Shock as Channel 7 secures THE VOICE from Nine

One of Channel 9’s biggest shows has been lost to another network as executives consider costs v ratings v revenue

James Warburton – Seven CEO (image – The Australian)

The media industry is waking up to the surprising news that James Warburton and Channel 7 have snatched the rights to ratings hit The Voice.

As reported in the Seven owned The West Australian, Sonia Kruger will return as host in a ‘supercharged’ format. The paper also reports Nine lost the rights after failing to renew the show in the required timeframe.

Kruger is going from strength-to-strength at Seven as the go-to host of its biggest shows, including Big Brother.

The writing was on the wall for The Voice last week when Nine delivered its full-year financial results. As reported by The Australian the network indicated it was looking to dump its more pricey television shows and squeeze more sports rights savings as part of a cost-cutting drive.

According to Chief Executive Hugh Marks the show is a:

“$40m cost in the schedule”

The Voice isn’t the first heritage brand Seven has picked up this year. The network has already aired a revamped format of Big Brother and brought back Farmer Wants A Wife. Both programs have delivered the network increased audiences.

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Speaking to his own paper about obtaining The Voice, CEO and Managing Director of Seven James Warburton said the deal happened very quickly and was a good move for the network:

“This is a coup for Seven. Adding The Voice to our 2021 program slate is another brick in the wall of our content-led growth strategy of using proven, power formats,”

“The Voice is a television megabrand that will deliver on our promise of more tentpoles, audience growth and consistency across the year.”

What’s unclear is whether Nine was playing hard ball to drive down costs and lost the series or whether it genuinely gave them up. Marks is a shrewd CEO who isn’t afraid to make tough calls – even if it means losing a successful show.

Warburton, meanwhile, is driving down costs at the network but is playing a smart game by going big when necessary. The network has gone from a rocky start to 2020, with its own heritage brands like My Kitchen Rules and House Rules, to building a solid lineup that looks set to grow stronger in 2021.

Robert McKnight
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on Sunrise, The Morning Show plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7 News and 9 News. Currently Rob is the host and producer of the TV Blackbox, McKnight Tonight and Monsters Who Murder podcasts plus host & Executive Producer of the video streaming show The Ben, Rob & Robbo show

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