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The real ratings test begins

April 11 is all systems go. It's the day that executives have awaited as the start of big battles.

April 11 is all systems go. It’s the day that executives have awaited as the start of big battles.

2010 has started out as an anomaly with Winter Olympics, early Easter, daylight savings, timeshifted ratings, new digital channels.

February and March were just the support act. From today it’s the main event. It’s the reason networks held off some of their biggest goodies. Last year Nine was bitten when Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities was interrupted by Easter -it was careful not to make the same mistake again.

Joining in the next three weeks are The Pacific, Hey Hey it’s Saturday, Sea Patrol, Australia’s Got Talent, MasterChef Australia, Merlin, Glee, FlashForward, Logie Awards and more. The ABC adds Doctor Who and Lowdown. SBS has new Mythbusters but has its eye on later events including Eurovision and the World Cup. First-run episodes of Top Gear are about to end for Nine while The Biggest Loser, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation and So You Think You Can Dance wrap for TEN. Next week should also be TEN’s biggest for the year so far.

The date also means excuses will have to be left behind.

Meanwhile the advertising industry wants to see how numbers settle in the new environment before it is confident that there are fewer of us watching the box across more channels.

As a result the new benchmark for a hit show is expected to be around 1.2m.

Signs that the switch to daylight savings have already helped some shows is being felt at The 7PM Project which just  had some its best figures in a long time, as did The Biggest Loser. It could also be attributed to the show building to its climax.

Our ratings will now run through until late November, interrupted only by the Commonwealth Games in October.

19 Responses

  1. Underbelly will rate through the roof, but surely hey hey can’t repeat it’s efforts from last year. It should only take a few weeks for people to remember it really wasn’t that great.

  2. I predict Underbelly will easily crush its opposition every week it is on air and The Good Wife is the show most vulnerable in the Sunday night schedule.
    @Craig: Ten and Foxtel share the rights to the Commonwealth Games.

  3. Seven’s line-up looks pretty dull, AGT is really boring and I don’t know about the pacific but I don’t think it would be my first choice, but 9 on the other hand is looking pretty strong with Underbelly & Hey Hey, but overall TEN looks the best but probably won’t make it to the top while the World Cup is going to really boost SBS…

  4. I think 7 has a pretty weak schedule and are holding off a lot for later in the year. there are very few timeslots they are going to dominate. their news and sport will have to work hard to make up the difference.

    @michael. there are only 13million people in metro markets. a show that gets 1.2mil out of 22mil would not be a hit.

  5. @Michael – how many people are in the US 300+ million and a hit show can be as little as 10 million people depending on the show, so percentage wise 1.2 out of 20 is higher. Also like here it all depends on loads of factors like the age and sex of those watching and whether it’s on cable or network TV.

  6. The sad thing about this story is how few of the “major” shows listed hold any interest for me at all. Cooking, Australia’s got no talent, weight loss, magic, appalling variety shows and awards shows seem to dominate yet again. What did we do to deserve this stinking pile of rotten fish?

    The Commonwealth Games are coming again? Oh dear God, no! Didn’t we just have them, or was that the other games program, you know, the one with the rings?

    Underbelly, The Pacific, FlashForward and good old Dr. Who are the only things that might induce me to lift the remote in the direction of the telly. Mythbusters was good once but it’s long since worn out it’s welcome and should be sent off to a farm in Queensland when the kids are at school, Top Gear ditto.

  7. Hmm it will be interesting to see how this ratings year pans out then. I predict that one unfortunate outcome of time shifted ratings, will be an explosion in in-show pop up ads. We’re already regularly seeing 2 per half hour show in prime time. Currently Ten are the worst offenders, followed by 7’s video pop ups. Surprisingly nine are he best, the ads only pop up briefly and right at the begining of a segment. Plus they aren’t animated.

  8. Only a few shows on there I’m interested in, mostly local stuff.

    It’s a pity things like The Pacific had to be held over because of Easter, you get the feeling if ABC had the rights we would be already into the show. Ditto for Top Gear, if it was on SBS I have no doubt they would have aired all 7 eps of S14 and with a lot less complaints than Nine are still getting.

    Some show I’ll probably just record and see if they are any good later, aka Sea Patrol and Underbelly 3.

    David who has the rights to the Commonwealth Games?

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