Seven’s Kurt Burnette responds to COVID-19 upheaveal

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“It’s been a big, unprecedented couple of weeks.”

Following the upheaval to TV network schedules including Seven not being able to air the AFL or Olympics as planned Kurt Burnette chief revenue officer & director of Olympics for Seven West Media has released an update:

“It’s been a big, unprecedented couple of weeks. In fact, there aren’t any words to truly describe and capture what Australians and our global community are going through right now. There are many unknowns, but the one thing we do know is that we are in this together, and together we will get through It.

Our business has deployed far reaching continuity plans to limit disruption to our broadcast and sales operations. Continuity of our broadcast is vital for the Australian public to get the information they need. Evidence of immediate change to our viewer’s behaviour is in the huge spikes in week on week viewing on 7 broadcast, 7plus and, as it has been for The West Australian.  

With the AFL deciding to suspend the season until the end of May our teams will be in touch with your relevant teams in regards to the impacts on your bookings, and other programming changes.

Regarding the Olympics. As we have seen overnight the IOC have moved to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to July 2021. We will now be working with local and global officials, as well as our client partners here, to work collaboratively through this postponement, with detailed updates to follow. From there we will mobilise our teams and develop the very best transition practices to get us to a highly successful Games in July 2021.

With regards to content, production of House Rules High Stakes and Farmer Wants a Wife have not been impacted. Those two tent pole shows will be building on a strong base with 7NEWS, The Latest, Sunrise, Home and Away and Better Homes and Gardens, as well as our strong dramas at 9 PM. We are confident our Quarter 2 content slate across broadcast and BVOD will produce a strong audience result year on year. Q2 on 7 and 7plus will be providing much needed entertainment and information for Australians, and a powerful and effective marketing platform for brands to be able to connect with those viewers. We will deliver a mix of much needed information that Australians will continue to be seeking, plus entertainment for escape and inspiration.

Although there has been some disruption to a number of our programs, I wanted to clarify that Plate of Origin is in production. Big Brother has had a pause in production, however, production restarted yesterday. Holey Moley, SAS Who Dares and Australia’s Got Talent have been impacted and we wait for a clearance to recommence production. As soon as that information comes to hand we will be in touch. Our plan remains to ensure we deliver a strong schedule every week of the year, and most of those plans are well in place with finalisation in the coming week. 

This is an incredibly challenging time for us all but we are in this together. If there is anything the team or I can do to help you and your teams through this period, please do not hesitate to reach out.”

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