Reality check

“Viewers in Australia have no interest at the moment in heavy drama programming. Naturally there has been an enormous appetite for our live news coverage, but when we returned to normal programming on Sept. 13, there was no doubt they were looking for light relief.

“We received excellent ratings for primetime programming that featured comedy, sport or lifestyle. Dramas such as ‘CSI,’ ‘The District’ and the Australian cop show ‘Stingers’ delivered some of their lowest ratings of the year.

“As a result, I believe lifestyle, reality and gameshow programming will drive our schedules in the immediate future.”

— John Stephens, program

director, Nine Network Australia

“Reality has been at the top of most buyers’ lists. However, broadcasters now realize how expensive they can be to produce. The pendulum is now swinging the other way towards in-studio-produced shows.”

— Paul Gilbert, VP, intl.

program development and format sales, Columbia TriStar Intl. TV

“TV formats are no longer TV properties but media or brand properties. The (fee) structure has changed as the revenue streams have broadened. Today everybody wants a share of the cake — not only of the format fee but also of the revenue derived from SMS, sponsoring, Internet, merchandising, etc.”

— Jacob Houlind, head of sales and legal affairs,

MTV Intl., Sweden

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