Ten to debut Rush online – UPDATED 3/7 with Nick Spooner Q&A


There hasn’t been much buzz around this but I think it’s worth a mention.

Ten is debuting the first 2 episodes of its local drama, Rush, exclusively online.

From the release I received from Ten

From 12pm on July 3, 2009 until Midnight on the 5th of July, 2009 you will be able to see the first 2 episodes of Rush – Series 2 – Online!
 
For the first time ever, TEN is debuting a new TV series on the web.
 
Two weeks before the first episode of Season 2 Rush hits your TV screens, you will be able to watch iit exclusively online at:

http://ten.com.au/rush 

I know ninemsn planned to do this with the first series of Underbelly and actually took the proposition to market … but then the legal mess happened around certain characters and the pin was pulled.

Rush will be available over the weekend and premieres on broadcast TV mid July.

I’ve shot over some questions to Ten Digital head honcho Nick Spooner and he is coming back with some answers around why Ten is doing this and what it hopes to achieve.

Ten has been active in the last few weeks. On top of the Rush announcement they are advertsing for a new Head of Technology and their Masterchef web presence is generating a lot of user interest.

In the back half they have the online juggernaut that is Idol which hopefully will give them the momentum to give the first half of 2010 a real shake with key programming after a bit of a rocky half year to date.

I did a brief Q&A with Nick Spooner

1/ What prompted the decision to premiere the new series of rush online. what’s the motivation – online revenue/PR or audience building?
 
See this as a great opportunity to offer something different to our audience – there are few properties that allow the flexibility of broadcasting online before going on air so we are making the most of the opportunity.  It’s also the kind of thing you want to do when you have a superb piece of drama like Rush. 
 
Also, TEN’s audience should expect us to try something different – this has not been a exercise about business cases but about providing great long form content and offering something unexpected.
 
2/ What hurdles did you face internally doing this? is there a feeling showcasing a program online may dilute broadcast viewers – which are higher yielding?
 
Quite the opposite – it was a collaborative approach (which in my experience is one of the strengths of being at TEN).  We are doing this because we believe it will add to our audience  –  it can help build anticipation and excitement for the on-air broadcast and the series as a whole. 
 
3/ What is the model TEN is looking at financially/revenue wise as it moves towards more programming in full online? Can pre-roll sustain the costs?
 
This is a good test case for future shows and as such we will look at all aspects when we make these calls – including audience and commercial.  At this point we are using Rush online to build awareness whilst also highlighting the kinds of offerings they should expect to get on ten.com.au in the future.  For me this is about trying something a little different and continuing to build momentum at TEN.

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2 responses to “Ten to debut Rush online – UPDATED 3/7 with Nick Spooner Q&A

  1. Roger Lintzeris

    Ten must have thought long & hard about this.

    While I don’t envisage it getting a very large number of viewers, I don’t think Ten do either. (I’ll await the Q&A with Spooner for more on this)

    At least they’re trying.

    The best example of complete TV shows on the internet has to be the ABC.

    High quality
    No timing restrictions
    Fantastic media player with quick loading times
    Free in terms of both use (& doesn’t count towards your download limit on most ISP’s)

    I hope the commercial networks (Subs & FTA) are taking notes.

  2. In this case it’s not necessarily about numbers of actual views (although obviously high # of views online would be great). They’re going to be doing it more to build the buzz (both on- & off-line).

    Same reason publishers give free copies of books away (sometimes lots, sometimes not so many) to “influential” people.

    Previewing TV eps online is just the same, except with the change in goal of just adding (or possibly substituting) “influential” to “chattiest”.

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