The ratings battle and falling revenue will see ONE HD shift it focus away from sport and into more general entertainment appealing to a male audience, the very audience that Seven’s third channel 7mate is aimed for.
ONE HD has recently added more and more non-sports programming into its prime time line up. Initially, it was sports based movies once a week, now there are movies on two or even three nights – and they are definitely not sport related.
On top of that, documentaries like Black Gold, Ice Road Truckers and Ax Men air on Tuesday and Wednesday nights billed as “One Adventure”. This move has seen an increase in average prime time ratings for ONE.
But now, as head of sports programming for Ten Network Holdings, David White is set to leave the network after 14 years of service, and once the 2012-2016 AFL broadcast rights are finalised, the former 24 hour sports channel could take a new direction, with less focus on sport.
Originally promised as a title for sister network Ten digital channel ELEVEN, Sons of Anarchy may end up on ONE in prime time on weeknights. The aim is to broaden ONE’s audience beyond 1-2% it achieves now, and therefore increase revenue as a result.
The Ten network have had a very soft first quarter. Ten’s revamp of early evening news did not draw the audience the network had hoped for. 6pm With George Negus moves to 6.30pm from tonight (April 4)., while the Evening News is gone altogether. Ten’s First at Five news has been extended to 90 minutes, now airing from 5-6.30pm.
Ten’s prime time line up has changed a number of times in the first 8 weeks of 2011 ratings. The list of prime time shows that have moved timeslots in the last weeks includes House, NCIS: LA, Undercover Boss (US), Blue Bloods and Lie to Me – 5 shows in total.
Ten is regularly third, and sometime fourth in main channel ratings. Masterchef in May will give the network a lift while George Negus at 6.30 may also help. ELEVEN is doing well, now often amongst the top 3 most watched digital channels each night.
Only ONE drags the chain. While Seven and Nine see ratings for GEM and 7mate around 3% or so, 7TWO and GO at 4% and beyond, and ELEVEN close to 4%, ONE sits around the 1% mark – amongst the lowest rating digital channels.
A new direction for ONE could see the channel’s ratings shares increase and help put the Ten network back into the ratings race and generate more revenue for the corporation.
The departure of David White means that ONE programming will be taken over by David Mott, responsible for overseeing programming for Ten and ELEVEN.
Source: The Australian.