It’s no secret that the shows are rivals. They’re in the same time slot, with very similar layouts, and both programs even underwent highly anticipated desk make-overs this year.
But a source has revealed to The Courier Mail that the breakfast TV battle extends far beyond some healthy competition, and both programs have been resorting to some pretty sneaky tactics in order to get the upper hand.
“It’s always been dog-eat-dog. But it is getting worse,” the insider said.
Apparently the show have been poaching big name guests, in an effort to subvert the ratings potential for the other network. “Some talent does stick with the original show that booked them due to ethics,” the source told The Courier Mail. “Others respond to money.”
The bidding war for celebrity talent is tough. It has been alleged that last week Nine producers drove to the residence of a guest who was set to appear on Channel Seven, and told them to bin off their Sunrise booking in order to appear exclusively on Today.
What’s even more intense, is that Today have been accused by the insider of going “so far as to approach talent already locked in to Sunrise and pretend to be Sunrise and change the location and time of the interview.”
The insider revealed another common tactic is time-wasting. If both networks have the same guest booked, one might delay their segment or keep the guest waiting in the green room, making them late for their interview on the competitor’s show. Or miss it altogether.
There is also a case of the copy-cats going around. On Sunday night, Sunrise announced they were taking their show on the road. On Monday morning, Today announced a similar program, saying they would be broadcasting from a different state every day. Both programs had representatives broadcasting from Sydney’s northern beaches yesterday. Coincidence? I think… probably not.
Sunrise’s interview with UN Humanitarian ambassador Kristin Davis, has now become infamous, and host Samantha Armytage was subject to a tirade of social media and journalistic criticism.
You can watch Sam discuss the incident on No Filter with Mia Freedman here (post conitnues after video):
While viewers and media alike were caught up in Sam’s Carrie wig, Today host Lisa Wilkinson sent a cheeky tweet inviting the actress onto their show.
“Congratulations @KristinDavis on your wonderful work with@UNrefugees,” Wilkinson wrote. “Next time ur in Oz, love to have u on@TheTodayShow to talk about it.”
According to The Daily Mail, both programs pulled in 317,000 viewers last week. A dead heat.
Look, if the cash cow goes missing or someone puts pepper in Karl’s coffee it might be time to call a truce.
Listen to Samantha Armytage on No Filter with Mia Freedman: