Will Ten Avoid Repeating Mistakes On 11?

It was announced last August and has been in non-stop promo since late December, but Ten's third digital channel 11 finally launches today (11am on 11/01/11). Ten has promised a different approach to the other commercial networks when it comes to programming repeats from its main channel, but will that strategy last?

We already knew that 11 was being developed as a joint venture with CBS in the US, and that Ten was taking the relatively unusual step of switching Neighbours from Ten to be shown exclusively on the new channel. It's also hired Brisbane radio personalities Labby and Stav to host its afternoon broadcasts, in what the network describes as "drive time radio for your TV".

All that local activity is pretty unusual. Digital channels aren't subject to the same local content rules as commercial "main" channels, and the small amount of local programming on the extra channels from Nine (Go! and GEM) and Seven (7Two and 7Mate) generally amounts to ancient repeats (Leyland Brothers World) or programs that have tanked on the mainstream channel (Random Acts Of Kindness).

As the network has come closer to launch, Ten has been emphasising that there'll be no overlap between what's on Ten and what's on 11. Not only will Neighbours and The Simpsons be 11-only properties, but the same logic will apply to everything else. As CEO David Mott explained to TV Tonight:

Our philosophy has been very clear from day one, that what plays on ELEVEN stays on ELEVEN and we're not going to be running shows on both TEN and ELEVEN. They are going to be destinations in their own right and I think we have the content to deliver that.

If it remains true, then this is quite a revolutionary idea. It's long been the subject of online jokes that switching onto any of the Nine-backed channels in prime time will result in an episode of Two And A Half Men appearing on screen. The Nanny is a similar multi-channel offender. Admittedly, much of 11's non-first-run content can be found on other pay TV channels, but within the Ten universe, there doesn't seem to be any overlap right now.

The fear, of course, is that it isn't gong to be true for the long term. Ten's rivals have been particularly ruthless when it comes to moving and rescheduling shows: if something isn't rating (even at the lower levels these extra channels demand), then it gets ditched without any ceremony — and without any regard for viewers who might have been following the show (or sports viewers in the case of Nine and GEM). It's hard to believe that Ten will behave entirely differently when it comes to Eleven.

Mott says that Ten will stick with its schedule, even once the official ratings season begins and competition from the mainstream channels intensifies. I hope so. But television, in the end, is a business, and increasingly it seems that the business decisions don't have that much respect for the viewers.

11

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Comments

    but why has the non-stop 11 promo been running on 12, while 11 runs ONEHD sprots programming?

      Coz u need to rescan the channels and they'll flick around

    similar issue to ABC 24 running on 20 ??

      Isn't that more because ABCHD was 20 and News24 took over that "spectrum"?

    Bob,

    I think you need to do a rescan on your digital TV. OneHD is on 1 and 12 now.

    Another factor which this article has taken into account, is the recent acquisition by James Packer of 16 percent of the network's shares. While this is by no means close to a controlling interest, there is a real potential for the way Network Ten's (and therefor channel 11's) business is conducted in the future due to this.

    Meh. I'll stick to Channel NZB.

    Ok if all channel 10's programs are going to 11 then what is the original 10 main focus?

    I'm totally with Matt - even if he did post his comment tomorrow morning (??!)
    Not only do they need to consider shift workers, but also remember PVRs such as tivo are becoming more popular, so setting your PVR to record daytime tv to watch when you can't find anything else would be excellent - if there was anything worthwhile watching during the day! Mork & Mindy and the Brady bunch?? When these shows were on 20 years ago you couldn't wait for them to finish - why the hell would we want them back??I'm sure the 14 people who actually like these shows have already bought the DVD collection anyway!

    Looks like Neighbours plus more of the usual overseas rubbish. There's alot more interesting local stuff on channel 31 / 44.

    Channel 10 will be focusing more on News, and come 24th of Jan will be outputting 1.5hrs of local news and 1hr of national news nightly. This includes the usual 5pm local news, national news with George Negus, and then another local news delving deeper into the issues that day with Mel Waldon. To complete the night the 7pm project will be still on at 7pm with the lighter side of the news.

    Channel 11 is more CBS programming than anything else, which is fantastic. Late Late Night with Craig Ferguson is a brilliant talk show. Check it out.

    Looks like the daytime programing is the same rubbish the other play. The night programming looks better. Why don't they look at what free to air channels in other countries do. There are some people who work nights and like to have something decent to watch during the day.

    The trend with the main channels seems to be to concentrate on "event" TV i.e. content which is controlled directly by the network and is much less likely to be found on Channel BT/NZB.

    To me, the model of having a separate "entertainment" channel for prerecorded content seems a big step forward and Ten should be applauded for taking a huge risk by moving Neighbours and the Simpsons across.

    "Mott says that Ten will stick with its schedule, even once the official ratings season begins and competition from the mainstream channels intensifies. I hope so. But television, in the end, is a business, and increasingly it seems that the business decisions don’t have that much respect for the viewers."

    That's why a large portion of viewers is switching to watching the shows they want on the internet, because the networks have a blatant disregard for their viewers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVv70Dwsim8
    We're getting there guys!

    Also I turned over to 11 last night around 6.30 totally forgot Neighbours is on there now, I saw this scene of some people in a room clouded with smoke coughing, thought it was a scene from Cheech & Chong then I realised it was neighbours. I had to laugh.

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