The Big Bang on GO! Theories

big-bang-theoryYesterday Nine declared GO! was “the most successful multi-channel ever to launch, breaking records in all markets.”

And Guinness Records are no doubt halting the presses as we speak.

Its Total People audience was 2.8% for 6pm – midnight. In its target demographic of 16-39 GO! secured a 5.6% share (5 City Metro, 6pm to midnight) on Sunday night. That was, it boasted, “a staggering 460% greater than ONE HD on debut.”

Of course that’s an equally staggering  analogy given GO! has been on air for two weeks.

But there are no figures for GO’s first night on August 9th due to breakout figures not arriving until this week.

Other demos were 18-49: 4.4% and 25-54: 3.9%.

Nevertheless it was a good result.

By comparison Sunday’s primetime share for ONE was 1.9%, ABC2 was 1.1% and SBS TWO 0.4%.

The Big Bang Theory was its biggest show, with an average 230,000 viewers which Nine claimed is ‘the highest rating program in the survey year-to-date across the subscription TV and multi-channel platform, excluding sports events.’

Nine says Australia’s Next Top Model Live Finale averaged 185,000 earlier this year. Earlier this year Foxtel said that had 342,000 viewers but it’s also across two screenings and probably with regional viewers.

That 230,000 could yet go higher, given it was against tough competition from Sunday offerings. GO! is expected to enjoy its biggest audience with fan-favourite Survivor on Tuesday night.

In a recent TV Tonight poll, readers were divided on how big GO’s biggest titles would be, with less than 20,000 viewers the most popular choice followed by 101,000 – 150,000 and 50,000 – 100,000.

But the Pay TV sector hit back at the lure of GO! claiming that 98% of the audience was siphoned off from other Free to Air shows. Just 2% of subscription viewers made up GO!’s Sunday night audience. Indeed, Sunday was an unusual evening with SBS Ashes, a high performance by ABC1 and, the soft result for shows such as Rescue: Special Ops and Rove.

Of course, until GO! is actually available on Pay TV platforms its another unfair analogy. It take some determination to exit one platform for another.

Nine Network CEO, David Gyngell, said: “This is a terrific result for GO! and for free-to-air television. Viewers have embraced the channel and what it has to offer, and to be recording this sort of outcome within a couple of weeks of our soft launch is very good news for Australian television and the PBL Media Group.

“This multi-channel gives our viewers access, free of charge, to a second channel that offers a great range of entertainment. I’m gratified that GO! has delivered such strong ratings already.”

Ultimately everyone was right with their figures, it just depends how you look at it. So far it’s clear GO! has begun to carve out a following.

Today we’ll get our first glimpse of how its weekday shows are performing, including whether it boosted a certain game show.


  1. @Verity M: Yeh good point actually, and I think for the future sustainability of the channel, hopefully 9 will consider a couple of aussie made show- they could always throw repeats of current shows such as Rescue:SO, underbelly etc.

  2. GO! need to get the rights to televise Chuck on fta. I;m sure it would be a big hit amongst it target audience. Too bad the gave up the rights to show Entourage.

    Plus they need to reduce the number of times they show a show per day.
    Btw I wonder if F1 is the highest rating program on ONE.

  3. Spot on Slam: ONE always had the up-hill battle of educating people about digital and encouraging them to take it up. It’s very easy to launch a new channel 6 months down the track once the hard yards had already been done and herald it a success.

    Still, good ratings.

    David, it would be interesting to see what stations people subscribe to the most. I’m probably TEN, ABC2, ABC, Seven, ONE, GO!, SBS, Nine

  4. I agree with the masses, Nine could be on to a real winner here for a change.

    But unless they begin making new aussie shows & this hype could fade really quickly.

  5. not a complete surprise as i have found my self watching go! almost daily, and a lot of people i know have said the same. the thing is onehd targets a specific audience, while go! appeals to a more wider audience. down the track when the analogue signal is switched off i could see go! competing with the fta neworks and maybe even winging some time slot as if it where a 4th fta network rather than just a multi-channel.

  6. @Paull I see your point Paul, but I would argue that Fox8 only really took off when it began commissioning Aussie content. It’s not surprise that Australia’s Next Top Model is the number one show on Fox8 and Project Runway Australia is number one of Arena. I’m not saying it has to be all Aussie content but a I think GO need a few aussie shows all they’ll sink really quickly.

  7. @Verity M: You have a point about the lack of Aussie shows however, how different is that to Foxtel? It’s made up of a majority of American shows and yet it still maintains viewership. That said, I wouldn’t mind some aussie content (we do have Kiwi content in the form of ‘Neighbours at War’, but that’s probably counting towards the aussie content as it does on main channels.)

    @Craig: Rescue Special ops seems to be aimed at an older market/ a different type of people, because it differs a lot from BBTheory and other GO! shows.

  8. I agree with Ben and Verity. It’s all very well that Nine are trumpeting these figures – But it won’t get any real traction until we see some original aussie programming.

  9. ‘the highest rating program in the survey year-to-date across the subscription TV and multi-channel platform, excluding sports events.’

    i guess GO! will always be higher than ONE if we don’t include sporting events…

  10. What happens after they burn off ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (which won’t take long at four episodes a week)? Will it become GO’s version of Nine’s ‘2.5 Men’, repeated on a seemingly endless loop?

  11. That’s pretty awesome, I had a feeling GO! would go well. I mean, it’s the most channel 9 I’ve watched in my entire life, because there are so many shows that interest me on the channel.

    Let’s hope seven responds by launching their MC soon.

  12. I was pretty certain that Go! would be a success but these ratings have been even better than I expected! To get a 5.6% share of it’s target 16-39 audience after just 2 weeks on the air is nothing short of amazing. Remembering that only about 50% of homes have digital TV and thus only being avail in 50% of homes that share of 5.6% in just incredible. If Go! Were avail in 100% of homes (as it will be in 2013) you’re looking at a 11% or more share in 16-39. That is with almost zero marketing and promotion, and a TV brand that is 2 weeks old compared to Ten, Nine and Seven which have decades of recognition behind them.
    PBL will be thrilled at these numbers, and they will only grow. Ten will be scared as they start to lose 16-39ers to Go! and wishing they had not gone with One and sport. Seven will be determined to out-do Nine and Go! With their new digital network, and at the same time a little nervous that Go! Has a leg up.
    And Fox8 will be steaming and jealous that in 2 weeks Go! Has manage to out perform their cable network that they have spent over a decade building.

  13. Certainly good result, but it’s a little depressing that our new youth based channel only has shows from overseas. It’d be nice to see some new Australian content for our youth. David do you know if GO is planning to make any new Aussie shows?

  14. I think the analogy with ONE HD is a bit unfair given that it launched almost 6 months previous to GO! and actually gave people a reason to go out and buy a set top box.

    The penetration of digital TV was far lower at that point and, along with ABC2, ONE HD laid the groundwork for second channels in Australia.

    I’m sure Seven will be pulling the same line whenever it decides to launch it’s own channel. (I’m thinking a soft launch in summer to bed down any issues and promote it in time for a big push come start of ratings early next year).

  15. Personally while I think GO is really promising, for the channel to be taken seriously and grow beyond these sort of numbers it’s going to need some original aussie shows asap. Not just repeats of US sitcoms. People will grow tied of that fast…

  16. Well done GO!. And well done Nine for twisting the figures to their favour (could we expect anything less?).

    So when is it available of Foxtel?

    And I wonder how much it’s costing TEN to do ONE vs Nine to do Go!…

  17. Gyngell doesn’t get it (or the advertisers don’t) the viewers aren’t interested in how many others were watching, they just want to watch whatever is their favourite, sport, drama, light ent etc. Geez, all ONE baseball fans must be at deaths door since Big Bang rated so well…maybe not

  18. I said it before but of course GO! was going to have wider appeal than ONE HD, so starters it’s on SD (yes I know ONE is also on SD) but it’s not got the coverage of GO! even now SC10 has joined the game, but we don’t have ONE SD on SC10.

    Plus sports is more targeted, I watch F1 and some of the other motorsports on ONE but that’s about it. On GO! I’ve see most of the dramas and comedies so there is more for me to watch is I want to.

    It will be interesting to see how much of the GO! numbers cannabises Nines own viewers, just look at the hit Rescue SO took Sunday. Also is there much cross promotion between GO! and Nine? I don’t watch nine much so is this happening. I did notice during the F1 on ONE there were a few TEN ads for different shows.

  19. GO! is on Austar’s MyStar but the EPG for it, plus NBN, Prime and SCTen is completely stuffed, to put it bluntly.

    We’re used to Prime Newcastle having Ten Perth’s EPG, which Austar doesn’t believe when you tell them, but since adding GO!, the EPG has gone complete barmy.

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