MEDIA: media watch; Daytime tv

A debate about the quality of daytime television was sparked this summer when a male ITV executive on a health farm actually had to watch some of the programmes and was horrified. He joined the line of critics which have dubbed the daytime slot ‘stupidvision’ and criticised both scheduling and programme quality.

A debate about the quality of daytime television was sparked this summer

when a male ITV executive on a health farm actually had to watch some of

the programmes and was horrified. He joined the line of critics which

have dubbed the daytime slot ‘stupidvision’ and criticised both

scheduling and programme quality.



Both the BBC and ITV have taken the criticism on board and believe that

improved programming could increase their audience share. ITV’s changes

have included more support for The Time, The Place and This Morning with

Richard and Judy. Vanessa Feltz, heralded as the UK’s answer to Oprah

Winfrey, now appears five days a week.



The BBC responded with The Really Useful Show and a celebrity chat show

with Carol Smillie.



But terrestrial channels still have lots of work to do if they want to

stem the flow of viewers switching to cable and satellite. The latest

figures (see box) suggest ITV is still struggling and losing out to its

rivals on cable and satellite.



A clutch of new launches has increased the choice for daytime viewers.

Granada Sky Broadcasting has recently introduced Talk TV, and four Good

Life channels offer programmes on fashion, cookery, gardening and diet

and fitness, and the Carlton Food Network has recently come on air.



Their share of viewing is increasing at the expense of ITV. BBC1 and

Channel 4 have managed to hold on to their share since last year. ITV

has suffered a 1.5% drop in its share of viewing, while cable and

satellite increased its share by 3% year-on-year for October.



Advertisers still use daytime TV as a cost-effective way of reaching the

housewife audience. FMCG brands and direct- response advertisers still

dominate the ad breaks, with spots costing an average of between pounds

5000 and pounds 12,000.



But with massive spenders, such as Procter & Gamble, cutting their

spend, the medium needs to find new advertisers.



But the dilemma, as one media buyer points out, remains: ‘You can change

the programming but you can’t do much to change the profile of the

audience.’



------------------------------------------------------------------------

Share of viewers (BARB)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                October 1995    October 1996

BBC1               29.9%           29.9%

BBC2               11.9%           10.4%

ITV                34.3%           32.8%

Channel 4          11.9%           11.9%

Satellite/Cable    11.9%           14.9%

Information supplied by CIA Medianetwork

------------------------------------------------------------------------



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