Remember the days when several Aussie shows a week used to rate over a million viewers? Well something is happening to Australian commercial TV at the moment where hardly any shows are reaching that mark. Foxtel shows are going from strength to strength but channels seven, nine and ten are struggling. Is it because their execs are missing opportunities that pay TV is picking up? Yes I mean you Newsroom, Orange Is The New Black and Game Of Thrones season 4 DVD. Is it changing viewing habits? Or is it a more simple explanation of daylight savings?
Industry experts are blaming daylight savings. Perhaps their office curtains are also fading due to daylight savings too so perhaps they should move to Queensland where there is no daylight savings. But seriously, evidence appears to support their hypothesis. It appears people are abandoning traditional commercial TV for outside activities and spreading their viewing over free to air digital channels and pay TV. This could actually stop a few impending productions. Recently channel seven canned A Place To Call Home despite good ratings and loyal viewers. There was quite an uproar over this decision on social media including DVDLand’s own Facebook page and Google+ page. So much so that Foxtel came to a groundbreaking arrangement to buy the show and commit to making a third season for airing in 2015. But with the ratings of shows like Asher Keddie’s brilliant Party Tricks not living up the past levels of Offspring and Packed To The Rafters is a concerning sign.
In the short term it may just mean that late Spring and early Summer commercial TV loses a lot of Australian content but if ratings don’t bounce back after summer, there may be some very unpopular decisions coming our way from the TV station execs. At least we all still have our favourite shows to watch on DVD.