The battle for share of linear TV audience continues as last week the TV networks were whipping up booking urgency for upfront spend commitment for April – June. Giving weight to their case has been the recent tight availability through the second half of January and February.

Looking beneath the hype there is not a huge amount to shout about.

Content highlights for TVNZ1 include National Treasure, a powerful 4 part British drama about a television comedian accused of rape, starring Robbie Coltrane & Julie Walters, and is scheduled to run in June. Australian series Doctor, Doctor and Outback Pilots (from the producers of Outback Truckers) are running through April/May.

An ambitious project called “What Next” hosted by Nigel Latta is a 1 hour x 5 nights of live event broadcast. This has been promoted as a multi-platform concept that will create a national conversation. “What Next” is a chance to say want we want for ourselves – “Is NZ heading towards an apocalypse or a better, brighter future for us all?” Be watching mid June to find out the nation’s view!

On TVNZ2 the big news is there is to be a Survivor New Zealand show hosted by Matt Chisholm (Seven Sharp). Sixteen tough and tenacious Kiwis marooned on a rugged tropical island… at last we get to see the NZ version of this international formula which has been on the wane. We sure hope the rating magic can be restored for kiwi audiences when it goes to air Sunday & Monday nights in May.

Pricing for the quarter on TVNZ1 & TVNZ2 aggregates flat with peak up +7% across the quarter and down a hefty -22% for daytime. Whilst the daytime adjustment is a win for off peak advertisers, the cost implication for a 70% peak buy is a +5% rate increase.

Duke is being packaged into $2,700 lots with the number of ratings delivered dependent on the target. The CPTs on offer are sharp which makes Duke an attractive addition to the channel mix targeting 18-54 range of demographics.

MediaWorks are pinning their ratings hopes on the tried and true series performers of 2016. They are looking to streeeetch their successful Friday night properties by moving Jono & Ben to strengthen the lead in to the Action Movie, and extending Friday night The Project and 7 Days from half to full hour formats.

The big new TV3 show for the quarter, and being hailed as one of the best original Australian drama sitcoms, is The Wrong Girl. It’s well scheduled to hold viewers of The Bachelor on Monday nights.

TV3 pricing has April peak zone down -1% while May & June are flat year on year and day time is up +1.9%.

With a few exceptions, more of the same is the name of the content game in quarter 2 as the networks do their best to hold the all important 25-54 audience.

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