How much do ratings change from Preliminary to Adjusted numbers?


How much do TV show ratings change from Preliminary figures to Adjusted numbers?

Overnight ratings by OzTAM are Preliminary, coded according to their original broadcast time.

But sometimes shows have late changes, particularly those surrounding Live events, which will entail an adjusted number reflecting their actual broadcast time.

Last week, for example, a number of shows were adjusted from their Preliminary figure to their actual broadcast number.

Bones was originally scheduled on Sunday July 3rd, but only screened in Perth due to a late change for Wimbledon. On Nine The Voice Live also ran overtime, impacting on 60 Minutes.

Here are some of the top movers in last week’s shows, as they appeared in OzTAM daily top 20s.

Title Preliminary* Adjusted* Difference*
Bones 323,000 36,000 -287,000
60 Minutes late 720,000 526,000 – 194,000
Sunday Night 740,000 640,000 -100,000
The Chaser’s Election Desk 655,000 644,000 – 11,000
Have You Been Paying Attention? 803,000 793,000 – 10,000
NCIS 724,000 715,000 – 9,000
Mad as Hell 677,000 670.000 – 7,000
Getaway 492,000 485,000 – 7,000
The Voice 1.00m 993,000 -7,000
Criminal Minds 550,000 544,000 – 6,000
Love Child 726,000 719,000 – 5,000

But there were some shows that increased their audiences too.

Title Preliminary* Adjusted* Difference*
House Rules Winner Ann. 1.19m 1.25m +60,000
Nine News Sun 1.26m 1.28m +20,000
Border Security Int. 368,000 380,000 +12,000
House Rules Grand Final 1.14m 1.15m +10,000

Of course, these numbers only represent the first stages of a show’s life cycle in data. There are also updated figures for 7 day and 28 Timeshifted viewing, plus a separate number for video plays.

Here is an example of how some of those shows have fared in 7 day Timeshifted viewing:

Title Preliminary* Timeshifted +7* Difference*
Love Child 719,000 896,000 +177,000
House Rules Winner Ann. 1.25m 1.32m +70,000
MasterChef Australia Sun 936,000 1.00m +64,000
Have You Been Paying Attention? 793,000 852,000 +59,000
The Voice 993,000 1.05m +57,000
Home and Away (Mon) 754,000 811,000 +57,000
House Rules Grand Final 1.15m 1.2m +50,000

You can read more Timeshifted reports here.

© OzTAM Pty Limited 2016. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

* includes rounding.


  1. Just shows how the practice of running shows like the Voice and the like late artificially inflates shows that air after them to the point where they end up in the top 20 when they really shouldn’t. As most people look to, and react to first preliminary overnight ratings, that’s the figure they remember and have no regard for adjusted, consolidated etc…

    • Headlines are definitely geared to preliminary. For instance, if I wrote a headline that last week’s episode of Offspring just got another 50,000 (for example) who would click on it? Networks know perception is important, and on occasions run a show overtime to inflate another’s figures -especially at debut. Sometimes networks reach out to tell me a show’s figure will go up, but never to say it will go down. Transparency is kinda rare.

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