Industry

Talking MXTV with Brendan Bell

We talk Brendan Bell about his show MXTV and where it is headed
Author: Garry Morrow

Author: Garry Morrow

Posted:

MXTV has been one of the big success stories in the Australian motorcycle media with the show growing year by year. The show has gone from a nervous small budget 30 minute show to a confident quality production in a few short years and has now made it to the Network level. We sat down with the shows host Brendan Bell to see how things are going and where the show is heading into the future. Insider: First off, why is MXTV on so many different channels all over Australia?

Brendan: That’s a good point. I think the reason is that NBN 9 is it's own station, which means that is an independent station basically separated from the Channel 9 Network we are all more familiar with, although it takes on all the channel 9 content from around the country. It basically covers from the Gold Coast down to Newcastle.

Foxtel is just another outlet that carries us and with Channel 31 - well that's a bit political with 31 - In Sydney and Melbourne they won't take us on because we are on 9. There company policy is that as show has to be with them exclusively or they won't take it. Where as Brisbane don't care, they like the show and want it regardless.

Insider: That is a bit stupid when 31 doesn't have a very big audience isn't it?

Brendan: It's also even more stupid when they don't have shows of that great a quality and we are giving them a good quality show with a big fan base. More importantly you think that they would be trying to leverage of some good sponsors, Like Honda, Suzuki, Fox and now Iveco that we bring to the table instead of their advertisers now like Joe's Pizza joint from down the road.

Insider: So the wash-up is that there is no Channel 31 this year?

Brendan: Only in Brisbane. But Brisbane works very well for us because the reception is so crystal clear right across the Brisbane Metro area. With Melbourne it is still a very weak signal and as snowy as hell.

Insider: So Victorian can only get it through Foxtel

Brendan: That's right. They can also stream it from the website as well. It's all timed well on the website so that people who don't get to see it live can still enter the competitions etc. It's up there Thursday mornings.

Insider: How many episodes will you run this season.

Brendan: 13. That is a TV season.

Insider: Is there any new faces or format changes this year.

Brendan: It's pretty much all the same crew again. Lee Hogan is back as my co-host. Factory Matt will be back again looking at all the new products et and making things a bit more light hearted as usual. We will have someone like yourself on from time to time and really be looking at getting more industry people on for the panel type situation.

Insider: What is your viewership like?

Brendan: Last year we won 9 out of the 13 time slots on NBN. We rated roughly around 40 to 50,000 on the same channel.

Insider: That’s sounds pretty good.

Brendan: Well bear in mind it's a very large area and it is pretty good considering we are on a Saturday and dirtbike riding is a weekend pastime, so yes we think it's pretty good. Our Foxtel rating are also pretty good. It's a bit harder to gauge as we are on 4 times a week. Also a lot of people see the show on the website plus we also go into New Zealand.

Insider: Do you find like we do that it still hard to make money even with good figures.

Brendan: For sure. It's funny but if they get 5,000 to a supercross Sponsors are falling over themselves to sponsor an event but medium like ours, and I guess yours, have up to ten times that but we don't see the same response. If you looked at it as real world we are running a supercross where we would pack out Telstra stadium. If that was an actual event and a promoter they would be throwing money their way.

Insider: They would be for sure.

Brendan: I guess that's where it's hard because it's a bit of a physical thing. If you packed out Telstra stadium you can actually see that many people physically. But for us it's hard to get across that feel I suppose because you are dealing with number and not physical people sitting in front of you.

Insider: I find ratings a bit of a black art with TV, I have never been able to figure it out. How exactly do they work.

Brendan: Well it's not what you would imaging mate. There is actually no number that we get. They just tell us you won your times slot and you had this percentage of the audience. You can buy ratings numbers but you are looking at 50K a pop. Like you say though they are a bit of a black art. Do you know anyone that has actually had a ratings box.

Insider: Not in my life, I have never seen a ratings box or even heard of anyone I know who has one.

Brendan: There you go.

Insider: Where do you see TV into the future?

Brendan: I think it will be destination TV.

Insider: Please explain?

Brendan: It will all be digital TV where it will all be destination. So it will be like there will be dedicated channels out there everywhere. We are starting to see it now with Fuel TV on Foxtel where it is really a dedicated action sports channel. Into the future this will just grow and segment I think. From there I think it will then branch out to websites. As we get faster connection speeds and the quality picks up it will all turn into web based TV. Then you will sit there and say I want to watch Mud Wrestling, you will search for it and someone will be running a show on it.

Insider: Well it all sounds like exciting times.

Brendan: It certainly is, It's all a matter of looking ahead and having some vision.

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