Media – Branding & Debt Issues

Further to my previous entry here about the market valuation of PBL Media as of July 1, 2008

CONSOLIDATED Media Holdings will consider tipping more money into debt-laden PBL Media if asked by private equity partner CVC Asia Pacific, see the original article here

The potential for an equity injection into PBL Media, owner of Channel Nine, was tackled by CMH executive chairman John Alexander at the annual results announcement, following investor concern about the joint ventures $4.2 billion debt.

Together this is placing the viability of the normally cash rich 9 network in an insecure tricky position – the pressure on David Gyngell must be immense – specially when I read that he has said he doesn’t want Nine to be the number one TV Network, he wants to have the most profitable – there was a time not that long ago when there weren’t the restrictions financially that there are now when one without the other was inconceivable, as the number one TV network he would be a long way down the road to being the most profitable.

With the lag between ratings and income (and the recent spurt in Nine ratings) I cannot see advertisers voluntarily handing more money to Nine until more time has past – being that we are in a retail recession won’t help either – there will be great pressure on the media buyers to get better value for the advertising dollar –  I hope Nine has in place a strategy for the new level playing field period – that is the time without the Olympics. However with the promotions I have seen on Nine they do not seem to be appealing to a wide demographic – good luck to them – I think they need it.

I do not consider than 7 has handled the Olympics well this time – especially concerning the integration with the Internet – what is it with 7 – they have given away their entire brand on the Internet to Yahoo – when you type in you actually end up with the Australian Yahoo – namely – I don’t know why they bother, the lack of real branding is not doing the Strategic brand development for the seven network much good at all. I can see why Yahoo want the connection – namely content and search engine hits – but why does Seven want the connection ? I have my thoughts none of which are very positive for the Seven Networks image.

Or perhaps it was Channel 7 attempts to follow the leader, where Nine use their 50% ownership of ninemsn as the default Nine Network Web-site… what is the reasoning behind Channel 7’s move.. some please explain it to me please.

What would have happened if Yahoo had been bought by Microsoft? It would have meant that Channel Nine (through ninemsn) would have had a connection directly with the Channel 7 website – great I don’t think.

The idea of a web presence is all about extending the brand – unless they realise that they won’t excel, they (TV and Publishing) must accept that changes in their brand strategy are needed – the Internet is about information and forming communities – not to throw information without a Strategy, you end up treating your viewers like fodder – this is arrogance or incompetence – no communication and no relationship is formed – this is unfortunately what all of the networks are doing except for the ABC which has the best Internet presence and strategy in Australia with SBS in second place.

What I don’t understand is that advertisers in the Australian market spent more that a Billion dollars advertising on the Internet – where is the strategy for the TV and Publishing networks where in their business plan – (except for do we see them getting their share of the pie?



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