Thursday, April 21, 2005


And now, because I'm bored and I haven't posted anything for a while;

A Short Guide To Australian Television Networks

(in order of popularity)

5. SBS - SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) is Australia's multicultural network, screening imported news programs, popular international sitcoms, soccer matches, and European gay soft porn. It is mainly watched by inner-urban film students, Greens voters and people who wear hemp. They watch it because of its global-minded news service, first-rate foreign language movies, and because they feel they ought to.

4. ABC - ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) is the nation's oldest and most venerable television network. It screens BBC costume dramas, fidgety current affairs programs, nature documentaries, and re-runs of Dr Who. It is mainly watched by doctor's wives, middle-brow suburbanites, old people whose TV channel selectors broke in 1974, and my brother-in-law. They watch it because it doesn't have commercials, or at least, it doesn't have commercials for anything you'd want to buy.

3. Ten - Network Ten is the youngest of the commercial networks, and it has succeeded by aiming not to have the highest ratings overall, but just the highest ratings in the 18-39 demographic. This they do by screening The Simpsons... and some other stuff. They have the trashiest reality shows, the sexiest soaps, and aren't afraid to pander to your every base desire, short of depicting minor celebrities ballroom dancing.

2. Seven - The Seven Network is the perpetual underdog in the ratings war. They show the latest hit American dramas like Lost and Desperate Housewives, but they also bring in fringe material like Stargate and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They tend to stay in second place, however, because their programs have a little too much colour and movement. They are perfectly willing to sell their souls to get to first place, but I don't think they've quite worked out who to sell them to yet.

1. Nine - The Nine Network has long been the highest rating television network, although it is slowly but steadily losing ground to Seven and Ten. This may be because their natural constituents - the Nanas of Australia - tend to die sooner rather than later. Nine aims to be as bland and unthreatening as a beige cardigan; the visual equivalent of eating porridge. Most Australian celebrities who could be described as 'nice' (ie "that nice Ray Martin" or "that nice Scott Cam fellow") are on Nine. It is watched by people, mainly middle-aged and elderly, who aren't upper-middle class enough to watch the ABC.

I warned you I was bored.


Blogger phaedrus said...

Are these just stations local to where you are or national networks with digit names? The closest I get to foreign television is occasional glimpses of Univision.. maybe BET and "Lifetime" count.

4:30 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Except for a couple of rural mini-networks, Australia only has national broadcasters. There are small regional variations, but basically the Ten Network they watch in Sydney is the same as the Ten Network we watch in Perth.

And yes, our networks have boring numeric names, by and large. We also have states named Western Australia and South Australia, call our natives Aboriginies, and have a great barrier reef called The Great Barrier Reef and a great, sandy desert called The Great Sandy Desert. We are a simple people.

12:12 PM  

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