So waht happens to digital channel ratings when all the main channels are loaded up with their prime new content? And what happens to new content on digitals as a result?
Answer – the main channels take the majority of the viewers while the digitals suffer lowered ratings due to the smaller audience left over. And for new content on digitals airing at the same time, it simply means they rank poorly than they otherwise should.
Which promts the question – why put SO MUCH new content on one night? Sure the digitals have to compete for ratings points as well – but pitching new shows on digital channels – that are not repwated or even available in catch up services surely is a ratings kiss of death for these shows.
In the days leading up to Monday night, and even subsequent, I have seen comments form many viewers suggesting how difficlut the night was to decide what to watch. Even those with a twin channel PVR found themselves arranging their viewing for the night based on what would be encorred or availble on internet catch up services.
With over 2 million watching Revenge on Seven, and over a million on Nine at the same time, not to mention MKR hammering the 7.30-8.30 timeslot, and Big Bangs doing the same for Nine at the same time, the commercial digitals on Monday night took an absolute hammering. Shares were all pushed down below 3% each other than 7TWO which itself was lower than it has been at 3.5% and the digital channel top 20 only featured four prime time programs with the rest being ABC4 Kids shows – as their figures of course are not affected by the prime time shift of audience.
The digital channel ratings were topped by a repeat of Heartbeat on 7TWO with 329,000 tuning in, followed by Neighbours at 299,000 – so far this year, it has struggeld to get much more than 300,000. Spicks and Specks on ABC2 (which airs at 7pm, right after ABC4 Kids says goodnight) was watched by 184,000.
Comedy nights on Monday continue to pay off for ONE with Straussman Live: Get Chucked reaching 175,000. Doctor Who on ABC2 was just outside the top 20 with 160,000 viewers, while Friends on GEM reached 158,000. GEM’s last minute airing of The Body Guard starring Whitney Houston averaged 146,500.
Brand new Supernatural on ELEVEN was watched by just 146,000 while the last ever episode of Smallville on the same channel had less than 69,000 tuning in.
7mate’s Hardcore Pawn, Operation Repo and Lockdown were trounced – some nights these shows manage over 200,000 or more – Monday night between 105,000 and 111,000 for these shows.
Even a stray Big Bang episode on GO! was on watched by 109,000. Excess Baggage earlier in the evening was watched by just 118,000 for its first night on GO!. SBS TWO made it into the top 100 digital shows for the night with The Moon watched by 91,000.
Shares for the night saw 7TWO lead the digitals on 3.5%, then ELEVEN and GO! levelled on 2.8%, a three way tie on 2.7% for ONE, GEM and SBS ONE while 7mate’s share was 2.5%. ABC2 2.2%, SBS TWO 1.2%, ABC3 & News 24 0.6%.
For those of us who enjoy new content over repeats, is it really fair to cram so much into the one night over so mnay channels? I know I have said this before, but maybe time the free to air digital channels look at Foxtel for some programming guidance and consider replaying prime time shows at other times.
Replays of new content late night or during the day would make a refreshing change to the drival some of these channels offer outside of prime time. They really need to remember, that people watch TV outside of prime time too, and that people these days prefer options when chosing what to watch.
It is wrong to have a night saturated with too much to watch, resulting in shows that would otherwise be watched not be watched, while other nights and times have virtually nothing over 15 channels to watch.