The results are in for the annual TV Tonight Audience Inventory.
There were 1028 surveys completed in the 8th year of the survey.
Once again readers have voted ABC on top of multiple categories, including most watched channel, most reliable and trustworthy broadcaster in scheduling. ABC topped best for starting on time, and iview is the preferred Catch-Up service.
Nine again ranked lowest on the reliable and trustworthy questions.
For the second year in a row readers said the most Important issue in Free to Air was “ABC, SBS independent of govt influence.” Once again they voted “Merging public broadcasters” as Not Important. There was also a noticeable shift on the question of “ABC improving political balance”: last year under an Abbott govt it was considered a Very Important issue. 12 months on it is now regarded as “No Opinion.”
But while ABC still came out on top, it also saw small drops in overall results, including those who watch Public Broadcasters slipping from 63% of readers to 58%.
The most dramatic rise from last year was on the question of those who watch Streaming TV, up from 41% to 50%. But Pay TV also improved on a number of fronts too.
The arrival of new multichannels 7flix, 9Life and SBS Food Network shows they trail more established multichannels, with many viewers indicating No Opinion on them as yet. However with 3 new channels -together with the rise of Streaming- overall audiences for Free to Air channels have dropped across the board. Free to Air Commercial viewing matched its 80% result from 2015, but it is further fragmented across more individual channels.
Some issues that often attract plenty of interest in political and media circles are of low priority to audiences: Dropping Reach Rule for broadcasters, Trimming the anti-siphoning list and questions around Illegal Piracy. Viewers want more fundamental issues sorted first, including accurate EPGs, their shows starting on time and completing the NBN.
Results that have shifted more than 2% are noted below.
* denotes multiple answers allowed
Which of the following do you watch regularly?*
Free to Air Commercial 80%
Free to Air Public Broadcaster 58%
Streaming (subscription) 50%
Pay TV 48%
Community TV 2%
Up: Streaming, Pay TV
Down: Public Broadcaster
Do you have HD TV?*
HD TV 89%
HD Set top box 16%
SD set top box 1%
Which FTA channels do you watch regularly?*
ABC News 24 33%
SBS 2 27%
SBS Food Network 15%
WIN (Regional) 13%
Southern Cross 10%
Community TV 2%
Down: ABC, TEN, Seven, Nine, SBS, ABC2, ELEVEN, GO!, 7mate, 7TWO, GEM, ONE.
Which PVRs do you have?*
No PVR 28%
Fetch TV 6%
My Star 3%
Up: IQ3 has doubled
Down: A Fetch TV option was added this year which sees Other drop
Do you subscribe to a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
Not sure 4%
Do you buy TV episodes online such as through Apple TV or iTunes?
Yes occasionally 17%
Yes but just one title 5%
Yes frequently 4%
Which network is the most reliable for starting on time?
Which network is the most Trustworthy at delivering your shows?
Who is best at rescheduling cancelled shows?
Which do you use for TV guide info?*
On Screen EPG 57%
Online guide 42%
Foxtel EPG 40%
App on smartphone / tablet 25%
Weekly Newspaper Guide 14%
Magazine Guide 8%
Daily Newspaper Guide 6%
ICE Guide 4%
Up: Foxtel EPG
Down: Weekly Newspaper Guide
And which do you most prefer?
On Screen EPG 29%
Foxtel EPG 25%
Online guide 18%
App on smartphone / tablet 11%
Weekly Newspaper Guide 7%
Magazine Guide 3%
ICE Guide 3%
Daily Newspaper Guide 2%
Up: Foxtel EPG
Down: On Screen EPG
Degree of satisfaction with multichannels*
ABC News 24
SBS Food Network
New multichannels SBS Food Network, 7flix and 9Life still have some work to do.
Which is your preferred second-screen device?
PC or Mac 29%
Which second-screen platforms do you use regularly?*
Online Browsing 72%
Blogs / Forums 22%
Network official site 7%
Other option 5%
Up: Facebook, Twitter
Down: Online browsing
How often do you use second-screen whilst watching TV?
Every day 50%
A few times a week 22%
A few times a month 6%
Less than once a month 4%
“Event TV” only 3%
About once a month 2%
Which official online Catch-Up TV services do you use?*
SBS On Demand 36%
Foxtel Go 27%
Up: tenplay, SBS On Demand, Plus7, Foxtel Go
How often do you watch official Catch-Up services?
Once or twice a month 26%
Rarely or never 25%
A few times a week 25%
About once a week 18%
Once a day or more 6%
Up: A few times a week
Down: Once or twice a month
Which device do you use to watch Catch-Up services?*
PC or Mac 41%
Down: PC or Mac
Please rate your satisfaction with each Catch-Up Service*
NO OPINION / NOT APPLICABLE
SBS On Demand
How much TV do you watch “non-Live”?
About 75 percent 37%
About 25 percent 21%
About 50 percent 19%
About 100 percent 18%
Up: About 25%
What time do you usually start to watch Timeshift?
6:30pm or earlier 30%
I just watch broadcast TV 9%
10:30pm or later 6%
Down: 6:30pm or earlier
Rate any or all of the following FTA issues*
ABC, SBS independent of govt influence
Keeping an EPG up to date
Shows starting / finishing on time
Finishing a series once it starts
ABC, SBS funding maintained
Completing the installation of the NBN
Regional viewers having access to all FTA channels
Legal, affordable content promptly available
ABC maintaining in-house productions
Multichannels offering better alternatives not simulcasts
Catch-Up TV adding content swiftly after broadcasting
Making primary channels HD
Banning gambling ads
Catch-Up shows available on all devices
Reducing on-screen clutter (watermarks etc)
Playing Sport Live and in HD
Catch Up TV
Less Reality TV
Punishment for Breaches of the Code of Practice
Less Twitter included during broadcasts
Making TV ratings = Metro + Regional
OzTAM ratings codings to reflect EPG titles
Maintaining local content in Regional Australia
Starting programmes “on the half hour”
Promos that fairly represent the show
Better bandwidth for multichannels
Live streaming of channels
More Aussie content on digital channels
Rolling full credits at the end of a show
Dropping Reach Rule for broadcasters
Hbb TV / Freeview Plus
Trimming the anti-siphoning list
More subtitles for the hearing impaired
Laws against illegal piracy
ABC improving political balance
Merging public broadcasters
Shutting down illegal piracy websites
Maintaining local content in Regional Australia moves from Important to Very Important
ABC improving political balance drops from Very Important to No Opinion
Better bandwidth for multichannels drops from Very Important to Important
Laws against illegal piracy moves from Not Important to No Opinion
Regional audiences having access to all FTA channels makes a strong debut this year.
Which is the more offensive on TV?
Sexual content and references 9%
Strong language 6%
Have you ever participated in a Ratings survey?
No never been asked 76%
Yes in the last 5 years 11%
Yes more than 10 years ago 8%
No but I have been asked to participate 4%
Yes in the last 5-10 years 1%
All results have been rounded.
Monday: Pay TV Results
Tuesday: Streaming Results