TV shows under 6000 viewers… what else makes the list?

2014-09-16_2340Last week Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the Community Television sector their shows were under-performing at 6,000 -but Order In The House, which reviews parliamentary proceedings from Canberra, also scored less than 6,000 viewers last week.

It could be ripe for the chopping block if the strategy were applied across the board.

Last week he said, “While I acknowledge there are concerns within the CTV sector about this announcement, average prime time audiences of CTV are low with only 6000 viewers across all five capitals and some services have as few as 1000. Given the small number of services and audiences, their capacity to serve a wide range of different community interest groups is limited.”

The bad news for Mr Turnbull continues: The Prime Minister’s National Treasures on ABC3 was also under 6,000.

Last week in the OzTAM weekly ratings (Overnight) there were 269 titles in the same zone, although in fairness few were in primetime. Some also did not air nationally.

But all 5 networks had shows under the 6000 radar, with NITV, ABC3 and SBS 2 configuring fairly high.

Amongst the titles were (some titles include early morning / overnight broadcasts):

Greek News from Cyprus, SBS
PopAsia, SBS 2
Being Me, ABC3
Surviving, NITV
Stay Tuned, ABC3
Happy Few, SBS 2

Super Nanny USA, GEM
Hong Kong News, SBS ONE
Secret Dealers, GEM
My Place, ABC3
Korean News, SBS ONE
Motorsport NASCAR Sprint Cup 2014 Highlights, ONE

Darwin’s Brave New World, ABC
Escape from Scorpion Island, ABC3
NBC Today Best Bits, Seven
Australia’s Heritage National Treasures, ABC3
Mythbusters, 7mate
Filipino News, SBS ONE
Basketball: Men’s World Cup 2014, ABC2
Polish News, SBS 2
ABC News with Ros Childs, ABC
Animal Emergency, Nine

Order in the House, ABC
Seaway, GEM
German News, SBS ONE
Chinese News, SBS ONE
Duncan’s Thai Kitchen, GEM
Spanish News, SBS ONE
Behind the News Specials, ABC3
Spyforce, Nine
Toybox, 7TWO

Football WAFL, ABC
Russian News, SBS 2
NITV News Week in Review, NITV
Italian News, SBS ONE
Waybuloo, ABC2
Spit it Out, 7TWO
Unearthed, NITV
Tomorrow’s World, 7TWO
Love Patrol, NITV

Chinese News, SBS 2
The Davincibles, 7TWO
SARL All stars Carnival, NITV
For the Juniors, ABC3
Maori TV’s Native Affairs, NITV
Simulcast, ONE
Simulcast, ELEVEN

Under 1,000
What’s Your Story? ABC
RT News in English from Moscow, SBS 2
Desperate Measures, NITV
Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic, GO!
Double Dribble, ABC
Friends, GEM

OzTAM Weekly Ratings (Overnight): 7 – 13 September 2014.


  1. Okay, so Community TV programmes score such small numbers…. Hello! You’re not getting the point, Turnbull! Community TV is not(sorry for shouting but must emphasise the word somehow) in this to compete against the “heavies” of FTA Television. Just as is the case for community radio, so it is for community TV, they are meant to be an alternative to commercial TV(include SBS in that) and the ABC. How many people actually watch those “shopping” stations?

  2. C31 subscribes to elemental data and therefore has access to its detailed ratings.

    It’s outrageous that Turnbull quotes an “Average Audience” and then conflates this with “Reach” by suggesting that our audiences are “tiny” and that we would “reach’ more people on the internet.

    The fact is that the sector has a reach of 3 million Australians. It is highly implausible, that should CTV survive the loss of access to spectrum, that it would reach this many viewers on “the internet”. Certainly not in the noise of YouTube. Fetch TV has 100,000 subscribers. iView (in Aug 2013) was averaging 3.2million visits (reach) per month and had to have a Govt injection of $30million to cover its costs.

    Audience is smokescreen to cover the real intention of killing off CTV for good as the Dept of Comms has wanted to do for a decade.

  3. It’s worth noting that the community stations don’t know what their OzTAM ratings are as they don’t pay for them. They used to be able to subtract all the other channels from the total FTA figure, but with various ad channels also not paying to make their figures public, such a calculation no longer gives an accurate figure.

  4. There would probably be a lot of NITV viewers in Northern Territory and regional Queensland where the majority of Indigineous Australians live. I don’t know if OzTam would factor this in the ratings. In some instances, I think some programs in any free-to-air channel may have a different viewership in states and territories that are designated as regional.

  5. @Bogues

    The Friday night NRL doesn’t rate 0 on GEM in Adelaide because 9 Adelaide refuse to show it despite numerous complaints. They are a disgrace.

  6. Ahhh! ‘Happy Few’-tremendously sexy French film but has been on several times before and I don’t think anything rates well at 3 am…wouldn’t be surprised if some stuff gets recorded at that sort of time slot-eg ‘Warehouse 13’! (I do…)

  7. David I notice in the 1000 category the one and eleven simulcast. One would know its FF. So it means that the ratings for family fued would be correct on Ten of high 600k. So why would they still simulcast with those high numbers

    • Dantheman: Firstly it’s an assumption it is related to FF simulcast, it could be another. Secondly, it possibly refers to a proportion of a show where the simulcasts did not finish at the same time. ie. the leftovers of a show. Best not to presume in this case.

  8. Everybody should watch PopAsia at least once. In fact, go and look up PonPonPon by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on YT right now (unless you’re diabetic, in which case you should ensure that you have plenty of insulin with you).

  9. The audience figure the Minister is using is an ‘average’ and doesn’t truly reflect how many people are tuning in to CTV each week, this is best reflected by Oztam’s ‘reach’ figure which is about 3,000,000 but the Minister incorrectly states that CTV will reach more people by switching to online by referring to the 6000 as how many people CTV reaches every week – ‘reach’ and ‘average’ are two completely different statistics and he knows it.

  10. You’ll probably find that Order In The House is necessary for the ABC to meet its charter like covering the Arts and is regarded as a public service. Though it’s more Disorder In The House and a public disservice these days.

    Though yes it isn’t suited to a broadcast mediam. Which is why it on a channel late at night where it replaces a test pattern. And there is no reason why Parliament House can’t stream it from their website these days.

  11. As David has reported elsewhere OzTam deliberately don’t target households that routinely watch more ABC and SBS. So these figures are skewed.
    I’d imagine that CTV viewers are also shunned in the same way.

    It’s frightening that these unbalanced figures are now being used by Turnbull as a stick with which to beat CTV.

    @Jezza – In regards to the “crappy overseas news programmes”, these provide a valuable service to the many Australians that originally came from other countries, and often the news is of a better standard than any on our own commercial networks.
    Would you rather SBS copied the other channels and just filled their mornings with infomercials and repeats of imported kids shows?

    • Hardcore: I reported claims by some OzTAM panel users through talkback radio, but that doesn’t confirm them, nor does it mean the total panel is not representative. They would be looking for a cross-section of viewers. I suspect anyone who only watched 9, 7 or 10 would also drop out of the panel fairly quickly.

  12. Don’t give him any more ideas. He’ll have the axe out for ABC and SBS now…

    Though I’m surprised Pop Asia only gets 6000 I’d have thought that would have a much higher fan base.

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