FTA TV revenues down 1.76% to $1.97b in December 2015 half, network execs respond

Commentary from Kurt Burnette, Peter Wiltshire and Paul Anderson on 2015 FTA revenues

• Seven holds a narrow lead less than half a point ahead of Nine
• TEN the big improver as its points to MCN for driving dollars higher
• Commentary from Kurt Burnette, Peter Wiltshire and Paul Anderson

FreeTV Australia has released details of commercial TV ad revenue in metro and regional markets for the second half of calendar 2015.

Total metro TV revenue for the half was $1,549,026,884, a fall of 0.36% on the same period in 2014. Regional revenue took a bigger hit though. The revenue of $423,021,647 was down 6.59% on the corresponding period.

The combined metro and regional total of $1,972,048,531 was down 1.76% on the 2014 figure.

In the metro markets, Perth performed best with revenue up 5.27% while Melbourne was the underperformer with dollars down 2.12%.

All regional markets were down year-on-year, with South Australia suffering the biggest fall – 10.12%.

Seven remains the leader in revenue on 38.5%. It is not far ahead of Nine though, which now sits on 38.2%. Ten was the biggest improver, with share up to 23.2%.

Network commentary:

TEN chief executive officer, Paul Anderson, said: “Our revenue performance in the December 2015 half reflects the strong audience and revenue growth and momentum TEN achieved last year.

“The primary TEN channel and Network Ten were the only commercial primary channel and commercial network to increase their prime time audiences in 2015. Our online catch-up and streaming service tenplay also posted very strong audience growth.

“TEN and Network Ten ended 2015 with their highest prime time commercial shares in total people and people 25 to 54 since 2011, and their biggest prime time audiences since 2012,” he said.

“The revenue growth in the December 2015 half highlights the success of our sales team and our advertising sales partnership with Multi Channel Network MCN”], which took effect from 1 September.

“The partnership has been a success since day one and is generating strong results. Together, TEN and MCN are delivering brand-safe premium video across multiple platforms, in a world-class trading environment, with real and measurable data. That proposition is unparalleled in the television market,” Anderson said.

“TEN’s momentum is continuing in 2016. The KFC Big Bash League saw a 25% jump in its capital city audience. The TEN channel has achieved its biggest summer audience in total people since 2010-11 and Network Ten has recorded its biggest total people summer audience since 2004-05.”

Seven West Media’s chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette told Mediaweek the July-December half of 2015 had been a highly competitive half with Rugby World Cup and Ashes series. “Despite this and no V8s (e.g. Bathurst, Sydney 500 and other events), Seven still hold leadership position.”

Burnette noted Seven had been #1 in revenue share for 19 halves in a row.

Seven delivered a 39% revenue share for calendar 2015 and Seven wrote $18.2m more than Nine in the calendar and $484.6m more than Ten.

“From a medium perspective, despite the consistent reporting on its predicted capitulation, television once again has proven its resilience and relevance for advertisers. For the calendar year the overall FTA market was relatively flat. After including the online catch up services revenue along with pay TV revenues the total TV picture presents a compelling story on the power of TV content as it lives across platforms and its ability to attract advertisers. Also highlighting the importance of new measurement such as OzTAM VPM and premium content.”

Burnette added: “2016 Looks to be another year of great content and lots of milestone events to keep the ad market buzzing along with an election, an Olympics and a census, all in one year.”

Nine Entertainment Co’s Peter Wiltshire told Mediaweek:

“We were satisfied with the end result of 2015 with a KPMG official share result of 38.4%. We managed to deliver the most resistance to the changing competitive landscape in FTA audiences. NEC also managed to complete our newly integrated sales offering, and invest and develop our platform in response to the rapid and dramatic change we are experiencing in the ad market.

“We maintain the view that the ecosystem of FTA content delivered across multiple platforms, coupled with developments in automation of trading, and behavioural targeting, will enable TV to become the new TV into 2017 and beyond.”

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