Foxtel says they don’t care how old you are, ABC is trying to “broaden” from its older viewer base and commercial networks are unashamedly chasing the ‘advertiser friendly’ 25-54 viewers.
As younger viewers continue to fragment from terrestrial broadcasting, it is older viewers who are remaining loyal, yet networks are focussed elsewhere.
Seven dumped A Place to Call Home because its expense and ratings with viewers 25-54 didn’t add up -only to see Foxtel snatch it up.
People over the age of 55 are avid viewers and their numbers wield enormous influence in Total People numbers.
On Sunday night TEN’s new hip hop drama Empire won its timeslot with viewers aged 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54. But with viewers aged 55+ it fell to 5th place behind a Monty Python special on SBS. As a result it averaged just 377,000 viewers in Total People.
It’s partly the reason why networks are openly expressing Demos as their preferred target despite media reportage still focussed on Total People ratings (and Overnights, at that).
Gallipoli, which one might expect to be appreciated by older Australians, also struggled last week. It was the #44th most watched show with 16-39 year olds, and #37th with both 18-49s and 25-54s. But it finished the week at #84 with older viewers -again impacting on its Total People numbers.
Even the later timeslot was not the sole reason for Gallipoli‘s performance. Other shows such as Q&A, Winter, Scott and Bailey, Fortitude and NCIS: LA fared much better in a similar timeslot.
In the Reality genre My Kitchen Rules was out of the top 10 entirely with older viewers last week, with the highest ranking at #12. By contrast The Block‘s best was #41 and TEN’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! simulcast way behind at #95.
So what were the week’s top shows according to viewers 55+? The top 5 all aired on ABC on the weekend: New Tricks, Grantchester, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, ABC News Sunday and ABC News Saturday.
Other ABC shows popular with older viewers include Australian Story, Four Corners, 7:30, Catalyst, Broadchurch and David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies.
The most popular shows with older viewers on each network were:
Seven News, My Kitchen Rules, Downton Abbey, Better Homes and Gardens, My France with Manu.
Nine News, A Current Affair, Hot Seat, ICC Cricket World Cup, The Block.
TEN Eyewitness News, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Bold & the Beautiful, Family Feud (simulcast).
Walking Through History, Who Do You Think You Are?, Insight, Gourmet Farmer Afloat, Simon Reeve’s Sacred Rivers.
And they didn’t care at all for Good Game, The Feed, Benidorm Bastards, Snog Marry Avoid, Sons of Anarchy, America’s Got Talent, Story Club or The Late Show with David Letterman -all languishing at 10,000 viewers or less in 55+.
Based on Overnight rankings 22 Feb – 28 Feb.
© OzTAM Pty Limited 2015. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.