In the third and final look at results of TV Tonight‘s Audience Inventory, we look at channel popularity, TV Guides and digital TV.
When it came to TV Guides, an Online Guide was the winner, as preferred option for 26% of readers.
21% tied both Foxtel EPG and Weekly Newspaper Guides, and 17% liked their On Screen EPG.
Whilst the popularity of an Online Guide amongst internet readers is not surprising, what was stark was the slim preference for a Magazine or Daily Newspaper Guide -just 4% each.
The appeal of a Weekly Newspaper Guide remains strong despite the fact a Daily Newspaper Guide is by its very nature, more up to date.
“Weekly newspaper guide is unreliable (not the fault of the newspaper!), EPG is pretty hit and miss,” said one reader.
“The other problem is movies listed in the published newspaper guides get at the last minute which is really frustrating. I’m not sure how you’re going to solve those problems,” said another.
Another said, “It really irritates me that I get a TV guide for the week ahead and it is completely useless- it is rarely accurate for the next day’s programs, let alone the next week’s.”
TEN was the most watched channel amongst readers at 13%, over ABC1 (12%), Seven (11%), ABC2 (9%), SBS ONE, Nine and GO (all 8%). Other channels were minimal and regional channels were all between 1 – 2%.
PAY TV CHANNELS
41% *of respondents said they had Pay TV. Of those, 79% were Foxtel subscribers, 13% were Austar subscribers, 3% Optus TV and amongst the 5% who chose Other, Select was the only supplier named (*a few chose to use Other simply to indicate ‘No Pay TV’).
A number of readers wanted more choice over providers.
“All pay television stations should be allowed to transmit around Australia. To separate cities from the bush is not the best way to go. We need more competition, not less,” said one reader.
FOX8 was the most popular Pay TV channel (11%) over Arena (7%), Comedy, TV1, Lifestyle and FOX Sports 1 (all 6%).
Said one reader, “In reality, I hardly now watch FTA because Foxtel has everything I need – sport, comedy, news – I’m pretty simplistic!”
“Watch mainly Showcase (excellent programs, widescreen, no ads, no watermarks – Heaven!)” said one fan.
But one reader asked, “Why are there ads on a service we pay for? I can’t figure this out, it is very annoying.”
Another simply said, “Why do we have ads advertising Foxtel, when we are watching Foxtel?”
Most readers were pretty happy with digital channels, with 42% indicating the offering was Good, 27% Fair, 13% Excellent, 10% Not Applicable and 8% Poor.
“GO! is a pretty good channel,” remarked one happy viewer.
Others praised multichannelling too: “I’m most excited about the new digital channels – GO! has been entertaining so far, and I’m becoming more and more attached to ABC 2. I primarily watch ABC 1, ABC 2, TEN, a little SBS and now GO!”
And: “ABC2 just plain rules, and has since I went digital in early ’07.”
It was echoed by others, “ABC2 is a win, both with their exclusive content selection and ABC1/HD rebroadcasts. GO! And ONE are completely irrelevant to me. And RIP Ten HD, you’re still missed.”
“Swap OneHD back to TEN HD so that its – Ten Digital, One Digital, Ten HD. All channels should be like that. Bring back HD shows for TEN!” agreed another.
One reader suggested, “I would also like too see that SBS do not have the situation like this year again where all they had was The Ashes and Tour De France on SBS1 and SBS2, it was annoying. Put Community TV on Digital and also put NITV on Digital, even if it means using SBS3 and SBS4 for that purpose, seems odd that these services are neglected.”
There is resentment towards Seven not launching its digital channel.
“Channel 7 needs to launch a new channel soon to compete with ONE and GO,” said one.
DIGITAL TV SWITCH
47% said they had a Digital TV, 26% had a HD Set Top Box, 12% with an SD Set Top Box, 11% with Analogue, and 3% indicated “Other” mostly IPTV. 80% have already made the switch to digital.
Some readers are angry about digital blackholes.
“I’ve been in touch with my local council to see if they are going to put a digital repeater but they say they cannot afford it unless they get a government grant to pay for all of it,” said one reader.
Another: “My SBS and community TV reception have gone to the dogs and I really miss them – digital transmission for Channel 31 is a must.”
And: “Better Reception in Regional NSW & Choice of PayTV provider & FTA Commercial TV on our Pay TV for regional NSW viewers are issues of urgent & serious concern.”
51% indicated a PVR of some sort. While 40% of those indicated IQ / IQ2 and 8% TiVo, a much bigger 52% indicated various “Other PVR / DVR” with Beyonwiz and Topfield frequently named.
Comments included: “Programming is not a big issue for me as I use my Topfield to record most shows and watch as I can, as long as start and finish times are with-in a 5 minute scope it is not too bad as long as I (or ICE TV) knows ahead of time.”
Many viewers complained about not being able to read credits, and an excess of on-screen clutter:
“Most annoyed with “write-over” on other shows re something coming up. Hate all the “stuff” all over the screen – especially the station watermarks. Really dislike decreasing size of credits in order to promote something else…. it is impossible to read credits.”
“It really annoys me not being able to watch credits of TV shows, I am often looking up credits on the internet and the last to leave a movie theatre.”
“It would be really lovely for Channel 7 to provide credits that are much more legible – although this applies to all networks that choose to play promo ads during the closing credits.”
Another agreed with Seven credit issues, saying, “They are so small at the end and go so quickly you’ve got no hope of reading them. Home and Away used to have the main actors’ names at the start but now they don’t so when a new cast member joins you don’t know who they are. I don’t like it!”
“Get rid of WIN TV logos on screen covering Nine logo up!”
“Hate watermarks, and won’t watch channels which have them up top of screen unless program is exceptional. Haven’t watched anything on Arena since stupid new distracting watermark.”
“Deperately want to watch programmes the way they were made, without crawls/watermarks and the (almost certain) targeted advertising laid over the top of the vision”
Thanks to TV Tonight readers for 55% rating the site Excellent, 34% Very Good and 9% Good. 2% voted Fair and 1% Disappointing. Most readers visit the site either More Than Once a Day (40%) or Once a Day (35%).
There were many generous comments in support of the site, its independence and the survey itself, along with a few site suggestions. Thanks for the many “Keep up the great work, David!” comments. Much appreciated.
Over 800 respondents completed the survey with earlier results published at:
Thanks to all who participated.