The one thing that is keeping TV out of the naughty corner
Summer has ended
Australia's football codes concluded with another entertaining year. Now sports fans ponder a new menu of tennis, cricket and A-league.
Mobile digital is the new order
For the age group of Australian tennis punks like Tomic and Kyrgios, it is predicted they will never own a desktop computer.
Mobile digital is the new normal, and television is scrambling to stay entertaining and be relevant.
Can traditional TV survive?
Gone are the days of TV stations telling us when we watch and how we watch.
Today, via catch up TV, piracy (more on this later), YouTube, Nextflix, we’ll have it when we want it – thank you very much.
In the YES corner
Peter Wiltshire from Channel Nine writes about the new world order of TV:
“It's true traditional TV as we know it is experiencing a massive evolution as it meets changing consumer behaviour driven by technology. However, data is telling us current viewing habits are changing and morphing, rather than completely disappearing. TV viewing on a big screen, both live and recorded, remains robust. Year-on-year total TV viewing declines have been marginal and not in rapid free fall as some people are suggesting. The first quarter of this year saw declines of about 2.9 per cent, while the previous year's first quarter actually showed a growth of 1.7 per cent.”
In the NO corner
IG market strategist Evan Lucas says Nine’s profit warning revealed the changing structure of the media landscape.
“This is a sign of the leaching of the ad market away from free-to-air TV into other forms of media. It is such a major downgrade for Nine just a few months after their previous guidance, and the ad market revenue is such a soft, soft number.”
Lucas says there are no signs of improvement for traditional TV broadcasters, with the media landscape becoming increasingly fragmented, and even major advertisers like car makers spending on alternative forms of advertising.
“It’s clearly a structural change in the ad market rather than a cyclical one,” he says.
Cinema is in a similar boat
Graham Burke, co-chief of Village Roadshow, is fighting for the longevity of cinema. His enemy number one? Piracy.
Burke uses colourful language to describe ISPs, saying their business models are based on "renting space to what I call a treasure trove of stolen goods."
"In quieter moments some ISPs would say they've built their businesses on pornography, piracy and gambling. They are the big three sellers, which is not exactly noble."
In terms of quantifying the cost of piracy the industry cites figures from the commissioned report by Ipos and Oxford Economics that estimates piracy costs the Australian economy A$1.37 billion in revenue and that 6,100 jobs are lost from movie theft.
Sport can save the day – it is always the new black
Live sport – the purest and best form of reality television – could be the saving grace for the medium.
Live sport delivers the perfect entertainment piece. It’s short. It’s storytelling is dramatic. It's emotional. It's unpredictable.
Sport can transcend the arena and move a nation. The numbers don’t lie.
On the the Nine network, 2.21 million viewers watched the Maroons thump the Blues in the State of Origin decider of 2015.
Nine's astonishing 46.7 per cent audience share was also fuelled by its Gem channel, which broadcast the Ashes. (The Seven Network had a 19.2 per cent share; Ten got 16.2 per cent; the ABC channels were on 12.4 per cent and SBS drew 5.4 per cent.)
Ben Thompson from stratechery.com highlights the importance of sport advertising revenue.
"The Internet was eroding the business of linear TV, CPG companies, retailers, and even automative companies simultaneously, leaving the entire post World War II economic order dependent on sports to hold everything together.
For broadcast networks, sports accounts for 37% of ad revenue, up from 29% five years ago; this despite the fact sports only makes up between 10%-12% of programming. Sports-focused cable channels make big bucks off of advertising as well, led by ESPN with $2.4 billion (plus $360 million for ESPN2) and $407 million for the NFL Network.
Basically, sports advertising is growing for everyone (from a 4% compound annual growth rate for Fox to 15% for NBC), while non-sports advertising has decreased by a 1% rate over the same five year period."
Viewers are the winners
Sports fan or not, ultimately viewers are the winners. We’re blessed with instantentertainment options.
Let’s hope TV continues to be one of those options.
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