Archive for March 1st, 2010

Welcome to commercial reality SBS

SBS are crying poor, and blaming Channel Nine for their woes.

SBS’s director of television and online content Matt Campbell has painted a grim picture of the broadcaster’s operating situation, blasting the Nine Network’s deal to secure the popular Top Gear programme and saying that the coffers are near-empty.
A $4 million increase in funding from the Federal Government would be insufficient to cover the decline in advertising revenue, leaving the corporation “in the s**t”, he told the conference. Depicting the situation as “dire”, he said that “we have no money for online; we have no money for SBS TWO”.

Well SBS, welcome to commercial reality, welcome to the real world. Whose fault is it that you didn’t build any exclusivity in to your Top Gear contract? Yes, that’s right…yours.

Putting that to one side, you are a commercial operation, and your advertising revenue reflects your ratings. You are airing hour after hour after hour of programming which almost nobody wants to watch…we have a World Movies Channel on pay television which does pretty well for itself covering much of the same ground as you…the difference is that the people who want to see it, pay to see it.

So here’s a novel idea, rather than asking for more money from the government, why not do what PBS do (yes, PBS, the people from whom you buy the Jim Leher show) and ask for donations? This has a number of benefits, the biggest of which being that people will feel more involved in the station and will be more likely to provide you with feedback as to what they actually want to watch. You can then, in turn, use that information to sell more targeted advertising.

I, for one, would be willing to pay for a 112 Emergency marathon. I’m probably the only person in the country with an interest in that, but you would make money out of it…and best of all for us out here in taxpayer land, you wouldn’t be draining our taxes just so that you can show us stuff that we quite simply don’t want to see.

To the same extent, I’d like to see the ABC become commercial and sever ties with the government, although I suspect that with their higher ratings and a massive radio network which is actually broadcast in English, they might have a better chance than SBS of being commercially viable with their current programming.

SBS, in the real world, you have to adapt to changes. If people aren’t watching, and you’re having trouble attracting advertisers because of it, adding additional channels of the same junk won’t fix the problem…you need to adapt to suit what the people want to see. Or you could just hand in your broadcast licence so that we can sell if off to somebody who can actually broadcast something of interest…perhaps an Australian FOX News clone (Sky News, despite being run by similar people, does not count for a number of reasons which I’ll outline in a future post) to balance out the ABC’s impending 24/7 news channel?


March 1st, 2010 at 03:17pm

Rex Hunt and Sandy Roberts to head Crocmedia regional AFL radio coverage — 2CA relaying in Canberra

Update: I’m being told by somebody else now that 2CA are not covering the AFL. I can’t think of a good reason for either party to lie to me, so I’m more than a tad confused by the whole thing. I’ll update this again if and when more details come to hand. End Update

I can’t remember if I wrote anything about 3AW dropping Rex Hunt from their AFL commentary team. I remember writing that I would not be listening to 3AW if they went ahead with it, but I can’t find any proof that I ever wrote anything after they announced that they would actually be dropping Rex.

At the same time, 3AW and Triple M swapped commentators. Rex will be calling football for Triple M on Saturday afternoons, and Brian Taylor will be going to 3AW (eep, they can keep him). Taylor will be joined by Tim Lane, further cementing my decision to steer clear of 3AW this year.

Sandy Roberts and Rex Hunt. Image courtesy CrocmediaI was pleased to see Rex sign with Triple M…but I’m even more pleased to see him sign with Crocmedia who, along with 3AW, have the commercial radio relay rights for the AFL. Crocmedia, who will be basing their operation in the studios of 3BA Ballarat, have signed both Rex Hunt and Sandy Roberts.

One of things which disappointed me when Seven regained the TV rights was that they didn’t bring Sandy Roberts back to the commentary box despite Sandy being their prominent sport presenter on Seven News Melbourne and presenter of various highlights programs. This sense of frustration has been increased of late due to the fact that I have enjoyed Sandy’s commentary on the overnight AFL replays on 7Two.

Needless to say, I was therefore absolutely delighted when I found out that Sandy Roberts had signed with Crocmedia along with Rex Hunt. Sandy will call Friday night and Saturday afternoon matches, while Rex will lead the commentary on Sunday afternoons.

Alas, I’m informed that Crocmedia will not be able to stream their coverage online, however they do have a growing network of relay stations which will be taking their coverage. The great news for those of us here in Canberra is that 1053 2CA will be taking the Crocmedia coverage, although I’m not sure at this stage which matches they will be covering. I’m hopeful that they will cover it as much as they did back when they relayed 3AW a few years ago…Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. I’ll let you know when I find out more.

(A side note to Capital Radio management: this information was not obtained at the Ray Hadley OB on Friday, which can be confirmed by a quick look back through my Facebook status updates. You will see that I first learned of this mid-last week. I won’t reveal how I came by this information though.)

Image courtesy of Crocmedia


March 1st, 2010 at 03:00pm


Will you accept a note? No? OK then, so be it…

Yes I’ve been absent…I’ll explain later when I’m not so tired. I just have a couple things which I want to publish quickly before I have a nap, and then I’ll be able to spend a bit more time later explaining both my absence and that announcement that I was supposed to make a few weeks ago.

I hope you’re all well!


1 comment March 1st, 2010 at 02:41pm


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