Fox shows to vanish from TV3/Four TV schedules

ladygagasimpsonsThe pursuit of an output deal with Fox has come to and end for Mediaworks ahead of its sale to the new company tomorrow meaning that hit shows Bones, Modern Family and The Simpsons will be gone from the lineup.

While this isn’t ideal for Mediaworks, the output deal they were after that would allow them to pick and choose the shows they wanted, may end up becoming a reality for the new company which it is understood are now negotiating for the same arrangement.  That is unless Sky decides to cement their dominance on content and takes Fox’s entire package.  It would be great for Prime, but not so much for Mediaworks.

Mediaworks have painted the scenario as being an opportunity to increase their focus on local programming.  Perhaps, but 7 hours of primetime on Four alone is a lot of local content to produce and I doubt very much if it would be drama.

Having lost Home and Away to TV2 due to their receivership, Mediaworks are now finding themselves in possibly a better financial state but without the ratings winning shows that had been their bread winners.  How they recover from this will be fascinating indeed.

Shows impacted by this decision:
Sons of Anarchy
The Simpsons
New Girl
How I Met Your Mother
Modern Family
Raising Hope
American Horror Story
Last Man Standing
Bob’s Burgers
American Dad
Family Guy

The Mediaworks press release:

MediaWorks Group Managing Director, Sussan Turner has confirmed that the sale of the business to MediaWorks Holdings Limited (MWHL) will settle tomorrow, Friday 8 November 2013.

“It is extremely pleasing that we have emerged in such good heart.  As was promised at the outset, all our staff have been retained and it has been, on the whole, business as usual.  We are grateful for the tremendous support the business has received from our team, customers, suppliers and the public.

“A key focus of the transition to new ownership has been to right size the capital structure of the business. This has now been achieved and the business is no longer burdened by crippling debt,” she said.

Turner praised the professionalism of staff, and the support of key partners which has seen MediaWorks continue to trade exceptionally well during the receivership period.

Chairman of MediaWorks Holdings Limited, Rod McGeoch said the Board has worked hard to create an environment where innovation will continue to prosper.

“Today heralds an exciting fresh start for this iconic, independent New Zealand media company. It’s a brave new world and we have embraced the need for more flexible commercial arrangements with studios. In our view, full output agreements for the television business are outdated and don’t make commercial sense in the New Zealand market.  Instead we want our television and online businesses to have the advantage of selecting international shows that work for us,” he said.

As a result, MediaWorks TV has a restructured deal with NBC Universal, retained selected CBS product and established a new content deal with Sony Television.

“While we chose not to pursue an output deal with FOX, we are working to establish a new arrangement with them.

“Quality international programmes are still important, however we can now capitalise on the financial flexibility we achieve through this targeted approach to invest in strong local content which we see as a major competitive advantage.

“We will now move towards crystallising our plans for MediaWorks’ future, together with the management team.  Our ability to leverage assets across all media platforms – television, radio, online and social – is a compelling proposition and puts us in a unique and extremely exciting position,” Mr McGeoch said.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • anonymouse

    Well, Four’s schedule just got caught, gutted and filleted before our eyes,

    • Jen

      another shopping channel?

  • Greg Sands

    “Mediaworks have painted the scenario as being an opportunity to increase their focus on local programming.”

    Which actually means “Let’s reduce our market share even further”. The worst thing would be if these programs ended up on Prime in SD.

    • dylan

      Or even worse they end up on a sky only channel.

  • Reece

    I wonder if Mediaworks intends to axe four as a channel?

    TV3 wont be impacted too much as few of the 20th Century Fox shows they air are worth keeping considering what they rate. They have clearly decided that lifestyle and reality/factual content is a better investment than US scripted.

    • Aaron Lucas

      They are turning their backs on a whole section of their audience that HATES reality shows. The New Zealand television broadcasters also seemed to have embraced the female audience and ignored/given up on the male audience. For me (a 40 year old straight male) there are nights of the week where there is NOTHING to watch on primetime television. They keep fighting over the same section of viewers. Now they cut off Fox, the makers of a bunch of my favourite shows. It’s depressing. Also, what ever happened to SciFi shows?

      • Russell Gray

        If they axe FOUR, they might turn it into TV3+2.

      • Jeseta

        Don’t count us all out! I’m a female 20 something and there are PLENTY of nights where nothing interests me on free-to-air. I refuse to pollute my brain with reality shows (being a little over-dramatic here) but I’m resorting to downloading the TV series I really want to see or listening to podcasts (getting through alot of those too). I guess there is a large enough audience for reality shows no matter who they are, but I sure would like to see the prime-time spaces filled with quality dramas, comedies and films of varying genres (crime, medical, sci-fi, political, fantasy, sitcoms etc) that way they’ll please most people some of the time instead of a few people all of the time!

    • Jeseta

      I think they’ve stated their intention to continue with FOUR as it is.

  • Mark Stewart

    Is there any reason that Fox network show The X Factor US doesn’t seem to be affected? Is it actually studio-based rather than network-based?

    • Reece

      The Mediaworks agreement that is ending is with 20th Century Fox Television who produce and distribute shows that air across other US networks and not just Fox.

      X Factor USA is distributed by Fremantle Media and doesn’t appear to be tied to any deals but is a cherry-picking situation which Mediaworks wants to see more of.

    • Drew Horan

      Its because The X Factor USA is bought on the open market rather than through an output deal. Heres a link for more info:

  • guest

    So, that leaves TV3/FOUR with just CBS Studios now (ie. CSI)???

    This is a big risk that MediaWorks is taking here. As for “increase their local programming”, I fear that it might be dominated with local reality shows more than local drama. Ten in Australia went with that direction last year and it completely ruined their channel.

    If Prime or Sky gets FOX programming, well more money for them I guess. But like Greg said, Prime in SD doesn’t sound too promising.

    • Jen

      Well judging by how the Aussie reality shows rated on Tuesday night for them, why wouldn’t they go down that road?

      • Reece

        I think the user above was referring to Tens attempts at shows like The Shire and Being Lara Bingle as opposed to big format reality shows.

        • guest

          Yes Reece. That’s correct. Don’t get me started on The Shire or let alone Being Lara Bingle. Those were really embarrassing to watch.

          Masterchef aside, all of their new reality lineup last year tanked. One dancing show got axed only after a few weeks (a huge flop considering they invested on Jason Derulo and Kelly Rowland) and one got delayed indefinitely. Only their new drama, Puberty Blues, managed to pull decent ratings for Ten. Even Ten now can’t get good ratings with their own version of The Bachelor.

  • Aaron Lucas

    How to ruin Four in one move. If they could get The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for cheap they would make a lot of people, who aren’t Neilson ratings homes, very happy.

    • Drew Horan

      Yess that would be brilliant!! I miss those shows!!

      • Creativity

        I doubt they would buy those shows back as they’ve removed them in the past. What I would suggest is screening The Paul Henry Show on FOUR instead of TV3, and for it to be an hour long. The format could be a mix of political satire, a light take on the news and interviews/performances.

        FOUR certainly has a lot of airtime to fill without Fox shows, so screening The Paul Henry show in primetime would be ideal as it would be a good lead-in for other shows, fit the local content idea and Nightline wouldn’t have to disappear on TV3.

        • Jeseta

          As long as FOUR remains a youth focused channel – and all signs point to it doing so – there isn’t a chance in hell they’ll put Paul Henry on.

          • Creativity

            The audience focus is actually adults 18-49 years old, which is what Paul Henry’s audience will mostly be. You’re thinking of C4.

          • Jeseta

            No, C4 was a music channel. 18-49 is a very broad target range used in television, It’s unlikely any programming appeals to that entire range. One look at the current line-up will tell you they are focused on the lower half of that range.

  • Creativity

    What about Futurama?

    • Jeseta

      Cancelled. it ended it’s run earlier this year. I’m assuming they’ve only listed current programs.

  • Chris

    How I Met Your Mother airs on CBS in the US so why is that affected? Is it distributed by Fox internationally or something?

    • Drew Horan

      Yep its distributed by 20th television which is owned by Fox.

    • Patrick Te Pou