In the first of a series of reports we look at the multi channel offerings of the free-to-air broadcasters, starting with the Nine Network.
Nine’s main channel has been performing exceptionally well in the first half of 2020 with Married at First Sight and Lego Masters dominating their time slots. Although the television industry experienced significant production complications due to COVID-19, Nine was in the fortunate position of having these big brands ‘in the can’ already.
Nine introduced a new multi-channel, 9 Rush, its fourth in a suite of channels that includes 9GO, 9GEM and 9LIFE.
TV Blackbox contacted Nine to look at its achievements so far and what we may be expecting in second half 2020.
Despite losing overall share to competitors 7mate and 10 Bold, 9GO remains the No. 1 multi-channel year to date 2020 for its target audience of under 40.
TV Blackbox noted back in February that Foxtel was not screening the new season of American Idol and it did not appear to be airing elsewhere. Nine has revealed that they have picked up the rights to American Idol and will screen it on 9GO soon. 9GO also has Paranormal Caught on Camera, Stunt Science and The Voice Kids UK season three, all coming soon.
The ‘gem’ in the crown has been a bit lacklustre with premiere programming in 2020 (a lot of its content has previously been seen on the ABC) but viewers have found the channel to be a treasure-trove of content with audience and shares increasing all key demographics for 2020 Survey to date and Calendar YTD.
Season five of Death in Paradise, season five of DCI Banks and season one of Grantchester are all set to premiere for the first time on a commercial channel.
Additionally, 9GEM will have the Free-to-air premieres of Earth from Space and Damien Lewis: Spy Wars later this year.
|Variable||Commercial Share %||Audience|
|Target\Year||2019||2020||Year on Year||2019||2020||Year on Year||2019||2020||Year on Year||2019||2020||Year on Year|
The network is a little more coy over this channel with TV Blackbox running a story a few weeks ago about Nine licensing the US versions of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise but simply not airing them. What’s unclear is whether the network plans to air these at all or hold onto them. Nine declined to share their valuable insights into this mystery (would they dare air them when 10 launches the Bachelor series?).
Nine also would not be drawn into the status of The Taste (season two), Married at First Sight UK (season two) or the recently yanked The Sex Clinic that was pulled from the schedule.
Although the channel has a large content deal with its supplier, first run content has been pretty thin lately but Nine assures us there is more content to come in 2020 with Barn Hunters, Philly Revival, Flipping Exes, My Lottery Dream Home and Million Dollar Listing LA season eleven and the New York spin off as season eight.
Nine tells us “9LIFE is the No.2 commercial multichannel with Women 18-54 and Women 25-54 for Survey and Calendar YTD (All Day)”
Nine’s newest offering has increased its raw audience significantly from its launch week as the channel grows strongly in popularity.
|Variable||% Growth Week 24 vs 15|
|Target\Week No.||6PM – 12MN||2AM – 2AM|
Week 24 vs Week 15.
9 RUSH has had a very stable and consistent schedule since its debut earlier this year. No show has been pulled or moved from the schedule so far and themes for each night have remained intact.
The only criticism heard from some viewers is a couple of shows are not being played in the right order, with Naked and Afraid a good example of a show jumping between seasons each week.
On the plus side there has been consistent new programming every single night of the week, and Nine will add more titles this year including Finding Escobar’s Millions, Expedition Unknown, Gold Rush: White Water and Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings.
Points of Reference
Nine were asked why the multi-channels were not used to play out series that were pulled from the main schedule and a network spokesperson stated:
“We do our best to make sure series are played out in full but are not always able to facilitate this. A recent successful example is Emergence which started on the main and was finished on 9GO! in the same slot.
“Similarly, we started a repeat run of Seven Worlds, One Planet on the main and concluded it on 9GEM in the same slot.”
Witness to Disaster which was yanked from the main channel will return later in 2020.
Nine has more episodes to play of Lip Sync Battle and TV Blackbox understands there is still plenty of leftover episodes from previous seasons left to play along with a selection of new cherry-picked ones from the most season.
Thank you to the Nine programming and publicity teams for assisting with this article.