In recent weeks, GO! have decided not to continue showing new episodes of Pretty Little Liars, dumped Hellcats from their schedule, moved nights for Top Gear, re-arranged Sunday nights thereby changing the timeslot for new episodes of The Middle, played around with when Big Bang repeats air, and added encores of the new episodes of Big Bang and Two and a Half Men, as well as $#*! My Dad Says and Mike and Molly to their line up.
These kind of erratic changes risk damaging GO! as a serious competitor against relative new comers ELEVEN and 7mate both of which have incredibly stable programming in comparison, and seldom make major changes even as they move into ratings season which starts from Feb 6.
With repeats of The Middle, The Big Bang Theory, Top Gear, Two and a Half Men, as well as encores of new episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, $#*! My Dad Says and Mike and Molly filling the GO schedule, the channel is seriously starting to look like more of a NINE-2 as opposed to its own brand.
As for the new content count per channel, that is another point lost for GO! And encores and repeats of shows aired on Nine earlier in the night do not count as new content for GO! – regardless of if the Nine network flag them as “1st on GO!” or not.
Unfortunately, the commercial reality of it all is that ratings make money, and repeats of favourites tend to draw more ratings than first run content*. The rule of first run content is that it has to be given time to gain an audience and a following. It needs a regular timeslot. Stability. Promotion time… You Can’t just chop and change new shows to different timeslots or days at the drop of a hat.
It’s all too easy to drop in repeats of shows that people will watch over and over, but, and as I always say, what happens when everyone has seen each episode too many times? When they own the DVD box sets and no longer will watch these shows on TV? Has Nine noticed the fall in nightly Two and a Half Men ratings and started to question why? How will any of the new content fill these voids if new shows are not given a chance?
And why not start using timeslots outside of 6pm – midnight for shows that don’t rate during prime time so at least viewers can still get to see the news shows that have been dropped for the sake of ratings benefits from repeats?
Stay up to date with what is on GO! here.
* Just to clarify – I am referring more to new shows as opposed to first runs of a series that a numerous seasons in. First run content on ELEVEN like The Simpsons, Neighbours, new Futurama, The Office, etc, doing well for the channel. All of these shows have already built a following, so they attract the viewers.