EXCLUSIVE | Channel 10 Executives begin 2 day creative session to address flagging ratings

10’s Executive team Rod Prosser, Paul Anderson & Beverley McGarvey

PHOTO: SMH

Channel 10 is now Australia’s 4th placed free to air network behind the ABC and executives are holding crisis meetings to come up with a solution.

At Channel 10’s glittering Upfronts event in October 2018, the network made some big promises about 2019. Chief Content Officer, Beverley McGarvey, took centre stage to proclaim;

“We are ready to deliver a slate of new and returning hit shows that build on the success we’ve had this year”

But there haven’t been any hits so far. I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here enjoyed some success against sport, but as soon as reality juggernauts Married At First Sight and My Kitchen Rules returned, IAC took a nosedive. Since then everything the network has aired has failed or only had moderate ratings.

Currently the Foxtel produced Gogglebox is 10’s biggest hit and Dancing With The Stars is doing ok sitting in the 600,000’s but is a long way behind its competitors.

That’s led to a major problem for 10. Their share of the available audience has dropped significantly to the point where it is behind the ABC in both primary channel and network share.

NETWORK SHARE WEEKS 1 - 9

*OFFICIAL RATINGS PERIOD

It’s an appalling state of affairs and one that must be addressed urgently.

And that’s what’s happening right now as executives gather on Sydney’s northern beaches for a two day creative think tank. Sources tell TV Blackbox the aim of the soirée is to build trust and get the creative juices flowing. Trust has been an ongoing issue within the network with leaks becoming a focus of attention. As revealed by TV Blackbox, CEO Paul Anderson sent out a threatening e-mail to staff in an effort to scare them into silence;

“We have a talented team...

We market and promote our shows and cast in order to get the biggest audience we can.

Some of this stuff is kept secret... for good reason. If we do establish ‘the leak’ – and we are looking …hard – then there will be serious consequences.

So let’s keep our stuff to ourselves.”

But there’s no quick solution to 10’s current problems. With productions working to a pre-planned schedule, the network will have to limp until Easter when the next wave of programming is launched. That’s when we can expect to see the return of MasterChef and Have You Been Paying Attention. Although not the biggest franchises on TV, they both do good business for the network and will bring some welcome relief.

But those shows are still a long way off - the end of April, early May at the earliest. Considering 10 has already lost the first 3 weeks of official survey to the ABC (and is on track to lose this week), the network faces the very real prospect of losing the first 9 weeks of official survey, cementing itself as Australia’s 4th placed free to air network.

Let’s hope this think tank can work out a solution to this serious problem. Otherwise the next axe to fall could be on management.

Channel 10 has been approached for comment.

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