Nine Director of Programming Andrew Backwell has revealed the network is using every strategy in the book to ensure it gets the best return for its shows.
He told the Courier Mail multi-channels and an increasingly competitive market mean networks have to do all they can to get audience share.
“We are running a business, trying to get the biggest share of advertising revenue and we are all fighting to get the right return,” he said.
“Everyone is trying to strategically look for an advantage to get as many people to watch your channel.”
Backwell said he understood the audience frustration and the network did its best to inform viewers if shows would run late, but he said the delays made commercial sense.
“We invest a lot of money in these shows so we have to put them in the slot that will get the best return.”
Seven is quoted in less detail, saying, “We have got better with our communication and advising viewers of changed times. With live and event television, it often runs over the allocated time.”
The article follows an opinion piece in The Age this week from Paul Kalina:
It’s not just a matter of false advertising, of promising consumers something it won’t deliver, which is an annoyance viewers in TV-land have come to expect, though a punishable offence in other realms of business.
It’s yet another sign, along with inaccurate start and finish times, of the indifference with which networks treat viewers as they shift their focus from building the loyalty and trust of viewers to one-upping each other in an ultimately self-defeating game of brinkmanship. Most perplexing this time, though, is that Nine seem to have forgotten that The Big Bang Theory is indeed one of its strongest drawcards. So why not simply promote that line-up? Surely that’s what running a network is all about?
Next week Nine has three episodes of The Voice and a new Big Bang Theory scheduled. Success.