I’m going to call it now – Seven will win 2012 ratings year in total people.
The third week of 2012 ratings survey is done and now it is already clear that Seven will win the year. With My Kitchen Rules nudging 2 million viewers on some nights, Revenge settling around the 1.8 million mark in overnight (5 city metro) ratings figures and Packed to the Rafters – while down on its glory days – is still reaching up to 1.5 million, Seven are winning most nights ratings. So far the network has all three weeks of the 2012 ratings survey convincingly. Even Seven’s Sunday night line up is outrating the cricket on Nine, and easily doing better than Ten’s Super Sunday.
Seven’s two digital channels 7TWO and 7mate regularly lead over their commercial opposition. Both channels have clear and distinct programming that does not overlap or eat into the main channel’s audeince – unlike Nine and Ten’s offerings. Even on a night that My Kitchen Rules pulls close to two million viewers, 7TWO and 7mate can both independently reach channel shares of over 5% each.
Obviously, winning the first three weeks is no guarantee that Seven can or will win the year – but if you look at what is coming up on Seven, compared to Nine and Ten, then the outcome is clear. I would even go so far as saying Seven would win 2012 if the weeks that the Olympic Games air were counted towards the year’s end result.
Three weeks from now, My Kitchen Rules will reach its finals week, then it is straight into the AFL season where Seven will air four games a week, including live games on Friday and Saturday nights.
After Easter, Australia’s Got Talent – a ratings power house last year – will return to Seven, as will Dancing with the Stars to its traditional Sunday night timeslot. Last year’s unexpected smash Downton Abbey will play out its second season, while Amazing Race Australia is back most likely in May. Then there is still Packed to the Rafters, Winners & Losers, and imports like the popular Criminal Minds still to come.
Looking further into the year, The X Factor is back, with auditions now well under way. New shows Good Christain Bitches and Once Upon A Time will also come to Seven soon.
Both Nine and Ten, like in 2011, have gotten off to a bad start in 2012. While Ten had some early success with Super Sunday, the night is now easily outrated by Seven. Ten have already made significant programming changes – most notably on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and double episodes of shows llike Homeland seem to randomly pop up unexpectedly.
The Biggest Loser this year seems to be building, but it lags well behind Seven’s Kitchen. After Easter, Masterchef will return for its fourth season, but, given the drop in figures last year, Masterchef is not likley to draw the crowds it used to. New reality series The Living Room, and Being Lara Bingle won’t set the ratings world on fire.
To Ten’s digitals, ELEVEN is doing well, usually amongst the highest rating digital channels, while ONE is yet to find an identity, lagging behind the other commercial digitals on most nights.
Nine have already started the year with a flop in the failed launch of Excess Baggage now airing on GO! to less than 100,000 viewers over its four nights on air. New series Alcatraz isn’t doing anywhere near the figures Revenge on Seven is doing while the One Day Cricket Series is perhaps now suffering from fatigue with audeinces now not reaching a million. Thankfully, finals week is here next week, while the NRL season is now underway.
Earthflight hasn’t done well, CSI is doing OK, 2 Broke Girls has settled around the 800,000 mark while Two and a Half Men and new episodes Top Gear are tanking.
Nine’s only real hit so far is new episodes of The Big Bang Theory, with some of the repeats being pulled up as a result. The show, however still airs up to 15 times a week between Nine and GO!.
Coming up on Nine – looking like after Easter now – will be either The Block or Celebrity Apprentice Australia stripped to 7pm. So far, there is no indication as to which will return first. New series Tricky Business – looking more and more like Nine’s attempt at a Rafter’s style show should premiere after Easter as well while The Voice is in production as well.
Then, of course, there are the 2012 Olympics – but they don’t count to the years’ rating result. After the Olympics comes Big Brother – which will either be a spectacular flop or a surprise success for Nine.
The program guide for GO! these days is less than inspiring – with the channel loaded mostly with sitcom and movie repeats – the once number one digital channel still manages to find an audeince though, but is now not the most watched digital channel on most nights. As for GEM – it needs as much of a make over as Ten’s ONE does.
It appears that Nine and Ten will have alot of work to do if they are going to be able to come close to Seven in 2012. Nine may manage one of the younger demographics, but, comparing the three commercial broacasters in both content currently on air and programming to come later, Seven are already clearly in front, and will stay that way in 2012.
[Any ratings figures quoted are OzTam 5 city metro figures.]