Over 55s push Seven to Wednesday win

Ratings: A 1996 episode of British crime draws in a bumper audience of seniors, and proves to be a secret weapon for Seven.

2014-10-02_1002Never under-estimate ‘grey power’ if it can help you win the ratings.

A 1996 episode of A Touch of Frost on 7TWO scored 361,000 viewers -nearly all of them over the age of 55. But that placed the show as fifth in its timeslot, pipping the final Living with the Enemy (207,000) on SBS ONE and less than 100,000 behind TEN’s sexy Wonderland. Together with Rosemary and Thyme (298,000) the channel pulled a 7% share -bigger than all of SBS channels combined.

By contrast, just one entertainment show was above the magic million across the board last night. While advertisers definitely want younger viewers with disposable incomes and less brand devotion, the over 55s should never be ignored. Nine was in front of Seven by just 0.2% in primary channels but that 7% delivered Seven a win in network shares.

Seven network was 30.8% then Nine 28.5%, TEN 20.5%, ABC 15.4% and SBS 4.8%.

Seven News (1.01m / 983,000) was best for Seven then The Force (938,000), Home and Away (936,000), Border Security (863,000), Criminal Minds (813,000 / 673,000) and Million Dollar Minute (530,000).

The Block (1.14m) retained top spot for Nine then Nine News (1.07m / 1.07m), A Current Affair (1.01m), Big Brother (658,000) and Hot Seat (621,000).

The Bachelor is building to its closer tonight at 895,000 for TEN. The Project was 621,000 / 459,000, TEN Eyewitness News was 608,000, Wonderland was 458,000 and movie: There’s Something About Mary was 153,000.

ABC News (715,000) was best for ABC then the season final of Utopia (620,000), 7:30 (574,000), Mad as Hell (570,000), Reality Check (455,000), QI (411,000) and Would I Lie to You? (393,000).

Wild Britain (236,000) led SBS ONE followed by the final Living with the Enemy (207,000), SBS World News (146,000) and the final Borgen (144,000).

The Morning Show: 136,000 / 80,000
Mornings: 123,000
Studio 10:  65,000 / 37,000

OzTAM Overnights: Wednesday 1 October 2014

22 Responses

  1. The fact that a million more people watched The Block than watched the best drama on TV – Borgen – Is pretty depressing. Original, thought-provoking shows like Living With The Enemy are totally ignored too while everyone claims there’s nothing worth watching on the box.

  2. Advertiser target over 55s. But since they watch TV outside primetime, listen to radio, read news papers and magazines there are cheaper ways to find them than advertising on primetime TV. And they don’t buy an iPhone every year or spend as much has homebuilders and child rearers.

    72 and Gem started out targeting women 25-54 but have both switched to targeting larger number of older viewers with UK murder mysteries. The ABC’s biggest demographic is over 55s and there are several cable channels targeting them too.

    Commercial FTA is free because of the advertising so they networks shows what attracts advertisers. Many over 55s enjoy shows on prime-time commercial FTA, My parents watch The Good Wife, Castle, SVU, NCIS etc.

  3. In many 55+ households there are many under that age, so i am at a loss where these figures come from- very rubbery. If 7 is using the 55+ as a group that doesn’t spend, then they are sorely wrong, wrong wrong.and their marketing statistician should go and update their credentials or do more research. 7 has removed A Place to Call Home and this will go down as probably their biggest mistake. Its ownership is the only reason why another channel hasn’t run with it.. Many governments have been toppled because they didn’t listen to their community – happens to tv stations and their shareholders too…

  4. When will networks and advertisers realise that their main viewers are over 55s….and they have a whole big disposable income and we do spend…because now we have no restraints not to….I should introduce them to my bestie…*G*…
    The young ones they are trying to attract are out and about….socialising…playing sport….raising families…to busy to sit and watch TV….they mostly catch a few programs on their hand held equipment…and that is a ‘few’ compared to what the older folk watch.

  5. “The over 55s should never be ignored”


    What is your argument? Or is that opinion.

    Networks don’t make money on over 55s. The networks only ignore them because advertisers (who fund the programming) don’t want them.

    If you think this is wrong.
    Complain to coca cola, Coles, Telstra, Harvey Norman, Toyota and comm bank. Not the networks

    1. Russell: Story indicates the advertiser appeal of younger viewers so I’m not sure the reminder was so necessary. Last year at their Upfronts Seven also identified a hidden, older demo that was affluent and watching TV. Self-serving perhaps, but as numbers here indicate a big multichannel audience can tip the night and the week, albeit in Total Viewers. Seven currently has the bigger slice of revenue pie.

  6. Viewers in their thousands are angry at Seven for cancelling A Place To Call Home. I noticed a poll on this very site where that show was a clear winner in shows that should return. This demographic covers all age groups from 18-70 so why are Seven not listening.

  7. GEM has also been plugging the arrival of New Tricks and Dalziel & Pascoe.

    Looks like both Seven and Nine have both spotted the same solution to bumping up their network ratings.

  8. While I have sadly a few grey hairs I am not in the over 55s group but I too also enjoy A Touch of Frost and was one of the viewer’s last night and I really enjoy Rosemary and Thyme I think most British shows are done very well.

    Heartbeat and its spinoff The Royal would have to be my ultimate favourites and while on that what has happened to Heartbeat on GEM, they heavily promoted it an now it is out of the schedule after only a couple of weeks.

    Eleven what is with moving Beverly Hills 90210 to midnight, first you don’t continue the series into season 7 but go back to the start now this if I didn’t have a dvr I wouldn’t be able to catch it. Rant over for now.

    P.S. Hope you are feeling better David.

  9. Well I have been saying this for years, we are not catered to. They started showing the Bill in a good timeslot now it is on very late. Heartbeat I see is now on GEM. Just look at the figures for Judge John Deed. Enough said.

  10. Borgen was good last night. I think there’s another series in it but it would seem that we prob won’t get it.

    Numbers for Mad as Hell dropped a bit from last week. It’s the 4th series so you’d think that the honeymoon bump of people checking it out would be almost non-existent.

  11. If the advertisers want younger viewers, perhaps they need to tell the networks to stop treating their viewers with such contempt and taking the ones they do have for granted. If shows began on the half hour, reality didn’t take up the prime time schedule, shows were fast tracked, shown in order (Looking at you here TEN with Graham Norton), then perhaps the younger viewers will come back.
    Example taking on comments from this site on Tuesday: If I were a fan of The Blacklist, why would I go to watch it on Monday night and have to wait an extra 15 mins on top of the already revised [but now incorrect again] EPG time while X-Factor drags out an obvious elimination? In that 15 min wait, I could have easily set up a VPN and watched Blacklist on Hulu Plus and thought, why don’t I do this every week and stop watching it on 7?

  12. It has long been time for the advertisers to recognise the WOOPIES. There’s a whole bunch of people out there with almost entirely disposable income, who still need to buy FMCG, who take more domestic holidays, and who have grandchildren to spoil rotten.

  13. 7two are to be commended on their daytime schedule too, showing All Saints, City Homicide and ACP. You get to see Aussie actors in their younger days. If only they had at least two less ads per break, then watching live could be bearable.

  14. And Seven wonder why they are angry at them for cancelling A Place To Call Home. I noticed a poll on this very site where that show was a clear winner in shows that should return. This demographic is the biggest out there yet they seem to continue to neglect them. I’m only 27 but it’s time the networks take notice that it’s not always about the younger generation.

  15. 7two should unapologetically target 55+, and really push it. The numbers would have to be higher to compensate for the lack of interest from advertisers, but with rating like that for frost, I think it could be a winning model.

  16. This should be a wake up call to channel 7. They started 7Two with UK programming aimed at over 55’s. I knew over 55’s that watched 7two exclusively every day. 7Two was the no1 digital channel. Then for some reason someone decided to change their programming to. appeal to more men. Ie air crash investigations & stuff about big ships were thrown into the schedule. These programmes should be shown on 7Mate. You were on to a good thing and you shouldve stuck with it. Now you have a totally confused identity.

  17. All the networks have been guilty of neglecting this demographic, and eventually it will be their undoing …. when the younger demographics abandon FTA, there will be one demographic, who won’t download, wont timeshift, dont want to watch mindless endless reality crap … and that is the over 55’s …..

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