ABC is still the most-watched channel, most reliable for starting on time and most trustworthy at delivering shows according to readers in the annual TV Tonight Audience Inventory.
More than 1000 surveys were completed over a 3 week period for the 9th annual survey.
But ABC’s lead is also slipping. Two years ago 57% of readers said ABC was the most reliable channel, now it sits at 49%. While 54% voted it most trustworthy 2 years ago, now it is 45%. Nine ranked last on both questions again, but it rose in the question of channels viewed regularly.
Viewers also rallied around ABC and SBS remaining independent of government influence and having funding maintained -the 2 most important issues in Free to Air. Merging public broadcasters remains their lowest priority, as it has over successive years.
A new topic of “Ensuring Children’s TV on all networks” rated Very Important while “ABC improving political balance, which” netted a No Opinion result last year, is now considered Very Important.
There was also sluggish interest on media reform topics such as the Reach Rule and Anti-Siphoning lists. Readers are far more concerned with shows starting on time, having an accurate EPG, and completing the NBN. Shutting down piracy websites also ranked as a low priority.
iview is still our preferred catch-up service, but SBS on Demand enjoyed a notable rise, now more used and more popular than those by commercial networks, according to readers. We prefer to watch catch-up via smart TVs. 2 years ago 38% of us were choosing these first, now at 56%.
Streaming continues its surge. 2 years ago 41% of readers were subscribers, now 55% indicated they are. More details on Streaming and Pay TV questions will be revealed this week.
We are not too impressed with multichannels, labelling the majority of them as “Good” (and none as “Excellent” or “Very Good”). A few fall into the “Not Applicable” category for the majority of viewers, due to their content specificity or availability.
Half of us are using second-screens everyday, preferably on a tablet for purposes of online browsing, while Instagram use is on the rise.
Here are this year’s results, with those that have shifted more than 2% noted below.
* denotes multiple answers allowed
Which of the following do you watch regularly?*
Free to Air Commercial 72%
Free to Air Public Broadcaster 56%
Pay TV 56%
Streaming (subscription) 55%
Community TV 3%
Up: Streaming, Pay TV
Down: Free to Air
Do you have HD TV?*
HD TV 91%
HD Set top box 15%
SD set top box 2%
Which FTA channels do you watch regularly?*
ABC News 29%
SBS VICELAND 29%
SBS Food Network 16%
Southern Cross 7%
ABC ME 5%
Community TV 3%
Up: Nine, SBS.
Down: TEN, Seven, ELEVEN, News 24, ABC2, 7TWO, Southern Cross.
NB: VICELAND numbers remain stable against SBS2 (2016).
Which PVRs do you have?*#
No PVR 24%
Fetch TV 9%
My Star 4%
Do you subscribe to a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
Not sure 3%
Do you buy TV or Movies online such as through Apple TV or iTunes?
Yes occasionally 24%
Yes frequently 5%
Yes but just one title 3%
Yes Movies 3%
Up: Yes occasionally
Which network is the most reliable for starting on time?
Which network is the most Trustworthy at delivering your shows?
Who is best at rescheduling cancelled shows?
Which is your preferred Guide?
Foxtel EPG 29%
On Screen EPG 28%
Online guide 17%
App on smartphone / tablet 10%
Weekly Newspaper Guide 4%
Magazine Guide 3%
Freeview EPG 3%
Daily Newspaper Guide 2%
ICE Guide 2%
Down: Weekly Newspaper Guide
Degree of satisfaction with multichannels* (result denotes majority of responses)
SBS Food Network
Down: ABC2, News 24.
Which is your preferred second-screen device?
PC or Mac 26%
Down: PC or Mac
Which second-screen platforms do you use regularly?*
Online Browsing 71%
Blogs / Forums 18%
Network official site 9%
Other option 6%
Down: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs / Forums.
How often do you use second-screen whilst watching TV?
Every day 51%
A few times a week 21%
A few times a month 7%
Less than once a month 3%
“Event TV” only 2%
About once a month 1%
Which official online Catch-Up TV services do you use?*
SBS On Demand 44%
Foxtel Go 31%
Up: SBS On Demand, Foxtel Go, 9Now
How often do you watch official Catch-Up services?
A few times a week 26%
Rarely or never 24%
Once or twice a month 23%
About once a week 19%
Once a day or more 8%
Down: Once or twice a month
Which devices do you use to watch Catch-Up services?*
PC or Mac 38%
Up: TV, Smartphone
Down: PC or Mac
Please rate your satisfaction with each Catch-Up Service* (result denotes majority of responses)
SBS On Demand
NO OPINION / NOT APPLICABLE:
Up: SBS On Demand
How much TV do you watch “non-Live”?
About 75 percent 38%
About 50 percent 21%
About 100 percent 19%
About 25 percent 19%
What time do you usually start to watch Timeshift?#
6pm or earlier 25%
I just watch broadcast TV 9%
10:30pm or later 5%
Rate any or all of the following FTA issues*(result denotes majority of responses)
ABC, SBS independent of govt influence
ABC, SBS funding maintained
Shows starting / finishing on time
Keeping an EPG up to date
Regional viewers having access to all FTA channels
Completing the installation of the NBN
Making primary channels HD
Legal, affordable content promptly available
Playing sport Live and in HD
ABC maintaining in-house productions
Less Reality TV
Catch-Up TV adding content swiftly after broadcast
Banning gambling ads
Catch Up shows available on all devices
Reducing on screen clutter (watermarks etc)
Less Twitter included during broadcasts
Punishment for breaches of the Code of Practice
Better bandwidth for multichannels
Ensuring Children’s TV on all networks
Maintaining local content in regional Australia
OzTAM ratings coding to reflect EPG titles
Starting programmes “on the half hour”
Making TV ratings = Metro + Regionals
ABC improving political balance
Promos that fairly represent the show
More Aussie content on Digital Channels
Live streaming of channels
Rolling full credits at the end of a show
Merging public broadcasters
Shutting down illegal piracy websites
HbbTV / FreeviewPlus
Trimming Anti-Siphoning List
Dropping Reach Rule for broadcasters
More subtitles for the hearing impaired
Laws against illegal piracy
Up: Better bandwidth for multichannels, ABC improving political balance,
Which is the more offensive on TV?
Sexual content and references 9%
Strong language 8%
Have you ever participated in a Ratings survey?
No never been asked 77%
Yes in the last 5 years 11%
Yes more than 10 years ago 7%
No but I have been asked to participate 3%
Yes in the last 5-10 years 2%
All results have been rounded.
# denotes question variation from 2016 survey making trends unable to be compared
There were 1003 surveys completed.
Tomorrow: Streaming Results.