When many people read TV ratings these days, they question why shows are rating lower than they used to. Many chose to explain the reason as being due to poor programming or due to other factors such as downloads or other viewing options.
Fact is, there are now 15 free to air channels competing for viewers. While the main concentration of viewers still remains with the main channels, when you start looking at how many are also watching digital channels and then how many are watching each network, you can clearly see that the total number of viewers for free to air TV has not dropped off at all – if anything – it is on the rise.
But the fact remains – shows on main channels will no longer enjoy the huge figures of years gone by. Only a select few that stand out will draw the huge numbers – two of which are on Seven at the moment, and we all know about Masterchef coming to Ten later this year.
The ratings figures for last night, Monday February 21, were missing shows from ABC2. Therefore, without numerous pre school shows in the digital channel top 50, it allows us to see how the commercial digital channels are performing in more timeslots than we usually see.
The table below shows figures for each of the commercial main channels and the digital channels other than ONE, with a total figure for the network. In the case of TEN, an extra 20,000 is added to the network total as a rough guestimate of the average number of viewers watching ONE throughout the night.
Also – a guestimate had to be applied to GO! from 7.30 – 9.30 – with the movie Excess Baggage being watched by fewer than 62,000. That has been put in as 60,000, although it could actually have been a lot lower. Last night was one of GO!’s worst nights in a long time – with a share of just 1.9%. The poor performing movie even brought down The Vampire Diaries, which was watched by 93,000. Top show on GO! was the Daily Video Show – 111,000.
Message to GO! – time to get rid of the Monday evening movies – they may have worked during school holidays and when there was nothing else on, but not anymore.
GO’s woes aside, the figures basically speak for themselves about Seven’s domination of the night – with the main channel, the digital channels, and the network as a whole exceeding the performance of Nine in all timeslots from 6pm – 9.30pm.
Table: Free to air commercial channels – ratings by the half hour.
1. Figures are thousands, so 1329 means 1,329,000
2. ONE HD assumed as average of 20,000 for the whole night.
3. GO! From 7.30 – 9.30 assumed as 60,000 average
4. All figures are averages over the duration of a show. Actual half hourly figures would vary, but the averages still serve the purpose of making the point here.
5. Overruns, late finishes, early starts or any variance to show start and end times are not taken into account here. A start time of 9.40 on 7two is still taken as 9.30. Again the variance would be small and not affect the overall point here.
6. Ratings figures are 5 city OzTam preliminary figures.