Timeshifted ratings now online

2013-02-20_0005From today TV Tonight adds Consolidated ratings data.

This means you will be able to see the Top 20 Overnight + Timeshifted shows which combine to create a Consolidated figure. These will be available for Primary Channel shows on Free to Air.

This tracks the shows that people have watched on PVRs up to 7 days after its original broadcast.

For example, Elementary pulled 959,000 on February 10th but another 222,000 in Timeshifted viewing, giving it a new Consolidated figure of 1,181,000. As we know it is primetime dramas that net the biggest lifts.

This figure is considered the benchmark by many in the industry and it has been a frustration to networks and producers that headlines are always about Overnight figures.¬†While that’s true, it is also difficult to report a headline for a show that aired a week ago, when everybody has moved on.

But I am pleased to report that OzTAM recently relaxed its reportage rules to allow this data to be published.

Like most posts on this site I will endeavour to archive the information in a “self-service” form. The data will be there should you ever want to drill down and find it through the site.

As such Timeshifted posts can now be found as a subsection of the RATINGS tab in the top menu.

At this stage I’m not planning on Tweeting these posts because the link / dates will probably appear confusing. But know they are there at your disposal and regularly updated.


  1. OzTAM measures *material* that is played at normal speed not shows.

    Their system, Unitam, identifies any programme, ad or promotional material that was aired in the last 7 days when played back at normal speed.

    Skipping or FF ads is the same as flicking over and watching another channel. It just doesn’t count. Presumably they construct per minutes just like they do for live TV and then average the minutes watched over the length of the programme.

    So skipping all the ads would reduce the ratings by just over 25%, the same as flicking over to another channel during them does.

    The media buyers will look at the per minutes and calculate the number of people in their target demographics who actually watched the ad. [Though even a FF or flick through an ad has some branding value].

    It is explained here:

    Nielsen are rolling out a similar system for the new radio system that logs every minute of radio content you listen to by identifying it on a device you wear.

  2. The media also use ratings data to analyse the audience, the TV industry and public broadcasters. That is what we are often doing here. And the industry try to exploit this for promotion.

    So why wouldn’t you want to use the more accurate consolidated figures including timeshifting data when they are available?

    Catch-ups will be added soon. And once services like Hulu and Netflix are started in Australia they will be included too.

  3. Secret Squirrel

    @steviem + @davodavo6666 – “Who cares about timeshift data,…”

    This has been covered many, many times here.

    Firstly, serious advertisers are more interested in the minute-by-minute data which is not released publicly. It doesn’t matter if an average of a million watch a program over its entire duration if most of them turn over to watch something else when the advertiser’s ad runs.

    Secondly, OzTAM only measures shows recorded on PVRs which are played back at normal speed. If someone with a ratings box fast-fwds or skips the ad it doesn’t count for ratings reporting purposes.

  4. OzTAM is owned by the networks and they are fanatical about controlling their data. If they release only Top 20 lists then the media tends to just talk about their successful shows for them.

    Maybe on day we will get to find out how many people watch The Walking Dead etc. in a week. 145k watched it last night but it is on half a dozen times a week, gets recorded on IQs a lot and is probably available on Foxtel’s on demand.

  5. I’ve never understood Oztam. Why do they release such little information from their 3000 ratings boxes? Why has it taken so long to make consolidated data available to the public? With new technology Oztam will soon be redundant anyway. Best they start being more open and transparent, so we’ll remember them fondly.

  6. How do networks look at time shifting? Yes more people watch the show but more people have access to the fast forward during commerical break option…so im guessing when they do their sell that really the only number that matters is the people that watch it live and the time shifting is the cream on top?

  7. Yay! It makes little sense to talk about the popularity of dramas when the overnights are understating this by a large margin.

    The networks own OzTAM so set the rules. It was just a case of getting all the corporate types, programmers and PR people to agree that putting out accurate information about drama viewing was in their interests rather than trying to conceal it. And have a simple accurate table is good.

    Previously OzTAM has only released the total consolidated figures for the top 20 shows each week, and only over a fortnight after the overnights. So you could only compare overnight and consolidated figures for a few dramas on Sunday and Monday night. And doing so was a violation of the terms of agreement for reading the website!

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