More eyeballs on Pay TV

Last week subscription TV industry hit 5.5m viewers in Australia, more than any other week in its history.

The top rating show in Week 31 was the AFL Western Bulldogs v Carlton match at 179,000. As ever, sport rules on subscription TV with AFL, NRL and Rugby Union taking a clean sweep on the top ten shows.

The top non-sports show was According to Jim with 65,000 viewers. Crime Investigation Australia’s “Janine Balding” case was the top locally produced non-sports show with an average of 47,000 viewers. Project Runway Australia averaged 32,000. Football Superstar averaged 25,000.

Meanwhile, PricewaterhouseCoopers has predicted free-to-air’s share of advertising revenue is forecast at 3.8 per cent growth, compared with 12.1 per cent for pay TV and 13.9 per cent for the internet.

Press Release:
More Australians watched subscription television last week than any other week in the industry’s history, with STV channels reaching a record 5.5 million viewers.

The OzTAM results for last week (July 27 – August 3) showed subscription television’s average weekly reach was 5.539 million viewers in STV homes. This is an increase of nine per cent on the same week last year, with STV up six per cent year-to-date.

Since the introduction of new digital services in 2004, which greatly expanded the choice of channels and services available to subscribers, STV has increased its weekly average reach in STV homes by more than 38% (from 3.8 million to 5.3 million 2008-to-date).

Apart from the first week of 2008, STV has consistently recorded an average weekly reach above 5 million viewers this year.

FOXTEL Executive Director of Television and Marketing Brian Walsh said: “These figures are a clear indication that Australian television viewers are embracing the choice of subscription television’s huge range of programming, channels and services. We’ve hit a record of 5.5 million viewers and that, by any measure, is a significant milestone for our business.”

Last week’s top STV performers included:

* Live: NRL Cowboys v Roosters and Live & Active: NRL Sharks v Dragons on FOX Sports 2.
* Live: Rugby Union: Bledisloe Cup on FOX Sports 3.
* Live: Netball: ANZ Championship on FOX Sports 3.
* Project Runway Australia (Episode Four), which achieved the series’ highest ratings so far and lured the biggest audience ever for the Arena channel.
* the perennially popular animated series on FOX8, Family Guy, The Simpsons and Futurama.
* The Bourne Ultimatum on Showtime.
* Hannah Montana on Disney Channel.
* the latest episode in the FOXTEL produced Crime Investigation Australia series, CIA: Thrill Kill: The Janine Balding Murder on Crime & Investigation Network.

*Source: OzTAM National STV data. Weeks 1-52, 2004-2007 and Weeks 1- 31, 2008. Sun-Sat 0200 – 0200.

Average weekly reach calculated on the number of people watching STV for one minute or more.

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