The ABC is hailing 2008 as its best ever result, improving 2% on its 2007 performance.
With 7 of its top 10 shows being local productions, ABC is also buoyed by several brands hitting all time highs including The Cook and the Chef, Media Watch, The Collectors and At the Movies.
ABC also notes a big boost in ABC News and in its 6:30 weeknight timeslot.
The broadcaster also notes the popularity of its iView platform and the success of the relaunched ABC2 channel, with its live Keating! The Musical its biggest drawcard.
2008 has proved the most successful ratings year ever for ABC TV, with ABC1 achieving a prime time free-to-air (FTA) share of 17% – a 2% growth on 2007 (weeks 7-48).
This is ABC1’s highest share and overtakes the previous record set in 2004 of 16.9%.
Kim Dalton, Director of ABC TV said “This is a very exciting moment for us in what has been a very tough but successful year. I am delighted that it is our best year and that our audience has clearly demonstrated their love of Australian programming, with 7 of the top 10 programs on ABC1 being locally made.
“Earlier this year we re-launched ABC2, introduced iView, and consolidated our efforts on-line. 2008 has been about offering our audiences more opportunities to view our content, and they have responded enthusiastically.
“This year, ABC TV has experienced its’ greatest share ever. I think that demonstrates the importance of the public broadcaster, its Australian content, and the way we connect with all Australians,” he said.
FTA Share State by State, ABC1
• Sydney – 17.7% (highest share; previous high was 17.5% in 2007)
• Brisbane – 16.8% (highest share; previous high was 16.5% in 2007)
• Melbourne – 16.8% (second highest share; highest was 17% in 2004)
• Adelaide – 16.2% (second highest share; highest was 16.9% in 2004)
• Perth – 17.1% (equal second with 2005; highest was 18.7% in 2004)
Top ABC1 Programs – 5 Cities
7 of the top 10 programs in 2008 were Australian – ENOUGH ROPE with Andrew Denton (Wayne Carey), The Gruen Transfer, Spicks and Specks, ABC News (Mon-Fri), Australian Story, ABC News (Sun), Australia: Land of Parrots.
Top ABC1 Programs in Each Capital City
• Sydney – The Gruen Transfer
• Melbourne – ENOUGH ROPE with Andrew Denton (Wayne Carey)
• Brisbane – Doc Martin
• Adelaide – Doc Martin
• Perth – ABC News (Mon-Fri)
Monday – Friday 6.30pm Timeslot, ABC1
One of the best growth areas has been the Monday to Friday 6.30pm slot – with an average growth in audience of 52% in this timeslot since 2005.
The Cook and the Chef had the biggest growth with an 81% increase in audience since 2005.
ABC1 Programs Achieving Highest Audience Ever in 2008:
• The Cook and the Chef (Wed 6.30pm) – 792,000 on 18th June
• Media Watch (Mon 9.20pm) – 1.02 million on 31st March
• Gardening Australia (Sat 6.30pm) – 932,000 on 26th July
• Collectors (Fri 8pm) – 923,000 on 27th June
• Can We Help (Fri 6.30pm) – 601,000 on 18th July
• At The Movies (Wed 10pm) – 705,000 on 9th July
News & Current Affairs, ABC1
• ABC 7pm News (Mon-Fri) has increased its audience since last year and is averaging 1.1 million, with a peak audience of 1.35 million on 7th January.
• Four Corners peak audience in 2008 was 1.2 million on Feb 18 with the episode Howard’s End – this is the highest audience the program has achieved since Sep 17, 2001 (1.24 million). Series average is 847,000, up on last year (817,000).
• 7.30 Report peak audience in 2008 was 1.1 million on June 18. 2008 series average of 885,000 is up compared to last year (2007 series average: 847,000).
• Among children aged 0-4 and children 5-12 ABC1 achieved the highest audience of all FTA networks and Pay TV channels in the Monday to Friday childrens’ TV slots.
• The top 20 ranked children’s programs among the 0-4’s and 5-12’s are broadcast on ABC1.
ABC2 (1st June – 29th November, 2008)
Kim Dalton, Director of ABC TV said “It has been extremely heartening to see the audience’s positive response to ABC2‘s range of alternative content.
Genres such as children’s, documentaries, events and news are all contributing to the channels early success in driving digital take-up.”
• ABC2 was listed in the OzTAM metro TV ratings database from 1st June 2008.
• ABC2’s prime-time FTA people share is averaging 0.6%. When ABC2’s share is combined with ABC1’s share, the Total Network ABC share is averaging 17.6%.
• ABC2’s weekly reach has increased in the period from 1st June to 29th November with a peak of 1.5 million in week 37 (7th-13th September). This was due to the Paralympics.
• ABC News Breakfast has reached 226,000 viewers on ABC2 since it began on Monday 3rd November. (Reach based on five minutes of consecutive viewing) (Source: OzTAM data)
• The Paralympics Opening Ceremony, broadcast simultaneously on ABC1, ABC2 and ABC HD, reached a combined audience of 1.2 million viewers. The Paralympics Closing Ceremony reached 933,000 viewers.
• The most popular evening on ABC2 is Wednesday when the channel showcases documentaries and special events such as ABC2 Live Presents Keating!, where 73,000 viewers tuned in nationally to watch this acclaimed Company B stage production. It also achieved more viewers than any STV channel for the time-slot. Time-shifted ABC1 programs on Thursday evenings are also popular, with The Gruen Transfer and Spicks and Specks among the most viewed programs.
In its Mon-Fri 10am-4.30pm Childrens’ slot, ABC2 achieves higher audiences among children 0 -12 than all dedicated Subscription TV childrens’ channels. (Source: OzTAM Data)
Since iView’s launch on Wednesday 23rd July:
• ABC iView has recorded a total of 2.3 million page views. The most popular iView channel is Catch Up. (This data is up to midnight on Sunday 30th November 2008) (Source: WebTrends OnDemand)
ABC TV ONLINE
• The 2008 year to date average monthly reach (Jan-October) for ABC TV online is 713,000; up 8% from the July to December 2007 average monthly reach of 662,000. (Source: Nielsen Online: NetView & ABC Channel Report, Home & Work panel, excluding Internet applications, Australians 2+).
VODCASTS (1 January – 16 November 2008)
• The total number of vodcast downloads this year to date is 14 million.
• Most downloaded vodcasts in 2008 to date include At The Movies, triple j tv (including jtv), Catalyst, ENOUGH ROPE segments, Bed of Roses, Not Quite Art, The Cook And The Chef, Gardening Australia, Lateline Business segments, Lateline segments. (Source: WebTrends, Akamai Mpeg Stats)