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.