Cricket delivers revenue for Nine

Newly listed Nine Entertainment Co has enjoyed a boost in revenue, due largely to the Ashes Test cricket series between Australia and England, while Seven West Media has the biggest share of the metropolitan free-to-air television advertising market.

Newly listed Nine Entertainment Co has enjoyed a boost in revenue, due largely to the Ashes Test cricket series between Australia and England, while Seven West Media has the biggest share of the metropolitan free-to-air television advertising market.

Standard Media Index (SMI) data, which measures ad spend by media buyers, showed Seven earned a 40.4 per cent share of the ad market in November, while Nine had 38.3 per cent and Ten Network had 21.3 per cent.

The total metropolitan free-to-air ad market has grown by 1.8 per cent to $2.5 billion for the year to date, but was down by 0.1 per cent in November compared with the same month last year.

Nine's revenue grew by 5.8 per cent compared with November last year, while Seven's revenue was down by 7.5 per cent and Ten was up by 3.8 per cent over the same period.

"We've taken a lot of share from Ten over the last 18 months, but in the last six months we've started to take share from Seven," Nine group sales director Peter Wiltshire said. "Seven has the greatest total audience but ours is much more advertiser-friendly and we're getting recognised for that."

Seven finished on top in the ratings for all people for the seventh consecutive year in 2013. But Nine won the three key demographics: those aged 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54.

Nine had secured $75 million of sponsorship for the Ashes prior to the series, which was a 50 per cent surge in revenue compared with the last series played in Australia in 2010-11. Part of that sponsorship revenue has shown up in the November SMI figures.

A change in the scheduling of Seven's hit talent show X Factor also contributed to the network's fall in ad revenue in November, compared with the same month last year. Seven West chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said the network grew its market share and revenue for the year.

"Our audience is the strongest across the board and having a No. 1 position in total audience counts for a lot," he said. "That's why we're able to out-write Nine and Ten significantly every year."

Ten chief sales officer Lou Barrett said the network had outperformed the market in terms of growth in November and for the five months to November 30.

"Network Ten has momentum. We are looking forward to building on that in 2014 and to working hard to deliver great results for our clients," she said.

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