The Economics of Netflix: How to Make a $100 Million Show
24Apr14

There has been a lot of buzz about Netflix in the last year, even here in Australia where the video streaming service hasn’t officially launched (yet is watched by many who find ways around the geo-blocking).

Award-winning new programs like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Lilyhammer, created and aired on Netflix have transformed the one-time DVD mailing service into a new media force to be reckoned with, causing yet more anxiety amongst TV networks and subscription television and acting as a pointer to what could soon trouble the major movie studios.

Netflix is now so popular that it gobbles up a third of peak internet traffic in North America.

So how does this brave new world of streaming content work and how does Netflix make money? This new infographic explains the economics of Netflix. Read the rest of this entry »

NBN & WIN decide Come Fly With Me might be too offensive for regional viewers
16May11

Come Fly With Me cast. Image from BBC

Last week I ranted about the poor offerings on Freeview, especially on the commercial channels. Today there’s even more reason to complain.

Tonight at 8pm the Nine Network (which these days also owns NBN Television) will begin showing Come Fly With Me, a new series by the guys from Little Britain. This was the highest rating new comedy series in the UK last year and a second series has been commissioned by the BBC.

After a run of comedic flops on Nine this year (Ben Elton, Mike & Molly and Sh*t My Dad Says) the eagerly anticipated Come Fly With Me offers a reason to finally flick over to the self-described “home of laughter” for a genuine laugh.

But NBN and WIN have decided not to run Come Fly With Me fearing it might offend regional viewers. Instead it will run repeats of Big Bang Theory.

Nine are running an edited version of Come Fly With Me they feel is suitable for the 8pm PG timeslot, yet NBN and WIN feel even this is too risque for our regional sensibilities.

If viewers in the NBN and WIN regions want to watch Come Fly With Me they can wait until 10pm and watch it on GO!

What’s more offensive, running a new program that’s already been a proven winner in the UK or deciding that regional viewers are somehow more sensitive than their capital city counterparts and would be happier with a safe old repeat?

At a time when free to air TV is under threat from Torrent downloads, subscription TV and a plethora of other entertainment options this decision is baffling and provides another reason for viewers to drift away from FTA as their first choice for entertainment.

As the principal of an advertising agency I want commercial television to be strong so clients have the opportunity to reach the best possible audience, but safety-first programming like this is actually harming the industry.

What do you think about NBN and WIN’s decision not to run Come Fly With Me despite it running in all capital cities on Nine?

Update: Somebody close to the action at NBN has just told me that the word is it was a directive from head office at Nine not to run Come Fly With Me in prime-time in regional areas, not a local programing decision. While Nine have been suffering badly in the ratings against Masterchef, NBN and WIN are still performing strongly. The thought is that Nine were willing to sacrifice Come Fly With Me against Masterchef as they have nothing to lose, however NBN / WIN would be better sticking with what has been working for them. If this is the case, and it hasn’t been confirmed, then at least it makes sense from a purely strategic point-of-view and is a much better explanation than what has been offered officially. Perhaps they should just come out and say it.

Update 17 May: Ironically Come Fly Turned out to be the best comedy premiere for Nine this year after the failure of Ben Elton, Sh*t My Dad Says and Mike & Molly. Its also one of the best performing shows for Nine at all this year. Come Fly With Me debuted with 1.488million viewers in the capital cities last night, not far behind the nights top program Masterchef (1.571m) and ahead of the much hyped Amazing Race Australia (1.258m). If the previous theory bout sacrificing CFWM against Masterchef is true then Nine must have been pleasantly surprised with the results. It once again begs the question, why aren’t NBN and and WIN showing it. I’ll post Newcastle results as a comparison when I get them.

Update 720pm 17 May: NBN General Manager Deborah Wright has just announced that they will now show Come Fly With Me at 8pm Mondays from next week following the success of the program. We observe that this might also have something to do with the fact Masterchef rated very well in Northern NSW against NBN while Come Fly With Me performed well in the capital cities for Nine.

Freeview TV, a wasted opportunity
9May11

Freeview

As Freeview rolls out another promotional campaign, their 3rd by my count, to tell us how ‘everybody loves it’ I can’t help but think what a wasted opportunity this has been for the free to air TV industry.

In the last few years Australia has gone from 5 FTA networks (ABC, SBS, Nine, Seven & TEN – plus affiliates) to 16 stations. In what should have been an excellent opportunity to grow market share and thwart the multiple threats of subscription TV, web downloads and a generally distracted, multitasking population, FTA have managed to roll out very few reasons to tune in.

The commercial stations have been the worst offenders. 7 Mate, 7 Two, GO!, Gem and 11 are all home to tired repeats and second rate programming. I can honestly say that I have never had any reason to switch on four of these five channels. The promise of quality programs that weren’t quite ratings friendly enough for the main channels running in prime time slots on the new digital channels hasn’t really eventuated. There are a few quality programs buried in the schedules, usually at less than friendly times. But there’s plenty of I Love Lucy, Hogans Heroes, ‘Allo ‘Allo and other retro schtick if you’re into that sort of thing.

For example look at tonight’s programs on the newer commercial channels:

Read the rest of this entry »

Where do you keep disappearing to SC TEN?
23Nov09

 The Newcastle TV Ratings, week ending November 21

Note: These ratings results are compiled using the combined resources of SC TEN, NBN & Prime’s weekly AGB Nielsen Media Research reports.

All the stations ratings seem to stay on a constant plateau, except SC TEN. Why is that? What is this station doing right or wrong each week that it’s ratings are like a yo-yo?

NBN keeps a steady win in the 30′s, Prime a consecutive 2nd place around the 20′s, but what about SC TEN? This station, every week, keeps rising and falling around the high teens.

Where do you keep disappearing to SC TEN?

Check out who made the Top Ten Most Watched Programs for last week.  Read the rest of this entry »

Channel Seven Victorious
23Nov09

The National TV Ratings
Week ending November 21

Source: David Dale, Sun Herald Blogs

Channel Seven consolidated its victory for the year, averaging 30.0 per cent of the prime time audience last week (a figure that includes the audience for 7TWO). Nine and GO drew 27.4, Ten and ONE 20.1, ABC1&2 17.1 and SBS1&2 5.4. Go below to see what women watched last week.

Pay TV boosted its share of viewing last week, apparently because the free to air stations seem to have declared the silly season two weeks early. This was Pay’s account of itself: “The ‘Tiger Woods show’ topped the week with FOX Sport’s coverage of Live: Golf: JBWere Masters drawing 152,000 viewers. In other sport, Rugby League: Four Nations was watched by 88,000 people, Live: Football: A-League Bris v Melb had 73,000 viewers and Live: Cricket: Ford Ranger Cup was seen by 69,000 people. Finally, in the early hours of Sunday morning, 63,000 dedicated fans watched the Socceroos beat Oman in Live: Football: AFC Asian Cup Qualifier Oman v Aust (all on FOX Sports).

Read the rest of this entry »

NBN Rules the Roost.
16Nov09

The Newcastle TV Ratings, week ending November 14

Note: These ratings results are compiled using the combined resources of SC TEN, NBN & Prime’s weekly AGB Nielsen Media Research reports.

Apart from looking at the Ratings flogging that NBN gives each station every week; let’s look towards the Most Watched Programs instead. ‘Oh wait’, they’re identical in the beating that NBN gives as well.

Every week NBN rules this Ratings Roost, so instead of ignoring the consecutive winner, lets have a look at what and why this station must take out that winner spot every week.

Check out what we are watching and how they rate. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Silly Season all over again
16Nov09

The National TV Ratings
Week ending November 14
Source: David Dale, Sun Herald Blogs

As we race towards the silly season (only two weeks of normal programming to go), Seven draws further ahead of Nine, Ten keeps sinking and ABC is thriving. The prime time audience shares last week were: SBS1&2 5.7 per cent; ABC1&2 18.0; Ten&ONE 19.8; Nine&GO 26.3; Seven&7TWO 30.1.

Read the rest of this entry »

Seven to take ratings crown but Nine’s hot on its heels
15Nov09

Amanda Meade From: The Australian November 16

WHEN the official ratings survey closes at the end of next week, Seven will hold on to its crown as the leading commercial free-to-air network.

But it is set to be beaten by Nine and Ten in some of the key advertiser-friendly demographics.

No 3 Network Ten wins the prize for hit of the year with MasterChef Australia.

According to OzTAM data, Seven has won the year to date with a 27.9 per cent share to Nine’s 26.6, Ten’s 22.5, ABC’s 17 and SBS’s 5.9.

But Seven is not as far ahead as it was three years ago, when it first beat Nine by more than two full share points: 29 to Nine’s 26.9.

Nine has been catching up, especially with younger audiences.

And although Seven had the most consistently successful programming line-up, it was not represented in the list of the top 10 programs, dominated by Ten’s MasterChef Australia (3.7 million for the finale) and sport events.

The Nine Network was given a late boost by the surprise success of two Hey Hey It’s Saturday Reunion specials, both of which attracted more than 2.1 million viewers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Digital is taking off!
9Nov09

The National TV Ratings
Week ending November 6
Source: David Dale, Sun Herald Blogs

Channel Seven won the week, needing no help from its offshoot 7TWO. Here’s how OzTAM says the prime time audience shares broke up: SBS2 0.4; ONE 1.1; ABC2 1.4; 7TWO 1.7; GO 2.7; SBS1 5.1; ABC1 16.2; Ten 19.0; Nine 23.5; Seven 29.1.

Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve got two two two…
2Nov09

The Newcastle TV Ratings, week ending October 31

Note: These ratings results are compiled using the combined resources of SC TEN, NBN & Prime’s weekly AGB Nielsen Media Research reports.

This week sees NBN fall nearly 3% in it’s viewing audience. Prime increased by 1.7% and SC TEN by 0.7%.

Last week the Hunter enjoyed ABC’s ‘Midsomer Murders’ more than the weekly NBN News.

Prime & SC TEN also managed to get two programs each, up on the ‘Most Watched’ leader board.

Read on for the full results…

Read the rest of this entry »