Kids switch off ABC

Children under 15 are said to be drifting away from ABC programmes to Pay TV.

The ABC is losing younger viewers, says the Sydney Morning Herald, to Pay TV.

During the past four years, while the population of the mainland capitals has risen by half a million people, the average prime-time audience for free-to-air television has dropped by 220,000.

The ABC suffered its biggest loss with a group that used to be its strongest supporters – children under the age of 15. That part of the ABC’s audience across the whole day has declined by 25 per cent. The children seem to be saying bye-bye to Bananas In Pyjamas, Bindi The Jungle Girl and Bluewater High (pictured) and shifting over to Pay Television for The Simpsons, Family Guy and Futurama.

Meanwhile the average prime-time audience for SBS has risen 17 per cent since 2004. Most of the growth is with viewers aged 16-39 (up 41 per cent) who flocked to Top Gear, Top Gear Australia and Mythbusters.

Pay TV is up 71 per cent with those under 15, and 89 per cent with people over 40. The top single events on pay – a Bledisloe Cup rugby union match and the Australia v Qatar soccer match – got 350,000 and 345,000 viewers, while the top series – Australia’s Next Top Model and Project Runway Australia – averaged 320,000 and 241,000.

ABC is currently screening its first run series Escape from Scorpion Island, a co-production with the BBC.

Source: smh.com.au

15 Responses

  1. I went off the ABC Kids offerings for a long time after they got rid of Heartbreak High,Degrassi and the Secret World of Alex Mack.The Wild Thornburrys aside there was nothing of interest anymore.I was a Price is Right Viewer till they axed that then a Millionaire Hot Seat on the days I have off work only just have gone back to the ABC for Dead Gorgeous as I can’t stand Deal or No Deal.

  2. I look at the rubbish they show now on ABC Kids compared to the Eighties and Nineties.
    Not all of us have a Pay TV service with the option of Disney or Nickelodeon which for the most part offer good hearted kids shows.

  3. the secret life of the american teenager is an awesome show but I resort to watching it online. I just wish it would come onto tv here. I would watch it all again even if I have already seen it.

  4. Ah Zen Man, that takes me back. Remember the good old days of waking up and watching Agro’s Cartoon Connection on Channel Seven and then racing from school to watch Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, Widget, Captain Planet, Mr Bumpy, Bumpety Boo etc on the ABC through to 6 pm. Then because you were to young to watch the news and your parents wouldn’t let you watch The Simpsons that you ended up watching Gardening Australia!

  5. ABC should buy some of the ABC Family shows. Kyle XY, Greek and Secret Life of the American Teenager would fit perfectly into Rollercoaster. Plus they have a few other shows that would be good too. They are 45 minute shows though which doesn’t fit with their 25 minute shows they usually have on. But still they are good decent programs that are of a good quality.

  6. The childrens programming on ABC1 is of very poor standard compared to 10-15 years ago. The programs back then were enlightening, imaginative and stimulating for children like Gumby, Captain Planet, Round The Twist and Mr Squiggle. There’s nothing imaginative or educational about Blue Water High. I feel sorry for the children now which don’t have good programming like we did when we were kids.

  7. Not surprising at all, the quality and treatment of kids programming on the ABC gets worse every year:
    * Way too many repeats of recent kids series (ABC2 is about 95% repeats)
    * Too many Australian series, that are poor quality and have already been shown by other (free to air) TV networks
    * Inconsistent TV programming, specifically adding a few new episodes after repeats (ie My Goldfish is Evil) and switching timeslots (ie Storm Hawks)
    * Dropping the 6:00 PM to 7: 00 PM timeslot of RollerCoaster on the ABC2 earlier this year, which offered better content for older kids
    * Limiting content (ie 6Teen on ABC2, SilverWing on iView), when timeslots are available.

    A perfect example:
    One of the best recent animated kids series would be Avatar – The Last Airbender, which has good characters, excellent story and pushes the boundaries of childrens programming. But the ABC only shows 13 episodes (when each book is 20 episodes) each season, and didn’t even bother to shows new episodes this year (after repeating the last season again).

    Meanwhile the ABC wastes money on the recent reality TV series called Escape from Scorpion Island, Escape from Scorpion Island gets shown every day, and gets a dedicated web site, offering every single episode online!

  8. My 11 yr old no longer watches rollercoaster in the afternoons. He just doesn’t like any of the shows they run anymore. I have to say I don’t blame him. When I compare what was running on the ABC when I was a kid to the quality of shows that are today… it makes me a little sad. He’d rather watch Deal or No Deal most days, and I think that really says something.

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