The double episode season premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale averaged 269,000 viewers in Overnight viewers.
But nearly just as many watched it on their PVRs in the second days thereafter, where it pulled another 226,000 viewers, lifting it to 495,000. That pushes it past Hot Seat, The Project, Show Me the Movie and The Footy Show.
But the numbers don’t stop there, with SBS On Demand screening episodes ahead of their broadcast playout, plus repeats on SBS VICELAND.
The show’s lure is likely to come under scrutiny in the government’s inquiry into the competitive neutrality of ABC and SBS.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid has previously told a Senate Estimates hearing Nine wanted Handmaid’s Tale for its Stan streaming service.
Nine CEO Hugh Marks told he same hearing, “With great shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, we’d put in a very commercial offer. SBS could have taken a second window after Nine; they still could have had it available, but they chose to outbid us and take the first window. So we’re in this environment where we’re facing public broadcasting competition for dollars, which is driving up the cost of international content.”
Meanwhile SBS is not doing itself any favours with its coding of the series with OzTAM, with 4 episodes in one week, including on SBS VICELAND, dragging down the weekly average for premiere episodes.