EXCLUSIVE | Big changes coming for the SUNRISE CASH COW


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There’s a reason one of the biggest stars of breakfast TV has been missing in action

The Cash Cow will soon be back but entering the competition will be different this year

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.

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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.

Blocky was one of the more successful creations by the team at TODAY but it never connected with viewers in the same way as the Cash Cow

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.

Cash-a-Roo was one of the many characters the TODAY show created to compete with the Cash Cow
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Robert McKnight
Robert McKnight
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | 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 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently, Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcast, and executive producer of AFTERNOONS WITH SOFIE FORMICA on radio station 4BC



  1. Please find out approximately we all (viewers) still have to wait f or the return of Cash Cow Channel seven quickly organised a new number For us to enter Ampol petrol comp So what’s the problem with Cash Cow please help myself and everyone else out THANK YOU

  2. Come on chnl 7 keep your loyal viewers in the loop tell everyone what is going on ive entered the comp from the first day it started i deserve an honest response or should I go back to lotto you promised it would be back by March

  3. Still waiting for a reply I thought TV blackbox was finding out but their has not been any help

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