Coro St Still in HD Limbo

It will be interesting to see how Coronation Street rates tonight in its new slot after last night making less than a triumphant comeback in primetime.

The first episode in a month to air at 7.30pm drew only 6% of TV One’s target audience, 25-54 year-olds, compared to 8.5% for the last episode to air in this slot, on September 8.

Coro 'bad girl' Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford)

Chances are tonight’s episode will rate below 6%, given fans aren’t used to catching Coro St on a Friday and Friday nights are among the week’s least-watched.

TVNZ’s Coro St strategy has been astonishingly miscalculated, undermining the TV One institution at a time when it needs shoring up.

Which is why bringing it back on a different night is even harder to fathom — especially one where it’s previously failed to rate.

TV One wants to play more local content earlier in the week.

That makes sense since Tuesday’s a premium advertising night and a local content hour at 7.30pm is bound to be more popular than the Manchester perennial.

But why not bed this in with the start of the new season in February? And, in the meantime, beef up Coro appeal by screening three hour-long episodes a week over summer?

This would help to restore good faith between the network and Coro loyalists, get viewers back into their Coro Tuesday-and-Thursday habit while familiarising them with the new Friday slot, and, most importantly, help to close some of the 19-month gap between NZ and UK TV screenings.

Making the soap more topical and heightening its profile through cast visits and judicious promotion of the juicier storylines would be just three ways to revitalise its popularity.

Another would be to screen the serial in HD. But despite NZ nearly being at the point where Coro went HD in the UK, TVNZ still isn’t committing to the possibility.

“If and when it is delivered to us in HD at no extra cost, then yes, it’s likely it will run in HD,” acquisitions chief Andrew Shaw says.

“If it means extra money, it would come under budget scrutiny and we would have to look at our priorities.”

It’s true that some distributors do charge a hefty premium for HD masters of their shows.

But given the significance of TVNZ’s deal with Coro’s distributor, which supplies most of the broadcaster’s British content, you would think it could negotiate HD terms for a flagship acquisition it doesn’t wish to relinquish yet doesn’t know how to maximise.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply