Telecinco’s fall in audiences does not seem to be close to ending. We will have to see what measures are taken after the departure of Paolo Vasile, but it is clear that for now the channel has something urgent to think about, a real elephant in the room. What to do with ‘Save me’ and with a format incapable of acting as a broomstick with audiences and dragging them towards prime time, as Antena 3 does wonderfully.
The ‘Coffee with a woman’s aroma’ fiasco. Telecinco has tried to save its afternoons and face up to the increasingly powerful ‘Y ahora Sonsoles’, which has successfully replaced ‘Boom’ and has reaffirmed that Atresmedia’s afternoons are overwhelming, with ‘Tierra amarga’ (which already exceeds audiences for ‘Sálvame Naranja’), ‘Pasapalabra’ (against which ‘Sálvame Sandía’ has nothing to do), ‘Y now Sonsoles’, the news program and ‘El hormiguero 3.0’ in access. His last and failed experiment has been to shorten Sálvame to introduce the soap opera ‘Café con aroma de mujer’
But it hasn’t worked. Telecinco began by removing the advertising in the time slot in which ‘Sálvame’ competed with ‘Y ahora Sonsoles’, between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Although the audiences rose, Mediaset bet even more strongly to take two hours from ‘Sálvame’ to broadcast the Colombian telenovela. Only six days later, ‘Sálvame’ recovered an hour, and finally, after two weeks, Mediaset gave in and returned ‘Sálvame’ to its original length. In figures: Telecinco has lost four points of screen share, a 33% audience with an average audience of 6.8%.
There are consequences. The most immediate impact has been suffered by Pedro Piqueras’ newscast, according to Barlovento, which has fallen to 1,099,000 viewers and an 8.3% audience share, a spectacular drop from the 1,446,000 viewers just two weeks earlier: 20% less audience. A big difference with Vicente Vallés’ Antena 3 news program, which has taken advantage of the hit of ‘Café con aroma de mujer’ to grow without brake, almost 700,000 viewers in two weeks and reaching a 21% share of the screen.
Where this error. Telecinco seems to have overlooked a considerable detail, and that shows that it is falling behind in an audiovisual race due to pre-eminence in which not only free-to-air channels participate: ‘Café con aroma de mujer’ has been running since last December among the most watched on Netflix. Of that year, 26 weeks it has been in the Top 10 non-English-speaking series (now it is, again, in position 3, since paradoxically, the broadcast on Telecinco… has benefited Netflix), with figures as notorious as the more than 326 million hours of viewing in its first month alone.
It is absurd to think that Mediaset did not take into account that this could affect the performance of the series. In a type of product that depends one hundred percent on generating a suspense that forces viewers to return day after day, and Netflix destroys that incentive: its 88 episodes have been on the platform for a long time, and its followers can access them under the conditions, times and at the speed that suits them.
Doing less is always too much. Telecinco has screwed up in two ways with this whole matter. On the one hand, it has underestimated a competitor that, for example, in the top this week has a series, ‘The Crown’, which could perfectly broadcast Tele 5 (that is, far from being aimed at a youthful or minority audience). ), and which has accumulated more than 84 million hours viewed in the two weeks that its new season has been on the platform.
On the other, and as we mentioned a few days ago, traditional streaming audiences are beginning to peak, and it is normal for platforms to look for other types of programming to attract older audiences. And that each time, thanks to smart-TVs that are easier to use, they have the platforms within reach of a button. Telecinco (and not only it) would do well not to underestimate the potential of some channels that break down many of the barriers (schedules, availability, advertising) that until now were taken for granted.