Nine 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
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