Despite its mounting debt and the difficulties getting it refinanced before 2013, the chief executive of Nine Entertainment Co., David Gyngell, says Nine will be on the way up in 2012 and will have "a red hot go" by making a record investment in programming.
Nine will spruik its 2012 programming in Sydney on Wednesday night to advertisers and media planners. It comes months after its rivals the Seven Network and Ten Network held their launches.
Gyngell told the Australian Financial Review that "despite all the talk about our debt and when we need to refinance it, we are making our largest ever spend on programming. We're also investing in ninemsn. CVC Asia Pacific is committed to this business for the short and medium term."
It is believed Nine will invest around $80 million on the London Olympic Games, which run from late July to mid-August. Another $40 million will be spent on "tent-pole" programmes The Voice and Big Brother. It will also add a weight-loss programme focused on celebrities called Excess Baggage and a new local drama called Tricky Business. Hamish and Andy are also expected to debut a new series and the hit CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls will also premiere.
"Next year is going to be our best year in a decade.
"Next year we will have our best revenue share in five or six years.
"Despite the Olympics, Seven will do well next year because it had a great year in 2011 and it will have more AFL in 2012," he predicted.
Nine performed poorly in the first half of 2011 but gained momentum in the second half of the year, media agency OMD claims.
"Nine had a shocking first half of the year. It has had a stronger second half... [but it] let Seven get very strong momentum," director of television Melissa Hey said.
"We had a bumpy start to the year. We udnerperfroemed in the first half but performed well in the second half," Gyngell said.
"Overall I'd give us a 6.5 out of 10. I'd give Seven a 9 out of 10 and I'd give Ten a 4 or 5. Seven was strong all through the year. Ten struggled but David Mott has reinvented Ten before and James Warburton knows how to sell. I wouldn't count Ten out next year."