I’ve just spent the last half hour looking over forum posts, articles and comments based around Big Brother’s ratings and I’ve concluded that people are either too quick to make assumptions or are just plain confused as to what Nine actually expects Big Brother to rate. So here’s a little reminder to settle the queries.
Particularly in forums, I notice that Big Brother only really generates ratings discussion when it drops below the million viewer mark. This is when people seemingly come out of nowhere and brand the show a dud. On days that Big Brother manages a decent audience (4-5 days of the six days it airs usually), Big Brother hardly gets a mention.
A lot of people also like to claim small dips in viewing numbers on the previous night as ‘ratings erosion’. Particularly in the first week of the show, the declining numbers caused worry. Even us here at Throng were wondering what was going on. But as any good scientist would tell you- don’t make assumptions based on little data.
All of this is just a part of the usual and harmless armchair analysing that goes on every morning by opinionated ‘average Joe’ forum goers. But this sort of banter also tends to send fans into a state of panic. When Big Brother pulls an audience that doesn’t look like it is up to standard, they tend to wonder whether the show will even have a chance at being renewed.
But really, when it comes to ratings, all a show needs to do is meet the targets promised by the networks to the advertisers. Generally, if a show can do that, it’s doing ok. People seem to forget this when making opinions.
For us Big Brother fans, a few months ago, a full and detailed table labelling all of Nine’s expectations for the show was released. So it should be easy enough to determine whether the show is doing well based on these expectations. So here’s a run down on some of Nine’s expectations.
Nine predicted the Daily Show to rate 1 million viewers, on average.
It expected 528,000 for the 25-54 demographic.
It expected 574,000 for the 18-49 demographic.
It expected 429,000 for the 16-39 demographic.
Nine predicted the Eviction shows to rate 1.15 million viewers, on average.
It expected 608,000 for the 25-54 demographic.
It expected 660,000 for the 18-49 demographic.
It expected 494,000 for the 16-39 demographic.
Nine predicted the finale of Big Brother 2012 to rate 1.30 million viewers.
It expected 687,000 for the 25-54 demographic.
It expected 746,000 for the 18-49 demographic.
It expected 559,000 for the 16-39 demographic.
That’s it- those are the predictions! So, is Big Brother meeting them?
Well, depending on which way you look at it, yes and no. It all depends on how you average viewing figures, how many days of data you look at and whether you ‘overlook’ certain ratings as outliers (I for one don’t find Friday’s ratings too important, and I do believe the low eviction ratings for the eviction-gone-by was a one-off due to low Father’s Day viewing).
In my opinion, it is meeting expectations quite well. There are days it doesn’t quite get there- but it is at least doing enough to top demos, remain in the top 10, give Nine a stable and healthy 7PM offering, generate healthy buzz and there have been rare days it has performed WELL above expectations- which is better than performing well below.