"Lipstick" submerges at noon

SF DRS strengthens themed evenings and intensifies audience hunt in pre- and post-primetime

SF DRS strengthens themed evenings and intensifies the hunt for viewers in pre- and post-primetimeBy Daniel SchifferleWith the cancellation of the shows "Time out," "Alavida" and "Lipstick," SF DRS is taking a step further in programming themed evenings. But the real audience hunt is now on for pre- and post-primetime.
It's true that the audience figures for the three shows that were canceled weren't exhilarating. But they weren't so bad that swift action was called for: The last three editions of "Alavida," which was launched at the beginning of the year, achieved market shares (MA) of between 16 and 20 percent, or more than 200,000 viewers. Lipstick" was not one of SF DRS's weakest programs last year either, with an average MA of 15 percent or 133000 viewers. Only "Time out" ran away from the audience in droves in the recent past. Nevertheless, the sports background magazine still reached an average of half a million viewers in 2000, or 29 percent MA per program, thanks in part to "Sydney Spezial.
Audience figures play a secondary role in the recently communicated programming adjustments (see box), says SF-DRS spokesman René Bardet. Rather, work is continuing to make the individual program slots more predictable for viewers in terms of subject matter. That's why there's no more room for "Alavida," for example, because one goal is to convert Wednesday evenings into a pure comedy slot. Conversely, the sports-oriented environment of "Lipstick" - Sundays at 5:55 p.m. - with the corresponding viewing expectations for "Lipstick" content has always been a weak point. For this reason, and because the background magazine "Time Out" is no longer being broadcast, this slot is to be allocated to sports, and the content of "Lipstick" is to be placed in at least equally suitable slots.
Publisuisse sees potential before and after prime time
If the prescribed program streamlining is able to generate more audience loyalty, Publisuisse will profit from it. But more important than prime time, which is practically booked out, will be pre- and postprime time, where the company believes there is still potential (WW 18/01).
That's why SF DRS already launched a programming offensive at the beginning of this year around the "Mittagstagesschau," which has been successful for years. Together with the new half-hour "Mittagsmagazin" and the equally long "Trend," SF DRS wants to develop a "small primetime" between 12:30 and 1:40 pm. The topics of the discontinued "Lipstick" are also to be accommodated there and increase the attractiveness of this broadcasting slot.
It remains to be seen how large the Swiss TV audience will actually be drawn to the TV at lunchtime. Experience in neighboring countries shows that audience expansion at this time tends to be slow. But even without new programming and additional audiences, Publisuisse has already proven in the past year that more can be achieved outside prime time: With additional marketing efforts alone, revenues in pre-primetime grew by more than 14 percent, and in post-primetime the increase was even almost 25 percent.
Program changes At SF DRS

SF DRS is planning various programming changes, which are to be introduced in stages, but completed by January 1, 2002 at the latest:
- "Time out" on Monday at 9:05 p.m. will be canceled.
- "Alavida" on Wednesdays at 10:20 p.m. will disappear at the end of the year. The Wednesday slot after "10 vor 10" is to be converted to a comedy-only slot. In addition to "Viktor's Late Night Program" and the purchased English sitcom "Waiting for God," another comedy format is to be placed in place of "Alavida. The show "ch: filmclub" is to remain in its current Wednesday slot only until a fourth comedy format is found.
- "Lipstick" on Sunday at 5:55 p.m. will be cancelled, with the freed-up time devoted to sports.
- "Puls" will be moved from 9 p.m. on Thursdays to 9 p.m. on Mondays, and will now be broadcast weekly instead of biweekly as before. A new entertainment format on the subject of travel is being developed for the slot that will become free.
- "Hit auf Hit" moves from Monday to Saturday evenings, where it replaces "Top of Switzerland. The Monday slot at 8 p.m. will thus become a quiz-only slot.

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