Nine has a had a blockbuster start to the year, with a strong performance from the Australian Open and Married at First Sight, and is looking to carry the momentum into the second quarter of 2019.
“We’ve had an unbelievable start to 2019,” says Hamish Turner, Nine’s Program Director.
“Off the back of the Australian Open, the first year that Nine has had it, we delivered strong year-on-year performances and record commercial share through the January period. It provided us with a fantastic launch platform for our entertainment slate led by Married at First Sight.”
Married at First Sight is shaping as the most talked about show of 2019, delivering record audiences and creating an unprecedented amount of noise by capturing the national “water cooler” conversation.
“MAFS has had a fantastic launch in 2019 across all platforms, including record numbers in BVOD,” says Turner.
“Anywhere you look, you hear people talking about it, you’re reading articles about it. It has really captured the attention and imagination of Australians.”
The success of Married at First Sight has provided a remarkable springboard for programs such as Travel Guides (2019 launch episode the biggest yet) and 60 Minutes, New Amsterdam and Murder, Lies and Alibis, which have all posted strong results.
“We couldn’t be happier,” says Turner, who vowed to carry the momentum into Nine’s post-Easter schedule through programs like The Voice and Lego Masters.
“Then you have Lego Masters, which is family viewing. It really surprises and it will capture the attention of all ages.
“Lego Masters flips the reality genre on its head. It’s full of elements that you haven’t seen on Australian television before. The cast is amazing. They are teams in pairs that you don’t tend to see in reality shows and they will provide plenty of surprises. But the most surprising element of all is the builds with the Lego blocks, the extraordinary things that the contestants dream up and bring to life in front of you.”
Turner also noted how Nine will build out its drama slate for the rest of 2019.
“After Easter, two of our biggest dramas are going into production and we look forward to bringing them to screens later in the year.
“There are some big cast changes in Doctor Doctor. The 2018 series delivered successful results, with an average national cross-platform audience of 1.4 million viewers per episode, and this year’s series will bring more outstanding results.
“The other drama is SeaChange, and the scripts are looking amazing. There are some fantastic characters returning and some brilliant new cast members you are going to fall in love with.”
Regarding the sports slate, Turner said it will be another big NRL season on Nine.
“2019 is going to be a huge year in sport for Nine. As well as the NRL we have State of Origin. Three of the top-rating programs of 2018 were Origin games, and this year one game in the series goes to Perth for the first time. We are looking to capture the imagination of a completely different audience.”
International cricket also returns to Nine with The Ashes in the UK later this year.
“David Warner and Steve Smith will return to the fold and we’re excited to see what kind of new life they can inject into the Australian team,” said Turner.
With Nine’s lineup of top programs set to hit television screens throughout 2019, audiences are advised not to switch off after the first quarter.
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