The Timeshifting hits

6bbchWith so much attention given to Overnight ratings it’s high time our attention turned to Timeshifted once more.

What are some of the big success stories when it comes to viewing on PVRs up to 7 days after Live broadcast?

As has been reported previously, the hits are dominated by Drama. After all, there’s not much point in recording the News or even Sport to watch later, if you don’t catch these Live you’ll probably hear the important points before you’d get around to watching them.

In Week 33 Broadchurch picked up nearly another 1/4 of its audience in Timeshifted viewing, lifting it from 890,000 to 1,098,000. Mr. Selfridge also picked up nearly another 1/4, lifting from 823,000 to 1,015,000. Under the Dome was up by 1/5 of its audience, up from 847,000 to 1,022,000.

Broadchurch has gained between 22.1% – 26.9% every week for the last month, indicating a big audience who aren’t watching it on Friday nights but are still drawn to the show.

Other ABC shows with significant rises include The Time of our Lives, Gruen Nation, The Town, Upper Middle Bogan, The Hamster Decides and It’s a Date.

Amongst the Seven shows to score well in Timeshifting in recent weeks are Mr. Selfridge, Castle, Bones, Winners and Losers, How I Met Your Mother, A Place to Call Home and Criminal Minds. For the most part The X Factor has only seeing nominal rises.

On Nine there are lifts for Arrow, Underbelly: Squizzy, The Bible and to a lesser extent, Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year Asia. But The Block barely raised a blip.

TEN may struggle with some overnight ratings but it too has wins in Timeshifting including Under the Dome, Offspring, Ripper Street and Elementary.

Vikings is currently the most popular Timeshifted show for SBS.

Yet there are also struggling shows that are making marked improvements from Timeshifting.

In Week 33 The Mole rated just 228,000 but it picked up another 101,000 in Timeshifting. While that isn’t enough to brand the show a success, it was still a 44.3% improvement.

In Week 32 Red Widow improved by 82.9% and in Week 31 The Americans gained another 32.5%.

Such numbers are rarely reported in the daily toil of ratings reportage, largely because they are seen as “old news” by the time the data arrives. But they are important to networks, advertisers and producers. All shows would also see further growth through Catch-Up viewing online.

TV Tonight regularly publishes Timeshifted numbers which can be found by hovering over the Ratings tab in the homepage Menu.

Data for this story was tracked over Weeks 30 - 33, 2013.


  1. @Pertinax free to air TV advertising rates have not halved.
    Lets not all forget the only pertinent reason for ratings is to try to guage how many people watch the commercials with minute bty minute data, not the actual program. Afterall this is the life blood for the free to air networks.
    News and live sport are the least time shifted.

    @Anthony. AGB Nielsen will be able to have catch up internet in their ratings in the not too distant future.

  2. I record most of what I want to see and watch in the early evening (7pm-8.30pm or sometimes later) while all the reality crud is on. I can get through 2 hours of recordings in 90 mins or so by fast forwarding through the ads/promos/sneak peeks. Only do online catch up if the recording has missed the end due to over-runs (X Factor you are the most guilty!).

  3. Catch up is very popular in our household but we watch live also. Broadchurch is terrific but I feel it could it have been truncated somewhat. That said it’s still the best international drama on TV at the moment. TOOL is the best drama for my money. Last Sunday was a showcase in acting from the parents. Catch it on Iview.

  4. Love Broadchurch so often record it when unable to watch. I’m usually pretty good at picking who done it, but with Broadchurch I have absolutely no idea, so am looking forward to the the last episode this Friday to find out.

  5. I also time shift nearly everything nowdays. Seems like the commercial networks have shot themselves in the foot so to speak, they put on ridiculous amounts of ads on the show it makes it too hard to follow unless you can record fwd thru them. Maybe if they hadn’t of done that people wouldn’t be time shifting as much now.

    The advertising industry should take a long hard look at things & come up with some new model that works better for them, because the days of ‘live’ tv where people have no choice but to endure the ads, are numbered. Seems like they maybe in denial just like the music & movie biz were about downloads till they finally woke up & made it work for them with legal downloads.

  6. The world is changing and has been ever since the VCR came along. With modern PVRs no longer are we bound by the time shows are on and with legal online options if we miss something often we can catch it later.

    Its about time the PVR and online ratings get the attention they deserve.

  7. Maev....Sydney

    I catchup a lot during the day….mostly to tired at night to get into drama….
    All episodes of The Time Of Our Lives are available on Iview.
    And yes..agree Broadchurch…really good.

  8. Some stuff there that I watch, but I don’t bother PVR or timeshifting ABC shows. Do not watch live commercial TV either – just PVR and then watch at my own pace once I have a buffer of about 4 weeks built up….

    This is my response to reality tv onslaught and FTA networks trying to make television = commercial radio with visual product placements

  9. Timeshifting is a big part of why advertising rates have halved, and so have broadcast fees to consolidated revenue.

    The ABC is happy with +7s and catch-ups as their goal is just to provide a service to taxpayers. Advertisers are only interested in ad views that drive sales, so that it was most interests commercial TV.

    The timeshifting viewers will actually be higher than the numbers. Some viewers watch shows after 7 days, ads FF or skipped are not counted as viewing minutes, and as live viewing (recording or pausing TV and watching it before 2am the next day when the ratings data is collected) is counted in the overnights.

    And the peak views for live views will also be a bit higher because people flicking over during the ads are sampled every minute as watching another channel.

    The consolidated figures do give a more accurate measure of which dramas people are watching…

  10. We have “binges” in our home – frantically binged over Offspring when we realised some-one was getting the chop – 11 eps in 1 week to watch second last ep live.

    We binged with Under the Dome (5 eps in the one hit).

    We binged on Broadchurch last Sunday when I realised the last ep was coming up on Friday.

    Finally started to watch Time of Our Lives on Monday and am catching up one or two eps at a time. – a great little Aus showpiece.

    Also time shift Crim Minds and the Mole – but that’s a show that should be buried. (Yuk yuk yuk)

    Elementary, The Americans, Bones are all recorded for viewing later.

    Will watch The Town in one hit when it’s over.

    Just thought I’d share that with you…


  11. I hardly watch anything live anymore. Almost everything I record and edit out the ads and crud before viewing it.

    It’s really weird now on the rare occasions that I do watch stuff live, particularly anything with ads, I’ve completely lost the knowledge of how to react when ads come on. And I keep reaching for the Apple TV remote to pause live shows… D’oh!

  12. I was on holiday when broadchurch started so missed the first 2 eps. I was very relieved to find it on abc iview. I have continued it on iview. Its a really good catch up service.

  13. See take note commercial TV, scripted drama is still very popular. Although you stop and start the programmes and treat them badly by changing day and time. Its a shame that commercial TV has turned into the cesspool of reality TV!

  14. I only watch live if I am desperate for something to watch, otherwise its usually a time slip delay or a full PVR recording. I have all eps of Time Of Our Lives PVRd so far but haven’t viewed any, same with the last 8 eps of Mr and Mrs Murder.
    Side note… Broadchurch is a fantastic drama.

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