The Seven and Nine Networks have confirmed they currently are exploring the concept of sharing News Helicopter resources in all major capital cities of Australia.
The move first revealed in Crikey would see Nine and Seven sharing aerial vision of news events, meaning the two networks would no longer compete for exclusive vision.
Currently Seven and Nine operate their own news helicopters in each city although resources are shared on weekends in smaller states.
This website understands if an agreement is reached between Seven and Nine, the current fleet of Helicopters would be sold off and third-parties would be contracted to supply vision to both networks.
When questioned yesterday, Seven’s Director of News Rob Raschke told this website it was “Too early to say” how the change might effect Seven’s current Helicopter fleet or ability to present exclusive vision for viewers, but both networks were interested in exploring shared opportunities for the future of news.
While day-to-day aerial footage will likely be shared between networks. Seven and Nine would maintain the option of hiring additional Helicopters or Drones for special news events such as Floods and Bushfires.
The news business has certainly changed a lot since the 80’s when Helicopters were routinely used by news staff as Taxi’s, Nowadays budgets are so tight that News Directors have to carefully justify each decision to send a Helicopter into the field.
Commenting on the potential change, Geoff Sparke Director of Broadcast Operations at Nine Network stated “Delivering our audience the best possible News service is our single focus and we believe this move, following on the success of our sharing weekend helicopter operations around the country, will ensure we do that and maximize efficiencies within our business. Sharing resources is a practice internationally, most obviously in the US, and as technology evolves we believe our journalists will be best served with state of the art equipment provided by market leading vendors. This operational model gives our businesses the maximum flexibility in news gathering while ensuring the delivery of the best quality aerial videography.”
David Porter, Director of TV Operations for Seven, added “We are committed to building and expanding our news presence. This joint approach with Nine forms part an ongoing focus on creating greater efficiencies and effectiveness in our operations. We are about delivering news to our audiences and focusing on how we resource our ability to deliver even more news while managing our costs.”