One hour News, but Nine at risk of mixed messages.

By David Knox on October 31, 2013 / Filed Under News 28

2013-10-30_0007Nine’s primetime experimentation with a one hour News in Sydney is beginning to impact on other scheduling, and it risks confusing viewers.

For all of this week Nine viewers in Sydney have been watching the 60 minute bulletin with Peter Overton, presumably to test the waters on whether it is a viable permanent option.

It does so having won the year in the ferocious 6pm news battle. It has to be asked: if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

But the answer may lay in lower audience numbers later in the evening and a bit of a dearth of solid 8:30 shows from US outputs. If Nine can push back A Current Affair to 7pm and its Reality shows The Block, The Voice, Big Brother to 7:30pm starts next year, then it can help push the problem back to 9 or 9:30pm.

So far its one hour bulletin has been working, with the extra 30 minutes beating Today Tonight in Sydney. But it’s early days. Whether viewers will stick with 1 hour if the material is not compelling enough is another, long term question.

The move is also impacting on other programming.

Nine hasn’t been screening their 7pm bulletin on GEM this week. While Seven is sticking with its 7TWO bulletin at 7pm, Nine appears to be an “on / off” affair.

A Nine spokesperson told TV Tonight, “It’s just been rested from the schedule this week so that it doesn’t clash with ACA at 7pm in Sydney.”

But ACA isn’t at 7pm in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Is Nine suggesting Sydney viewers are its priority?

Not necessarily.

Last night Sydney viewers watched Ed being evicted from the Big Brother “live eviction” show thirty minutes after Melbourne viewers saw it happen (other states already know how that feels).

So far there was limited reaction on social media, but if it continues into next week, Nine may well cop a backlash. Nine can’t risk the winner being announced on social media by Melbourne BB fans. Brisbane media has previously questioned why Queensland viewers must watch the finale delayed when it’s filmed in their own state, due to Daylight Saving changes.

Last week Survivor fans were also less generous about a late decision to start the show on GO! at 8pm instead of its usual 8:30pm. Many of them missed half the show, according to their Twitter feedback.

So what, exactly, does Nine have scheduled for next week?

It’s hard to know.

Nine’s own Access site, in which media log on to refer to schedules, doesn’t even have Nine News scheduled for an hour this week, let alone next week. But the NineMSN-owned TV Guide does.

Next week both currently list Big Brother as a 7pm show for the big eviction shows on Monday and Wednesday (finale) in Sydney.

TV Tonight understands it’s still an ongoing discussion.

Given the GEM bulletin is still nowhere to be seen in schedules it’s fair to say the current state of play is a bit of dog’s breakfast …. or as its replacement might suggest, even an Antiques Roadshow.


  1. gordo1 November 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm -

    iv always considered chanel 9 to be part of my team such as Parramatta,nsw blues, aussie cricket team.i watch 9 news and today when im home but.

    I do have a complaint.1st, how much news do you think someone can watch in an afternoon/night ,4hours realy !!!.wheres the entertainment and shows kids can watch? 2nd, before big brother started you were replaying the big bang theory shows for 2 hours a night. night after night,again where is the entertainment.i think it is very lazy programing.what, you don’t have anything else in the vault to put on tv.

    finaly if I can be so bold as to say..i think not taking up the soccer was a mistake. all football season we sit down and watch Friday night football and love it..when the season is finished we are at a loose…

  2. Carringbush November 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm -

    The news is pretty similar whatever station you’re on so we watch Ch7 news for the superior sports coverage. I know Ch7 have dabbled with an hour on Saturdays and I’ve just completed an online questionnaire which seems to be testing the waters for hour news each night. My wife watches Neighbours so we have to turn over at 6.30 regardless but I will be mightily pissed off If I miss my nightly sports fix!

  3. David Knox November 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm -

    Nine’s latest Guides do not indicate a return to National Nine News.

  4. MasterCheffie November 1, 2013 at 10:39 pm -

    I don’t really join the blog here but read it.

    This however got my attention and Nine’s quietly.
    I read your front page and the “IceTV” guide link shows Sydney as having at 6pm, not just 1hr of news but… *plays Eeywitness tune; da da da da*, NAtional Nine News or NNN. :) Looks like a nice quiet return to NNN, based on “Eyewitness” thing? I like that idea because National is a name with Nine and it got them as “leading hour of news & Current affairs” in the ninties.

  5. David Knox November 1, 2013 at 11:02 am -

    Yes I previously speculated on this possibility.

  6. PJC November 1, 2013 at 11:00 am -

    Surely an easy fix for Nine to avoid dramas with the ‘live’ BB eviction shows is to fill 30 mins at 7pm on GTV (and the other states) with TBBT repeats. Then the rest of the night’s programming falls back in sync across the network.

  7. Jason November 1, 2013 at 10:55 am -

    @kimbeth – A bit late I think, but try Tom.
    @Seriously – We are, since WIN’s still promoting their news as “The best hour of news in the country” when it’s now 90 minutes.

  8. deedeedragons October 31, 2013 at 11:22 pm -

    Boo-hoo for QLD. If you don’t wanna do daylight saving, this is one of the things that will happen.

  9. kimbeth October 31, 2013 at 11:00 pm -

    Where can I place a massive bet on ch7 to win 2014 ratings?

  10. Seriously October 31, 2013 at 10:57 pm -

    WIN viewers must be confused. ACA airing on Gem at 7pm, the same time as WIN News. :/

  11. Jason October 31, 2013 at 10:07 pm -

    Nine News Sydney ran the stolen/found pig story again tonight, then a piece on Melbourne Cup tents. Switched over to 7 when that started. TT running same piece. Now, of course, WIN News is pushed back to 7pm.
    @MHA – In the late 60s we did have
    7am Today. Mike Walsh, Bobo Faulkner
    12:25pm News (5mins)
    6.30 Television City News. Eric Pearce, Kevin Sanders
    10.45 Television City News (30mins)
    Because Nine had a policy of fewer commercials there was 3mins of News at 9:25pm.
    And IMT still started on time at 9:30!

  12. Regional Viewer October 31, 2013 at 9:53 pm -

    and if you a viewer in Newcastle NBN has gone one hour on a Saturday also

  13. MM October 31, 2013 at 9:41 pm -

    I think the reason that 9 keeps putting more news on is they don’t have anything to show apart from repeats and repeats of everything, they just milk everything dry until people are sick of it, surprised that they get any viewers at all, wonder what the hedge fund people think about it, can see things getting messy again if they don’t pull their socks up.

  14. DOGES33 October 31, 2013 at 8:54 pm -

    The thing is today tonight in Perth is local the 7TWO news at 7 is with Sally Bowery hope spelled it right a and the 7TWO show Perth weather in there 7 news were GEM is delayed news. So does that have anything to do with who watches what news

  15. HeyHey_Variety October 31, 2013 at 8:11 pm -

    Nine should chuck in a game show from 8.30 to 9 next year.

  16. davis October 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm -

    David, just a note – we’ve had 1 hour weeknight news on Nine in Sydney now for 3 weeks. Albeit focused on fires until this week.

  17. andy pandy October 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm -

    Why don’t channel 9 just show BB when daylight savings is not on?
    Or at the least show it live here in Qld at 6pm, making it 7pm in NSW and VIc?
    Its a bit of an insult that BB is produced here but we don’t see it live. Ridiculous!

  18. MHA October 31, 2013 at 6:32 pm -

    @poss, you are not wrong!

    I remember back in the 70’s, you only ever saw 30 minutes of News at 6.30pm on Nine, yes, that’s right there was no News at 6pm, 4.30pm, 3.00pm, 11.00am or 5.00am. The way Nine is going it will be News/Infotainment from 5am right through to 7.30pm, with live/near live reality rubbish until about 10pm, then probably they will bring back a 2 hour Nightline to midnight and then fill the mid-dawn with infomercials. Only Cricket and NRL and other sport will break it up. Go! and GEM will be filled as already is with endless cheap repeats with very rare premiere programs. If it works for Nine, well and good, but we are not watching in our house.

  19. Maev....Sydney October 31, 2013 at 6:00 pm -

    I have a friend who watches Nine…she is not at all happy…started with DOOL…and this is about the finish for her…plus others saying…Nine does not tell anyone what is going on…does not worry me…I dont watch.

  20. poss October 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm -

    It amazes me how 9 gets any ratings?

    Who is the genius that came up with the idea to run a TV station with no programmes??

  21. chivasssimo October 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm -

    surely the answer is to axe ACA. It would still (finally) kill of TT – Nine’s strategy behind all this.

  22. maxxdude October 31, 2013 at 4:45 pm -

    Poor Sydney viewers. How does it feel having to watch something on delay. Now you know how we Brisbane viewers feel for 6 months of the year.

  23. Moxey October 31, 2013 at 4:39 pm -

    Channel Nine need to sort this out. Sadly, in my opinion, Nine News is very poor quality in the first place, especially the sport.

  24. alvar October 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm -

    Agreed that the problem lies in a lack of solid shows later in the evening.

  25. Loz October 31, 2013 at 3:37 pm -

    Well I’m sick of recording 2 broke girls only to find The Big Bang theory instead. EPG needs to be updated!!!! Last week fine, I thought it was cos of the fires, I didn’t realise they were testing the waters for a one hour news. But all programming needs to be updated.

    I do find it annoying also that BB is on at 7.30 while Melb get it at 7pm (on the plus side it means I can watch H&A then switch over). It should be on at same time for all states. Surely can’t be that hard to do.

  26. Chris October 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm -

    The strategy has given me a good excuse to stop watching Nine news. I only watched it because it covered things quickly in a short package, with minimal filler (royals stories excepted – somehow those have always been considered “news”). Now since it stretches everything (and I mean stretch – with recaps, previews, and long unwieldy stories), it’s just painful to watch and I’ve got better things to do – I’ve given up on it.

    If I’m going to spend an hour watching news I’ll watch The Project instead – it’s far better quality news and stories, if a little long for my liking.

    That said, I understand their strategy – it’s cheap to produce, and obviously still gets the eyeballs. Just not mine anymore.

  27. Pete October 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm -

    Good article, David.

    Nine News in the second half hour will always beat Today Tonight as it was thrashed each and every day of the week by ACA and loyal viewers will watch the news and then ACA out of habit.

    I think you are correct about the post 8.30 scheduling and our schedule of overseas scripted drama and comedy is looking more like the US where the pick of the shows are screened at 9pm and 10pm. That will probably happen on Nine next year.

    The GEM bulletin, despite being read by Peter Overton, always trailed the 7Two version with Melissa Doyle so they may have just given up with that failed experiment. I would too as habit has anyone wanting their news at 7 watching ABC1.

    News might be cheap to make (must be, we now have it swamping all stations schedules) but it ultimately cheapens the brand because the material is the same filler and there are only so many…

  28. John Jackson October 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm -

    I saw some fans of Big Brother in Sydney on twitter getting mad at evicted housemates leaking the results before it was announced. When in actuality they weren’t leaking anything, as those Big Brother housemates were just watching the feed from Melbourne.

    The Sydney BB fans had not caught on that they’re watching a delayed telecast in Sydney after always getting shows live alongside Melbourne.

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