There’s a reason one of the biggest stars of breakfast TV has been missing in action
She is one of the most identifiable characters on Australian TV. The Sunrise Cash Cow has become so famous in this country she has appeared at the Logies, in comedy skits and even in a short film.
But she’s been missing from our screens recently due to changes in SMS premium services.
Telstra has announced it would no longer allow SMS to premium numbers like those used by breakfast TV shows for competitions.
In fact, in its post about the changes the telco specifically mentions the infamous Cash Cow as an example of the SMS payment option used by Australians.
Telstra says it is blocking the ability to pay via SMS as those services are controlled by third parties.
As per the website:
SMS Even though the charges appear on your Telstra mobile bill, we do not control the cost of the service because they’re from a third party provider.
These changes have left organisations like Seven and Nine without the revenue stream offered by the SMS premium service.
Each entry into the Sunrise Cash Cow competition cost the user 55c, with that money being split between the service provider and the network.
Without the ability to charge for entries the networks have no way to cover the payouts to winners.
Since the announcement by Telstra, Seven has been working on a new way to charge people who want to take part in the morning competition.
Sources tell TV Blackbox the Cash Cow will return in a few weeks but the entry mechanism will change.
It’s understood the new system will make it easier for people to enter multiple times but it will be cheaper than the current 55c per entry.
Make no mistake the importance these competitions play in driving audiences. With a minimum $10,000 on offer each day, viewers are enticed to watch the full show to get the codeword so that they can enter.
The Sunrise Cash Cow has proved so popular that producers at the TODAY show on Nine tried to copy the format with some long-forgotten characters, including BLOCKY (a bizarre character made out of notes stacked up).
While TODAY has since changed its way of delivering the competition without a ‘character’, the show has often relied on the cash giveaway to grow ratings.
Once Seven reveal their new mechanism for raising revenue for the Cash Cow it will be interesting to see whether Nine follows suit or has enough faith to believe in their product.