July 12, 2009

Multi-channel branding strategies

Posted in ABC1, Network Ten, SBS one tagged , , , , , , , at 7:35 pm by Give Me The Remote

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the multi channeling stategies being undertaken by the free networks.

  • ABC was first to kick off their second digital channel and choose to brand  similar to BBC (and others).. e.g. ABC1, ABC2, ABC3.
  • SBS has now followed the same lead, with SBS one and SBS two.
  • Network 10 on the otherhand have made their second channel a dedicated sports network called one HD.
  • Channel 9 look to be doing a similar thing and branding their station as a youth channel – in order to increase their marketshare in the much desired younger demographics
  • Channel 7 haven’t really done anything yet.

As I’ve written in my previous post, there are definite constraints with dedicating your HD channel to one genre of show.

I strongly believe that the ABC and SBS have selected the more intelligent format due to its lack of restrictions.

For example, at the moment most nights on SBS throughout July are filled with sport. They’ve stuck the Ashes on SBS one and Le Tour on SBS two. SBS one has the HD channel, so the cricket is in HD. When the cricket is not on, the cycling can switch to SBS one and grab the HD channel (or not, depending on what else is on)

Devil’s advocate says that switching serial programs between channels would confuse viewers. But I don’t believe we’re that stupid. If the cycling’s been on SBS one for the past week and I tune in to find the Ashes, I’m going to go to SBS two automatically. Informative idents and cross promotion help this. It’s a unified network across two channels. It works.

I can’t fathom why channel 10 has restricted themselves so much by dedicating the channel to sport. If the network had 5 different channels of course it would be fine to make one sports-only. However with 2 channels only, it’s just ridiculous to tie their hands so tight behind their back.

May 17, 2009

Why multi-channeling is bad for HD

Posted in Network Ten tagged , , , , , , , at 8:54 am by Give Me The Remote

With the introduction of three new channels onto our televisual landscape, the amount of new available airspace has increased so suddenly by an amount not seen since the introduction of Australian television in itself.

So for a while the commercial networks used their new HD channel to broadcast their programs in high definition (where available). Brilliant! The latest movies became available in a cinematic quality that may have put the Lumiere out of business (okay not really). Then there was sport – arguably one of the great champions of HD TV – tennis actually became watchable. The world of television seemed pretty good right there and then – TV in regular or BONUS mode!

ten HD

Then came multi-channeling.

One HD launched on March 26th to great fanfare. One HD was an interesting case, because it wasn’t ten HD anymore. It was One HD. A new brand. It looked as though sport on ten was to be no more. Even sporting productions (noteable the Melbourne Grand Prix) were branded on both channels as a One HD event.

one HD

Now comes the gripe..

I’m going to use ten/one HD as an example here because they are the only network really actually using multi-channelling to its full potential.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that ten currently have three channels:

– Ten (SD)
– One HD
– One SD

Can you see something wrong with this picture?

The flagship channel for ten is still ten. Yet it now finds itself with no HD alternative, while One HD broadcasting (alternative) sports gets both a high definition and standard definition channel.

Recently the Simpsons when HD and widescreen in the US. ten no longer has a high definition channel so it’s now marketed here as Simpsons in widescreen. Actually I’m not totally sure that there would be that much difference in The Simpsons HD and The Simpsons SD anyway.

The Simpsons HD

At the moment whilst the IPL takes place on a Saturday night, AFL football is only broadcast on ten (branded as ten). This means that the program being broadcast all over the country in Melbourne’s second highest rating football slot isn’t in HD because there’s people flying planes in circles and Indians pretending that their domestic cricket competition is the best in the world.

It would seem that the priorities are all wrong here. The hurdles jumped in the advancement of multi-channeling appear to have effectively been negated by its cannibalism of the wonderful HD.

A solution?

Having a flexible HD channel used by both SD channels where seen best fit would be a bit too confusing for the viewer I reckon.

So the answer has got to be the addition of another high definition channel simulcasting the original flagship channel in HD.

This is only going to get more frustrating as the networks begin to multi-channel more and more over the coming months and will need to be addressed at some stage.

Broken TV

(images taken from wherever they come from after google suggested them)

March 18, 2008

Moment of Truth – Cruellest gameshow ever?

Posted in Nine Network at 11:40 am by Give Me The Remote

I watched a large chunk of this program last week. Firstly I must admit however that I only half-watched it whilst doing some household chores, so perhaps my intake was skewed.

Okay, so aside from the fact that it’s really quite boring .. slower than Millionaire even, it is really quite cruel.

This guys goes on the show hoping to win the bucks. He think he’s honest – easy money! As the cash values go up, the questions get more personal. Some of the stuff that he admits to can really ruin his relationship. But the real catch with this show is that it relies on a polygraph machine to determine whether you’re lying or not. The old lie detector, whose evidence has never been proven to actually be worth a grain of salt in any legal sense.

So the guy bombs out and gets absolutely nothing. Did he lie? Maybe he sweated a bit? Perhaps the question was so vague he didn’t know the answer. I’m sure it’s in the fine print that the lie detector’s decision is final, but poor guy. So he goes home with absolutely no cash and he’s told the world his dirty secrets and damaged his relationships with loved ones.

So not only his hopes of winning big cash – any cash even! – are dashed, but he’s actually become worse off personally. How cruel.

This happens for weeks and weeks. Stupid people demoralising themselves all in the lure of big bucks. Does this take reality tv/gameshows to a new low? Shock television. Why do we like watching people squirm. Are we a bunch of sadists?

Maybe I would have liked this program if it were more interesting.

I’m trying to think of a crueller game show than this.. anyone?

March 8, 2008

Skins

Posted in SBS one at 10:14 am by Give Me The Remote

Skins is over. It’s a little bit sad. Here was a perfect example of what a teen drama should be. Forget the niceties of Dawsons Creek, the spoilt rich kids in the O.C. and One Tree Hill. Start thinking Heartbreak High and you’re getting a little bit closer.

Skins1

This show is very.. real. Real in the sense that these kids lives aren’t all rosy. There are some pretty far flung adventures that I imagine the majority of teens wouldn’t have experienced. But this is a telly show after all – it’s got to be interesting.

There’s quite a bit of drugs involved in the program – mainly smokables but occasionally pills and powder. There’s also a teacher/student sexual relationship, which doesn’t have any negative ramifications. In other words, there’s a lot of instances in this program of kids behaving badly.

Skin2

How excellent, then, was it that SBS picked up this program rather than a commercial network (or even possibly the ABC). Anybody remember Californication? (Don’t worry there’s a second season of this coming) There is no way that Skins is tamer than Californication. If conservative, middle-aged parents actually watched SBS (more than World News and Inspector Rex), I don’t think they would like what they see. I think that perhaps being the ‘Special’ Broadcasting Service, parents often just turn a blind-eye and hope that their kids don’t realise that there is television not from 7,9 and 10.

But I’m so glad that the family groups didn’t try to shut this one down, because there are a lot of very important issues brought up in this show that are handled with care and a realness that forgets the icing sugar.

Each episode focuses on a different main character and tells their story, providing insights into their family life and inner torments. Cassie is struggling with an eating disorder, Jal faces the pressures of being gifted, Chris is abandoned by his parents and has a massive crush on his teacher, Sid’s parents separate, Islamic Anwar refuses to continue being friends with former best friend Maxxie because of his sexuality.

Tony is the manipulative alpha-male and Sid his submissive sidekick. Sid is in love with Tony’s girlfriend and doesn’t see that Cassie is in love with him. Cassie and Sids characters are the most likeable and evoke the most emotional response, due to their often unrequited generosity and selflessness.

The program is beautifully shot and the music is very independent (i.e. good!). The theme music by ‘Fat Segal’ is thoughtful and electronically ‘now’, whilst The Gossip’s ‘Standing in the way of control’ is the perfect signature turne. However, much of the music in the television show has been replaced by new tunes in the DVD release (I imagine due to copyright/royalties).

Season two is currently showing in the UK, but we probably won’t get it until next summer. The DVD release will surely come out quicker than that, but until then, go out and grab series 1 on DVD and (re)watch a very memorable television series.

No more hiatusing.. I promise..

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:58 am by Give Me The Remote

Just like a struggling TV show, this blog is undergoing a bit of a format change. This life thing that I’ve been trialing for the past score years or so has become a bit more hectic of late and there is much less time for me to be updating this blog as I once was.

Previously I’ve tried to bring lots of news stories that let’s be honest, are being covered elsewhere on the net (usually many times on blogs). It’s just too time consuming for me! Instead, this blog is going to become more opinion based and random in its thoughts. By ‘its’ I mean mine, of course.

Onwards, and upwards! (or outwards.. either way)

January 17, 2008

Good News Week to return!

Posted in Network Ten at 12:51 pm by Give Me The Remote

I was really tempted to make the title of this post a pun.. you know it’s been a good news week etc, but then I thought ‘i reckon every other single outlet with this story is going to do the pun.. why bother. be original. say no to puns’

So Channel 10 is bringing back Good News Week. Apparently due to the lack of US content coming through (something about a writers’ strike? i haven’t heard much about it?) they have decided to give GNW another go.

Good News Week

Paul McDermott never seems to stay off television for very long. He may be annoying, but he’s definitely a talented fella. He could bring vibrancy and wackyness to any dull show and make it half interesting.

Now let’s be honest. GNW in it’s 10 reincarnation wasn’t exactly great, hence it flopped last time. Please Channel 10 learn from the mistakes of yesteryear and bring this show back to its salad days. I guess it will never have the ‘cred’ that it had whilst on ABC, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be good.

I am very excited about seeing this again. Now Channel 9, bring back Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush with Tim Ferguson (and even Miss Wendy) and I will be a happy chappy. I don’t think it’s gonna happen. But I can dream.

Whet your appetite..

Source: Herald Sun, 17/01/08

Picture from Epod

January 16, 2008

Australia Week 08 – Sam Kekovich Lamb Ad

Posted in Advertisements at 10:10 pm by Give Me The Remote

Well, Australia Day is almost here again. This means that Sam Kekovich is once again gracing our screens plugging meat in his annual Australia Day address.

Australia Week 1

This year sees him sitting at his desk in many various picturesque locations throughout Australia, whilst a choir of children sing in the background. Think Qantas ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ advertisements.

The spot got a bit of press mainly because of the Helen Clarke jibe. “Even APEC gets a week. But that’s just a bunch of blokes in funny shirts. Apart from Helen Clarke, who does a passable impersonation of a bloke anyway.”

Australia Week 2

The main contention of the ad is that Mr Kekovich wants an Australia Week, not just one day. i.e. 7 times the amount of lamb eating opportunities.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of this dude. I find him quite annoying. These Australia Day lamb advertisements basically play off his old controversial monologues “You know it makes sense. I’m Sam Kekovich.” There’s only so much yelling I can take from ageing shock jocks..

Check it if you like to be yelled at..

And here’s the narrative..

My fellow Australians, it is my solemn duty to inform you that it’s time to abolish Australia Day.

Our annual lamb-fest hasn’t stopped unAustralianism racing through the land like horse-flu through a Japanese jockey club.

For example, if I see another binge-drinking, pill-popping, powder-sniffing footballer making a tearful television apology – I’ll blow a fuse.

Australia Day has had its day. We need Australia week. A 7-day lambathon to properly celebrate our great nation. Instead of one public holiday, we need seven. Instead of one lamb barbie we need 21 lamb meal opportunities – not including snacks. Which imbecile thought one day was long enough anyway.

Look at the Olympics, Octoberfest, the Turkish Oil Wrestling Festival. Even APEC gets a week. But that’s just a bunch of blokes in funny shirts. Apart from Helen Clarke, who does a passable impersonation of a bloke anyway.

The placard-waving, police-bashing, weed worshippers may protest about it, but it’s nothing a few blasts from a water cannon can’t fix. They could do with a wash. And if they’re still too unAustralian to chomp a few chops with the rest of us, send them to Nauru. The refugee protesting centre has plenty of palm trees they can hug.

I’ll be petitioning our new PM to officially recognise Australia Week. If you still call Australia home, stack the fridge full of lamb, take the week off and celebrate with me. Any boss that won’t let you is a bum. Just chuck a week of sickies instead. What could be more Australian than that?

So don’t be unAustralian, serve lamb this Australia Week. You know it makes sense. I’m Sam Kekovich.

December 29, 2007

The Year 2007 in Review

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:58 am by Give Me The Remote

.. or not.

Everyone else seems to be making lists and reviews left, right and centre. I never read any of them, so I figure I won’t bore you with my own.

Talking Television has a nice series on the ‘Year that Was’..

TV Tonight has a multitude of posts about the year from dead people to yearly network reviews

Give Me The Remote has nothing (yeah, I know, pointless self promotion)

However, I will say this. My most popular post by a country mile since this blog begun has been this one about ‘The Mint’ and how dodgy the games on it are. Like 3-4 times as many hits as the next best. What does this tell me? A stack of people are really annoyed about the fact that this program is an absolute scam. But seriously folks, was it any worse than National Bingo Night? Actually I think they’re probably just about as bad as each other.

The Mint wishes you a Happy New Year

December 11, 2007

Andrew O’Keefe gets his tonight show

Posted in Seven Network at 9:03 pm by Give Me The Remote

Andrew O’Keefe has been given the green light for the late night program that he piloted earlier this year. There’s a catch however – it’s only going to be shown on the high definition channel.

Andrew O’Keefe

O’Keefe describes the show as “something like Rove meets Hammer House of Horror”.

Is O’Keefe over-exposing himself? He’s definitely shaping up as the new Eddie Everywhere. His current commitments include regular gigs on Deal or No Deal, The Rich List and Weekend Sunrise.

Victoria Bitter (VB) – Warnie

Posted in Advertisements at 9:03 pm by Give Me The Remote

The new Victoria Bitter has hit our screens in time for the summer cricket season proper. Following on from the popular Boonie and Beefy dolls of last year and the original Boonie doll the year prior, VB have created a Warnie doll.

The Warnie ad begins with Mr and Mrs Warne giving birth to the great man Shane – all played by Shane himself. The narration begins – “A hard earned thirst needs a big cold beer and we’d like to raise one right now, to Australia’s favourite son – Warnie. Yep, when it came to tormenting the top order, Shane had ’em by the balls.” Cut to a shot of two insane batsmen in a padded cell.

VB - Warnie
Mr and Mrs Warne

“Sure, his middle name may be Keith, but the Sultan of Spin could get almost anything to turn.” As a shot appears of Boonie drinking in the pub dressed up in green and gold drag. “Now the great man may have hung up the box. But we can still toast him with an ice cold beer and the best cold beer is VB.”

VB - Warnie

Apart from it being another great ad, the main thing that stood out to me with this piece was the last word (letters) spoken – VB. The slogan is/was “and the best cold beer is Vic.” Is this some sort of new branding rule in all advertising communications?

The advertisement was created by GPY&R Melbourne with creative direction from Ben Coulson and production by Prodigy Films.

Check out the ad:

Check out the website for more information about obtaining your own Warnie doll – vbwarnie.com.au

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