EXCLUSIVE: TV shows live and die according to daily ratings, but in a fragmented world of viewing, is there any consensus to present a better story for Free to Air, by reporting national audience numbers, instead of a 5 city metro?
A new ‘Total TV’ reporting standard known as Virtual Australia (‘VOZ’) was delayed in 2020 but is due in 2021. VOZ data will be in addition to existing reports including Overnight, Consolidated / Timeshifting and BVOD.
TV Tonight recently asked networks if they would prefer to ditch 5 city metro numbers in favour of a national figure?
Angus Ross, Seven Network Director of Programming
Yes. You’d still be able to see a metro figure if you wanted to, but in terms of the first set of numbers published the numbers would be bigger, so it makes a better story. And VOZ would be an even better story on top of that.
Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist,
It makes sense to me that we understand what all Australians are doing across the board… what they’re attracted to, what they’re not attracted to, their behaviours between networks and streamers and all that kind of stuff. So from our perspective, we do look at it from a national level and it makes sense to us.
Ben Nguyen, SBS Channel Programmer
It feels anachronistic to measure them in two in this day and age. There’s obviously historic reasons for the commercial affiliates in regional areas that needed to be measured separately. But obviously the public broadcasters have never been in that position anyway. So we end up playing a sort of ‘adding game’ with the lines of limitations around that. But we’re all in the position that when you have a big hit on television, I think it’s good for everyone. If you’re only talking about a metro overnight number, you’re only talking about part of the story. What gets reported to the public does have an impact, and it would be better to be a little bit less complicated in that message.
Hamish Turner, Nine Programming Director
It doesn’t make sense. We don’t monetise regional revenue, so from our perspective, we report on those metrics that generate revenue for us. It doesn’t mean those numbers can’t be reported. But ours focus will continue to be on metro numbers. Whereas on 9Now it’s a bit different because you monetise the entire audience.
Daniel Monaghan, 10 Director of Programming
Network 10 is five metro stations so we talk about that number first and foremost, but we do care about WIN’s numbers as well. …. (Free to Air networks) are all different businesses with their relationships in regional, so I think it’s individual. Our answers all may differ on that. I think Seven’s probably thinking about national numbers and Nine’s probably thinking more metro at the moment.