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Where are the winter audiences?

Winter viewing is peak time in TV programming-land ....or is it?

Winter begins today, normally a peak time for television shows as viewers hunker down early to stay warm.

But overnight audiences are low by comparison with recent years in early evening slots, seemingly blasé to the Reality TV offerings on offer.

That resulted in The Chase leading entertainment at 590,000 / 360,000 metro viewers last night.

7:30 won its slot at 567,000 then MasterChef Australia (533,000), Celebrity Apprentice (411,000), Big Brother (306,000), Space 22 (243,000) and Great British Railway Journeys (225,000).

Later The Cheap Seats won at 360,000 then The Family Court Murders (256,000), Matt Wright’s Wild Territory (238,000), Insight (211,000) and The Good Doctor (197,000).

Despite low numbers from 7:30pm, Seven network still led on 26.7% then Nine 25.6%, 10 20.2%, ABC 16.7% and SBS 10.9%.

Seven News was #1 at 1.01m / 948,000 for Seven. Home & Away was 469,000. The Rookie was 133,000.

Nine News (872,000 / 848,000) was best for Nine. A Current Affair drew 644,000 then Hot Seat (443,000 / 284,000). Late News was 145,000.

The Project drew 375,000 / 265,000 for 10. 10 News First was 335,000 / 218,000. NCIS was 143,000.

ABC News won its slot at 734,000. The Drum (211,000) and Our Brain (138,000) followed.

On SBS it was SBS World News (173,000 / 125,000), Dateline (153,000), Mastermind (95,000) and The Feed (76,000).

Bluey topped multichannels at 161,000.

Sunrise: 234,000
News Breakfast: 124,000 / 73,000
Today: 192,000

In Total TV Numbers last Tuesday were:

The Rookie: 394,000
Big Brother: 773,000
Wild Territory: 399,000
MasterChef: 803,000
The Family Court Murders: 468,000

OzTAM Overnights: Tuesday 31 May 2022.

13 Responses

  1. In only watch FTA but a lot of it I stream later….iview/7play/10play/SBS On Demand….I have become mildly invested in Celeb. Apprentice because of Benji Marshall….local lad…..I watch 9 live as I am not signed up to them….I normally do not watch a lot on 9…I have come to Travel Guides this year…love it!

  2. The problem is when you strip shows three, four, five, six nights a week there’s no impetus for any of it to be Event Television. None of it matters any more because there’ll be another episode tomorrow, and the sheer amount of work local production crews have to do means the end results are almost invariably half-assed so you’re not even invested in the first place. That’s not to say a stripped show wouldn’t work – there was clearly an appetite for Big Brother back when it was announced and it’s a combination of interference and incompetence that’s meant it’s been a disaster – but the days of that structure as a viable default are over.

  3. To put it perhaps a little crudely, the ass has fallen out of free to air television in Australia. The same has happened in the US of course, and even more markedly in the UK – we have just been a little further behind.
    Overnights for Home and Away were averaging around 600,000 or 700,000 plus a few years ago, now well down in the 400,000s. The main news services were almost always over a million in the same period now just scraping that number or a little below.
    I think we are not far off seeing the average reality show rating being around 300,000 to 400,000 and from that point on you would have to say their viability would be questionable even if seven-day viewing boosts the numbers.
    I may be alone in this but would really support a move away from single program scheduling where one reality program appears four or five nights a week with two hour plus episodes. It is not a sustainable model if audience retention is desired.

  4. I’ve stopped watching Big Brother after the twist of Sam’s eviction last week being overturned. I’ve watched enough Survivor etc. to know these twists are common but it made the entire week of activities/storylines completely irrelevant and didn’t add any intrigue or motivation to keep watching to see the fallout. Sorry producers, you lost me doing that.
    And a lot of the audience would be watching Stranger Things S4 on Netflix or Obe Wan Kenobi on Disney this week.

  5. I am watching more TV than ever. I don’t usually turn the TV on till after 8pm and watch till about 11pm. But in the last week, only an Antiques Road Show, Tribal and Our Brain would have show up in FTA Overnights. A lot would be in the +7s, I will watch The Rookie sometime this week but even it’s total figure is only 400k for last week. Then there is some SVOD and BVOD. Family viewing and even the watercooler are long gone.

    1. I was struck by Pertinax’s comment about a fortnight ago concerning the 3 best shows on FTA. I thought Pertinax had lost the plot naming them (The Rookie was 1 & I can’t recall the other 2). So I went to the 20 odd shows I had progarmmed to watch over the next week and there were only 2 first play series on FTA (1 of which was the U.S Survivor finale, so just the 1 now)!

      That says a lot; 1 out of about 20 shows I watch is on FTA. I don’t think it’s always that bad a ratio (SBS had a couple of great series in April and I’ll give D.I. Ray a watch next week), but this is one very flat spot FTA is going through right now.

  6. Probably on those alternatives that the commercial networks have set up for us in competition with 7, 9 and 10 – 9Now, Paramount+, 7plus, and which they incessantly promote on 7, 9 & 10 as alternative viewing. Or one of the plethora of other streaming services, Stan, Netflix, Disney, Binge, etc., etc. Or the endless repeats of shows like MasterChef the next day, over the weekend, across three channels. And in 10’s case the mixing of repeats of reruns among “new seasons”, such as NCIS, Bull, FBI, etc.

  7. Not surprised the FTA viewer numbers are so low. Not much worth watching really. My typical evening lately, starts with Mastermind, SBS news (1st 30 min), ABC news and then streaming or watching recorded programs.

    1. I agree, there’s not much to watch at 7:30 and what I do watch I record so I can edit out all the re-caps and adds. It’s SBS news for me also (if I’m home) and then streaming, or I watch something I’ve recorded. Recently I’ve started recording old movies on the secondary channels, so I watch those some nights. We have so many options these days and FTA essentially put on the same reality shows, with the same types of contestants, year after year. There’s no real variety anymore. I think many of us are choosing some of the new offerings on streaming, because we want something different.

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