Australia’s Network Ten has acquired rights to reality formats including Don’t Tell the Bride and Come Date With Me, but at the same time has seen its half-year profits plunge.
The commercial channel will also get domestic versions of FremantleMedia Australia talent shows I Will Survive: Priscilla and Everybody Dance Now. The former will search for Australia’s next theatre star, while the latter sees people of all ages dancing against each other.
Endemol-owned Southern Star is onboard to produce Don’t Tell the Bride, the wedding format created for UK diginet BBC3 in which the brides have no say in the planning of their big day.
Granada Media Australia will produce Come Date With Me, the ITV Studios dating format that was spun out of UK terrestrial Channel 4′s Come Dine With Me franchise.
“This year we have deliberately set out to re-invigorate our schedule and firmly position Ten as the home of entertainment. These four new programmes are bold, irreverent, fresh, innovative and noisy,” said Ten’s chief programming officer David Mott.
Ten is currently in third place domestically behind market leader Seven and second-placed Nine. However, It claims to have grown its three-channel audience 1.6% this year and, along with the new formats, will soon launch controversial reality series The Shire and has cooking competition hit MasterChef Australia returning. Both look likely to achieve ratings success.
The channel’s parent, Ten Network Holdings, today reported financial results for the six months to February 29, 2012 that showed net profit plunge by 70% to A$14.8m (US$15.3m) from 2011′s A$49.5m. Group revenue was down 10.9% year-on-year to A$432.8m.
Ten CEO James Warburton said the figures, the first released under his tenure since taking on the top job in January, reflected a tough advertising market, “particularly in late 2011 and early 2012.”
The channel announced similar falls in its full-year 2011 results in October but claimed cost-cutting measures implemented after a strategic review would free up A$50m for new content this year, with more than half going on locally produced content.
These latest results “reflect the benefits of the operational and strategic review that took place last year, in particular around cost disciplines, and the ongoing efforts to create a strong platform for Ten Holdings,” said Warburton.
He added that Ten was seeing “good audience growth” between 17.00 and 20.00. “While we are realistic about our ratings challenges, we have seen good improvements in parts of the primary channel’s schedule,” he said.