Why Overnight ratings are not the full picture for Foxtel either

"The demographic for SKY News is one that still watches television in a traditional manner," says Foxtel's Brian Walsh.

A quick glance at OzTAM Overnight numbers for Subscription TV will show how well SKY News shows have performed.

Shows such as Paul Murray Live, Credlin and The Bolt Report frequently float towards the top of daily rankings, usually attracting bigger numbers than profile shows such as Succession, Wentworth and The Real Housewives of Melbourne.

Yet like changes in Free to Air, this doesn’t necessarily give the full picture. News and Sport may remain appointment viewing, but Drama and Entertainment genres are heavily consumed in Timeshifted and BVOD streaming.

Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh recently told TV Tonight, Overnights were not the only accurate measure of viewing.

“It’s not the way consumers are viewing television anymore. People are increasingly watching television on demand. Whether they’re doing it on 7plus or 10Play, or Foxtel On Demand or Binge or Netflix… that’s the way people are consuming television and it’s not restricted to just Drama. It’s across all the genres now with the exception of News and Sport.

“In my own in my own case, I don’t watch the commercial network news at 6 o’clock at night. I happen to watch it at a time that suits me on one of the one of the streaming services of the commercial networks.”

Foxtel Group has just launched news streaming platform Flash -a reflection of the the demand for Live and breaking news.

“SKY News is immediate. It’s like talkback radio. If you’re not part of the discussion, you’re missing the discussion. Number one, I quite understand why people are watching SKY News live. Number two, the demographic for SKY News is one that still watches television in a traditional manner.

“So the fact that SKY News occupies the top five Overnights is a reflection of how people are consuming television. It’s fantastic for SKY News, they do a terrific job. You would expect that a live news service -like a live sports service- would be watched live. That’s just the way people are consuming television. But people are consuming scripted and unscripted very, very differently.”

In 2022 live streaming & catch-up services Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go will be added to VOZ for Total TV data. This will give a new indication of how titles are performing beyond Overnight numbers.

Walsh added, “The number one most-viewed show on Binge for the last three weeks has been The Real Housewives of Melbourne. Beating The Walking Dead, beating Succession.”

5 Responses

  1. Sky News is a strange channel. Overnight they relay sky UK, during the day they seem to be an all sports station, and then at 6 PM they turn into a TV version of the old 2GB.

  2. If I recall correctly, in the US, they use channel share and average minutes as their metric, and prefer to total all screenings up over a week to get a more accurate figure. I’m pretty sure Foxtel do this as well, so overnights are pointless for them. It just makes no sense to compare them to the FTA metrics

    1. US most important number is still the overnight 19-49 and shows live or die by them. Because that tells you who is watching ads, that advertisers will pay to reach, and thus is most accurate measure of revenue of show to a network. Advertising is pay for on +3 basis after networks demanded something for recorded viewing, though just about all of the + viewing skips the ads and doesn’t interest advertisers and they just dropped what they would pay for advertising to adjust for this. Total viewers tells you who watched the show that night, +7 is a just about everyone who watched the show in total, +28 is the last few stragglers. The thing that can tip the balance for shows, especially marginal CW shows, is how much global streaming revenue they think they will bring in, which is not published, but you later find out Netflix or someone else is streaming it globally.

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