Great Southern Television, the makers of The Apprentice, Coast and Agent Anna, relinquished the format rights to Dancing with the Stars and allowed MediaWorks to pick up the show to produce in-house, The Diary can reveal.
Reality shows are dominating the TV environment - well, for TV3 especially. The network is producing The Bachelor, The X Factor NZ, MasterChef, The Block - and now Dancing With the Stars.
But will the programme actually get off the ground? Finding the advertising dollars and sponsorship to sustain it will be tough for MediaWorks, which has adopted a high-risk, high-return strategy in the search for the reality format that will make the company millions.
The Diary understands partnership deals have yet to be fully secured for The Block, and advertiser McDonald's threatened to pull out of their $1.2m deal with X Factor following the trouble with former judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills, meaning TV3 would have had to meet the cash shortfall.
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Recent turnover figures in the Advertising Standards Authority report from PWC show television has lost share and revenue is declining - down $20 million from the previous year.
Why keep spending in a market that keeps falling? The Bachelor is expected to make a loss for the network - up to $1.5 million, we understand - with viewing figures less than those projected.
Bachelor ratings are likely to decline further when the show runs into popular MKR Australia on the programming schedule.
MediaWorks, in my opinion, is following Australia's troubled Channel Ten, which pumped money into reality formats and chased the 25-to-54 demographic only to become the loss-making broadcaster.