Are You Treating Your Clients With Contempt Like Free to Air TV?


Are You Treating Your Clients With Contempt Like Free to Air TV?

As the viewing patterns of TV goers increasingly move to less watching free to air TV and more to watching what they want, when they want, on multiple devices and paying for what they want to watch; you would think the heads of the primetime stations would be going out of their way to retain viewers.

Instead, I believe, based on programs being offered, they’re happy to lose previously loyal viewers to Stan, Presto, Netflix, Fetch TV, Foxtel and the like and treat anyone who’s left (who chooses not to pay or can’t afford it) with contempt.

After being inducted into the Australian Logies Hall of Fame, I caught a snippet of Noni Hazlehurst’s comments which mentioned we should all support free to air tv, otherwise one day it will be gone.  My response. Why?

Free TV Australia’s website, the industry body which represents Australia’s commercial free to air television licenses tells us “Australia needs Free TV because 13 million people watch it every day.” It goes on to say:

For sixty years, millions of Australians have depended on commercial free to air television for trustworthy news and current affairs coverage, to get their fix of live sport, and for daily entertainment. Always for free. Much has changed since free to air television first launched in 1956, and we have always kept ahead of the pack with changing technology while maintaining the fundamentals on which Australians continue to depend.

Since commercial free to air television launched, we have prided ourselves on being one of the most significant mass broadcasting platforms for Australian culture and debate. We also invest in services for regional communities to maintain their unique identities by producing local news and regional programming.

So here’s my question Free TV Australia?

With Roy Morgan’s research in May 2016 showing 5 million Australians have Netflix, and Stan and Presto are growing, is this really still your mantra and purpose? And if so, why then are you treating your viewers with contempt?

Why do I say this?  Well, let’s look at the evidence.

Channel 10 believe it’s OK to show Family Feud every weeknight at 6pm on three different channels! Yes that’s right. The 6pm timeslot on Channels 10, 11 and 1 is the one show – Family Feud.  Seriously?

Channels 9, 7 and 10 aren’t content with showing us reality TV basically every weeknight for hours on end. They then get lazy on the weekends and simply show us ‘Encore’ performances of these same reality shows, in case you missed it. Don’t they know we can download the episodes or record them?

Channel 9 have been actively promoting the new Suncorp Super Netball series as ‘primetime’ viewing. But the games are being shown on Gem, not Nine; and it’s not all games being played each week. For some of the games, the only way to watch netball (the most participative girls sport in the country) will be on your device via the Netball Live App which is only free for Telstra customers.

Channel 9 has run The Big Bang Theory show to death (I’m a fan but I’ve seen every episode probably at least 4 times – not by choice).  And yet, Channel 7 decided to spend its money, not on new shows, but to purchase the rights so they could show it on Channel 7 and 7Flix. And to make matters worse, I had Big Bang on 7Flix in the background while I was working because they advertised it as 8 shows in a row. Wrong! It’s actually 4 shows in a row and then they repeat the same shows again they have just shown 2 hours earlier. I thought I was going mad, thinking, ‘didn’t I just see this earlier tonight’?

Channel 10 has also done the same thing to MASH. Again a show I love but how many times? And it looks like they’re going to kill Hogan Heroes in the same way. If you want to bring back a classic, bring back Blankety Blanks with Graham Kennedy and introduce a whole new audience to his comic genius.

And let’s not forget about the news which free to air prides itself on. Morning breakfast shows repeat pretty much the same news and weather every 30 minutes. Then there’s a repeat of the same information as part of the early morning news at 11am, which is then repeated as part of the afternoon news at 4pm (Channels 7 and 9) and then we get the news at 6pm. And rather than short, sharp news for 30 minutes, it’s now being dragged out to an hour.

So no Free to Air TV, I don’t believe you are keeping ahead of the pack. I believe you’ve gotten lazy and are doing what’s easy (reality TV) rather than embracing new shows like The Newsroom, Wentworth and others being produced on HBO, Foxtel and Netflix which have fantastic scripts and casts.

Well you may be thinking, ‘what’s the relevance for my business Tamara?’

A lot actually because if you’re a business who keeps doing the same old, same old to your existing clients e.g. running an annual conference with the same speakers putting a different twist on the same boring old topics; then sure you may keep getting people to pay. But don’t kid yourself they are paying because of the value you provide. They’re probably just coming for networking and fun; and those numbers will eventually drop off over time, just like Borders.

My challenge for every small business out there, should you choose to accept it, is to please learn from Free to Air TV. Their environment is changing rapidly and people are voting with their tablets and walking away quickly and in high numbers.

Don’t let this happen to your business. Be ahead of the game, and look after your loyal clients and customers by giving what they truly want (not what you want to give them or what you think they want), in the medium they desire so they remain loyal raving fans.

Remember:  it’s harder and takes longer to find a new client or customer than it is to provide value and great service to your existing database.

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