7mate and GEM tie on Day One

The first day of ratings figures for 7mate and GEM proves to be just like the AFL Grand Final -a dead heat.

Both channels netted a modest 1.1% share for their Sunday programming.

7mate officially launched at 6pm Saturday following the AFL draw. GEM, which had “soft-launch” programming from midday Friday planned, didn’t arrive until 6am Sunday -the time the channel said it would launch officially. It hit a technical snag on Friday.

Both joined the OzTAM ratings panel from yesterday and both trailed GO! (4.7%) and ONE (4.6%). But with sport on offer, Sunday is one of the more distinct viewing days of the week. The dust is yet to settle on how these channels will resonate with viewers and whether one has any edge. 7mate’s promotion which has included extensive cross channel promotion, billboards and even a chopper flying a giant banner over the MCG on Saturday, far outstrips the hurried GEM.

Meanwhile in Sunday night figures Junior MasterChef lost ground, slipping to 1.5m viewers. Now shunted off air for two weeks for the Commonwealth Games, it reinforces the value that stripping gives the main event.

The X Factor dipped slightly to 1.05m viewers, down from 1.09m. At this stage it looks set to repeat the performance of last year’s Australian Idol. At least it has no Brownlow Medal to compete with tonight.

The star performer of the night continues to be Midsomer Murders. It rose from 1.35m to 1.4m, defying the razzle dazzle of its commercial competition.

Elsewhere, Sunday Night was 1.1 1m, 60 Minutes was 1m, RBT 998,000 and Offspring was 943,000.

The Big Bang Theory was 369,000 for GO! and FIA Formula One pulled 368,000 on ONE.

Seven won the night.

From this point forward in ratings results remember that TEN and SBS are now essentially two channels competing against 3 and 4 from their competitors.

UPDATED: TV Tonight has since learned that ratings results did not record  any figures in Sydney or Perth for 7mate nor Adelaide for GEM.

Week 40

67 Comments:

  1. David, sorry for lengthy comment. Shall consider myself rapped over the knuckles. 🙂

    @reubot – correct that SBS is not full HD – i.e. is 720p not 1080i, so is HD, but not full HD – but in the context of my post my point was that the vast majority of programming is in widescreen and colour, unlike the plethora of 4:3 and/or B&W on the new “HD” channels.

    @brooke – unfortunately I’ve found sales people don’t know as much as you’d hope (since they’re ostensibly there to help you choose what to buy). Only way to really know for sure what’s going on is to research online (like here and places like dtvforum.info) before going into the store.

  2. One good thing about Seven’s several LCNs pointing to the same stream is getting to choose which one to use. I deleted 7 and 70 so that I have incremental numbering:
    71 – Seven
    72 – 7two
    73 – 7mate
    Shame I can’t do the same with 9/90/99

  3. @v
    Also have to laugh at Gem’s promo, it has clips of these shows aimed at women then you get a clip of the NRL. yer cause that doesn’t look out of place much!.

    You would be surprised at how many women watch the NRL. I’m too understand. they make up a very large part of the audience.

  4. @Jellyman, 7, 70 and 71 are just LCNs. They are all the one stream, and it takes no more bandwidth to broadcast it on 3 LCNs than it would on 1. All it is, is messy in your EPG.

  5. Secret Squïrrel

    @Lewis – this has been explained a number of times. There are two contributing factors.

    1. At the moment, there is only enough bandwidth for each network to show 1 true HD and 2 SD channels. (ABC’s HD channel is only 720 not 1080 which permits them to have 3 SD channels).

    2. Govt legislation forces the networks to broadcast their “main” channel as SD so that people who only have SD tuners can watch them. This is not likely to change until analog is turned off in 2013.

  6. I’m with Lewis, pretty stupid. Also now i cannot tape anything on Gem because it’s HD and my dvd recorder is not HD.

    Also have to laugh at Gem’s promo, it has clips of these shows aimed at women then you get a clip of the NRL. yer cause that doesn’t look out of place much!.

    They should have got an extra ch for Gem and kept ch9 and HD ch 90 the same.

  7. I cannot understand why Seven thinks its better to show That 70s Show, American Dad, Family Guy, repeats of Crash Investigations, and other assorted rubbish, in HD instead of City Homicide, The X Factor, Sunday Night, even the News. Similarly, Nine seems to think its better to see Wife Swap, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and pathetic movies from the 80s and 90s in HD than Survivor, Top Gear or The Mentalist.

    I’m yet to hear a reasonable explanation for this. And I hate it.

  8. I remember growing up, we had two channels. 9&8 and abc. (9&8 was owned by prime/7. But we would get shows from channel 7, 9 and 10.) Now when a new channel comes on fta. It’s all “meh”. I didn;t even know about gem. I turned it to win, and it was gem. and i wasn;t even surprised. Such is the rate of new channels popping up. I think it’s great. It gives us cheap skates who don’t want to fork out for pay tv more choice.
    @pietro. I think 7 mate is great. Really loving all those shows like magnum p.i Rockford files etc. Go needs to pull their finger out and stop repeating the nanny or they are going to lose against 7mate.

  9. Am I correct that both GEM and 7mate are only available to people who have a HD tv or set top box? If I’d known that stations were only going to offer channels in one or the other I wouldn’t have bought a SD box 12 months ago, I was of the impression that any new channels would be available on both SD and HD so why on earth do they sell SD boxes if like me people are now going to have to go out and buy a HD box instead, it would have been nice if the people at the store where I bought it from explained this to me or I would have gone HD straight away.

  10. Rhys, I think you’ll find the issue isn’t 4:3 per se, but widescreen programs being shown in 4:3 still. e.g. movies. Channels are still showing their 4:3 tapes from years gone by instead of making a new widescreen tape for broadcast. 72 have only just recently started showing movies in widescreen, having previously just shown their old 4:3 copies. Yes, old TV’s were 4:3, but now TV’s are 16:9 – who wants to see black bars where you know there should be picture? Showing movies in 4:3 is just lazy and inexcusable.

    The other issue is why have the HD channel as the one with heaps of 4:3 (and B&W) on it? Logically you should have your HD channel as the one that has the most widescreen/HD programs on it, otherwise you’re wasting your HD channel. In other words, 7 and 9’s decision to make their new channels, with heaps of old stuff on them (4:3, B&W), their HD channels makes no sense. One and SBS HD are the only channels where you can really get the most out of HD now. Perhaps 7 and 9 think people will go where-ever there is “HD” now, and so try to drive audiences to their new channel. Although people would specifically look for HD content in the early days, I don’t think that’s the case anymore (certainly the figures support that notion – they’re not switching over to the new channels in droves in order to follow the “HD” channel. These days people are probably informed enough to know it’s not really HD, even if it’s on the HD channel, hence the complaints about all the 4:3 shows on the HD channel. People want to see genuine HD content on the HD channel. Why buy a widescreen TV if you’re watching 4:3/B&W content?).

  11. I don’t mind older shows and movies in 4:3 if thats the format they were made in, what I hate is when I know the 16:9 HD option is out there but the networks refuse to pony up the money to upgrade their copy. Also the networks sticking SD 4:3 shows on their only HD channel.

  12. @Peter, as per what chrissyboy said, check out some U.S. sport to see what native full HD looks like (one channel – I forget which but was either ESPN or Fox – is 720p, but others – e.g. CBS – are 1080i. NFL on CBS is the most stunning pictures I have seen). Looking forward to more sport (e.g. F1) becoming native full HD (hurry-up Bernie).

    As for 10 going back to HD… (tune “money for nothing”) I want my One HD. 🙂

  13. I’m amazed at how much people complain about television programs still being aired in 4:3. For the first 45 years of television history that’s all there was. Do we just ignore that much great television for the sake of filling every single pixel of our precious 16:9 sets? If your need for a widescreen HD fix is that great watch a blu-ray.

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