Newshub Live at 8pm Newsflash

Eden’s Newshub Live at 8pm was due to return this month but now has been postponed — perhaps indefinitely.

Newshub Live at 8pm on Eden is still off-air, and we’ll provide an update in the coming weeks,” a Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson says.

Previously, WBD said the half-hour bulletin would resume late this month and an advance Eden schedule showed it would start on February 27.

WBD has insisted it is committed to the weeknight news telecast, even though its ratings in its first year were underwhelming, often averaging just 0.2% of 25-54 year-olds.

It’s possible the show’s return has been delayed because of the extra Newshub resources that have been siphoned off to Three’s excellent rolling news coverage of Cyclone Gabrielle.

This is what happened with peak Covid coverage, when the networks cut back on their fringe news programming because of bumper daytime reportage of breaking news and live press conferences.

Then again, given the cutbacks that WBD is making internationally because of the Everest-size mountain of debt that the merger of Warner Bros and Discovery has to scale, it may be that Newshub Live at 8pm’s future is no longer assured.

While that seems unlikely, and the axing of a signature local show like Newshub Live at 8pm would cost Eden — and WBD — kudos, Newshub Live nonetheless is a strange fit for a channel as Discovery+ lite-driven as Eden.

Mostly the domain of lifestyle and reality shows, Eden’s largely jettisoned the 8.30 Thursday slot that was hyped as being “the destination for premium international drama” when the channel launched — just as Three, under Discovery’s ownership, has moved away from a general entertainment network to focus more on reality, news, sport and infotainment, relegating first-run weeknight drama to just one hour a week (Monday’s The Rookie) or to low-rating Saturday nights (NCIS and NCIS: LA from this weekend).

Eden could just as happily chug along with cheap-as-chips fodder like Border Security Australia filling Newshub Live’s slot given it costs a fraction of what a news telecast does to mount and is more in keeping with the channel’s bland branding.

A month after Eden went to air, I quizzed media buyers about its ratings.

Said one: “Discovery was quick to announce the first week’s ratings, since then a deathly silence that says it all.

“The reality is Discovery can afford, with all its content, to fill a channel that can be supported via minimal advertising revenue.”

He predicted Eden’s audience wouldn’t grow due to low brand awareness.

“To grow brand awareness takes time and money, which Discovery knows the investment required is too big for little return.

“Viewers are spoilt for choice. With so much choice, people revert to the default channels that they are familiar with — strong brands.”

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7 Responses to “Newshub Live at 8pm Newsflash”

  1. One thing they could do is add it to their news channel on their FAST channels 🤔

  2. I’d speculate that there is so little first run drama because WBD is burning off legacy LOS contracts. There’s probably marginally more value in broadcast rather than taking a writedown and consigning it to the wasteland that is ThreeNow. Three is quickly becoming a shell of its former self but ironically will probably be cash breakeven (but lossmaking on transfer payments to the parent for content).

  3. Would make sense if Rebecca Wright moved to Newshub Late with Ingrid Hipkiss going to RNZ Morning Report.

  4. Good scoop btw, Phil!

  5. Now, there’s a thought …

  6. Does anyone watch this? What a waste of resources when most people watch at 6pm!

  7. Disappointed there are more delays for Newshub Live at 8pm, even more concerning considering the amount of news events which have occurred that this bulletin could of capitalised on. The figures may be small but I thought this was the channel’s highest rating show and it would be crazy to axe it completely. We’ve lost the 4.30 news let’s not let the 8pm news go this way. Cheers for the write-up about this Philip and fingers crossed it actually comes back later next month.

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