:16 am -

    For someone born into a world of tv and make statements like “Pay TV will flatten out” he must be an idiot. Look anywhere around the world…….FTA is going backwards and cable is booming.

  33. Darrell Tohi December 5, 2009 at 9:43 am -

    Your kidding there bringing back Who Wants to be a millionare….. I would rather sit through repeats or new eps of Secret Millionaire Australia… Dont you think we have enough game shows????

  34. mikeys December 5, 2009 at 9:32 am -

    Anyone who makes as much money as this guy should have Way more audience intuition (and common sense)… I mean, come on, the show’s title “Dance your ass off” should have been a dead giveaway…

  35. Cam December 5, 2009 at 9:07 am -

    GO could be the new Ten it just needs some hot aussie shows and it could really chisel into Tens share int 2010. Ten should be worried.

  36. Rob December 5, 2009 at 9:02 am -

    I truly believe Nine is going to strike back this year and if Gyngell can get some new aussie content up on GO! it could turn into a powerhouse for them interms of demographics.

  37. Craig December 5, 2009 at 8:17 am -

    Haven’t they been saying for just about as long as PayTV has been in this country that no one would pay for it?

    I don’t think he gets it, when people are paying $1000s for home entertainment systems, internet and other services they don’t mind paying $100 per month to have more choice, even with the new FTA channels I don’t see that changing.

    Where are they going to get the bandwidth for the 3rd channels or like TEN are they going to us their HD as the 3rd channel?

  38. Jed December 5, 2009 at 8:13 am -

    Still the one… that has no decent shows to watch. Only time my tv turns to Nine is for Survivor.

  39. Edu December 5, 2009 at 7:44 am -

    Still, no The Apprentice??
    Nine is the old nine, is that the reason why it brought back Nightline? Hopefully, Nine brings back Sunday also.

  40. Russell December 5, 2009 at 6:15 am -

    “One Sunday night win does not a channel make”

    I don’t know. Just 4 months after launch Go! is hitting a 5% FTA share in it’s target demo.

    Find a broadcaster or cable channel anywhere in the world that has got to that kind of market share within 4 months.

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