Media reports today in News Limited papers have stated that the Seven Network has struck a deal to come on board as a production partner for the upcoming HBO Mini Series to be shot in Australia, mostly at Melbourne’s Docklands City Studios. As reported this is another blow for the Nine Network as they continue to struggle to find new programming and get one up on the Seven Network.
It has been a slow and steady climb for the Seven Network in finally outperforming Nine as Australia’s number one commercial network and this announcement caps off a fantastic start for Seven in ’07. The announcement is even more surprising as Nine has been the preferred Australian partner for HBO shows including Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and the mini series ‘Band of Brothers’.
Despite this, the Nine Network will be hoping to finally pull off a ratings win in the coming weeks and try to gain some of the momentum back from Seven, especially in the Northern markets of NSW and Queensland as the annual State of Origin series will dominate the mid-week ratings as Blues and Maroons fans will be glued to the television set and more particularly, Ray ‘Rabs’ Warren calling the shoots for the Nine’s Wide World of Sport.
Nine desperately needs this victory as last week it lost the ratings for the first time ever in a week that featured the Logies in its primetime schedule.
The pressure is now on Eddie McGuire and his team to lift their game and use whatever ever resources they have, under the direction of PBL Media to prevent Seven from striking again. Maybe the upcoming US season of new shows is what sits on the horizon for Nine to make a comeback with some strong US programming which its output deals with Sony and Warner Bros. has failed to produce in the past few years.
Nine needs to return to the glory days of when it still had the dots.