So far, so good: 10’s Rod Prosser on summer programming strategy

10 had the top six shows for viewers under 50 in week 3.

At last year’s 10 Upfront and then at the end of survey, Network 10 was reinforcing to media buyers and clients that it was all about under 50s audiences in 2019.

Although it’s still very early days, 10’s chief sales officer Rod Prosser told Mediaweek’s James Manning after just one week of its new summer programming strategy things have been going well.

10 had the top six shows for viewers under 50 in week 3.

Prosser talked about market response to the no summer sport offering, the new shows about to be unloaded and his new advertising team.

10’s new summer programming strategy

Moving I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! forward and going head-to-head with sport has so far exceeded our expectations.

We always thought that after losing the Big Bash League, that if we got our product right and invested heavily into the program and provided a strong alternative to sport that we would get the viewers.

We managed to beat the cricket every night so far and on many nights the Australian Open too. It won’t be so easy this week as the tennis gets toward the pointy end of the tournament.

We have now delivered on a strategy that we took to market back in September. Our alternative to sport can work and we now have a platform to launch our first quarter off.

Programming for viewers under 50

Even though we could have crowed about total people audiences last week or 25-54, we focused on under 50. It is a demo we are fixated on.

Market feedback to changes

There have been a number of agencies that said last year, let’s wait and see how the new strategy goes.

Some of them got it straight away, but advertisers are used to a long legacy of 10 having sport and repeat programming over the summer. Some media buyers were therefore reluctant to pounce. We gave those people a gentle reminder last week that we delivered and our strategy works.

Things hotting up from mid-February

I’m A Celebrity runs until mid next month and we have many tested formats taking over from then. The big thing for us, which is new to this market, is Sunday Night Takeaway. People fond of seeing hosts Chris and Julia together on Celebrity can continue to enjoy them straight away on the new Sunday show. For us Sunday Night is an interesting proposition because the format is really well suited to integration.

Dancing With The Stars is a format tested here and that launches Monday nights. It has got a good reaction from buyers because it is well known and from the reels they got a sense of how contemporary it is now.

Ambulance is coming back quickly on Tuesday nights because it did so well for us.

Changing Rooms then follows on Wednesday and Thursday nights. It is a known format to some Australians, yet it is a new format to many more.

This schedule launches as Celebrity finishes. Other returning formats are Show Me The Movie on Fridays, Hughesy, We Have A Problem on Tuesdays and Gogglebox on Thursdays.

Early evening competition

[We asked Prosser about Seven’s confirmation it will be launching My Kitchen Rules at 7pm.]

We are not going to respond to that. We are committed to The Project and we won’t change our scheduling. I wonder what it might to do the Home And Away audience.

10’s marketing spend

Our focus over summer has been the launch of Celebrity, and then you will see activity around Sunday Night Takeaway, Dancing With The Stars and Changing Rooms. As we get into February you will start to see our Project marketing spend commence.

Changing Rooms host Natalie Bassingthwaighte

10’s advertising team sorted

We have had a fairly smooth transition from MCN into our offices in Sydney and across the country. We have most of the team in place although there are a couple of senior people to start in Sydney. Lisa Squillace starts on February 11 and Diane Ho starts on February 18 leading the Sydney sales operation.

We will be having a robust discussion this quarter with the market about our data offering. Last year we announced a partnership with data technology agency Venntifact and 10’s partnership with Tealium, a leader in real-time customer data solutions.

10 Play, 10 Daily and 10 All Access

They are all critical to the mix of our whole platform. We keep referring to 10 as offering an entertainment platform.

You might have noticed that 10 Bold and 10 Peach have been performing well after we have been marketing them the right way. Viewers know what they are going to get when they see the overall 10 brand.

Will 10 launch another multichannel?

We talk about this a lot internally – a fourth channel. Our priority has always been to get the suite of existing channels performing at their best and that will be important this year. What we do in terms of another channel after that I’m not sure.

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