Did Bluey really average 11 million viewers?

A massive figure cited by ABC in the stellar success of Bluey was incorrect, according to OzTAM.


Just how big is Bluey?

Without a shadow of a doubt, very bloody big.

Last month ABC staggeringly claimed Season 3 had attracted “a whopping series average Total Audience of 11 million viewers,” subsequently reported in a wave of press coverage.

ABC claimed the audience outranked “any series to air in Australia, including MAFS (2.58m), Lego Masters (2.2m) and State of Origin (2.6m in 2022) on Nine, and even higher than the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony (3.7m) in 2021 on Seven!”

ABC added together every screening, including repeats, regional viewers and VPM.

ABC said, “We have reported that it has a Total Audience of 12.7m (28 day broadcast + cume VPM). This includes 952k for the 8am premiere on 9 April. It also includes over 8 million iview VPM (from premiere to date) and 3.7 million average audience from cumulative encores of which there were 2 on ABC Kids and ABC TV.”

An OzTAM spokesperson told TV Tonight, adding first run and encore audiences is permissable, but cannot be called an Average and should be clearly sourced.

“The sourcing states that the Total Audience they are referencing is being summed: ‘Total Audience methodology includes the sum of regional viewing, encores and VPM,'” they said.

“The comment in the ABC release that is clearly incorrect is in the first line ‘whopping series average Total Audience of 11 million.'”

The numbers referencing MAFS and Lego Masters were also not series Totals making a ‘like for like’ comparison difficult at best.

Bluey love doesn’t stop there.

At the Logie Awards presenter Dave Hughes told the crowd Bluey had “20 Billion Streams” and the room broke out in applause. 20 Billion is a phenomenal figure given there are ‘only’ 7.88 Billion people on the planet.

Hughes was presumably referring to Nielsen’s streaming charts in the USA which has reported over 21 Billion minutes in 2022 across 114 episodes. Disney, which screens the series, stateside does not release viewing numbers, even to distributor BBC. But total minutes is not exactly the same as individual streams.

The bizarre thing is Bluey is already a phenomenon in its own right, so why the need to further conflate numbers? Last year it was even the top scripted show on Australian television.

Bluey is a superstar and deserves all the success for Ludo Studios, ABC, BBC and all associated with her without needing to incorrectly do the sums.

Updated: OzTAM spokesperson: “OzTAM and the ABC agree that the sole reference to the ’series average’ could have been better expressed as a series average based on the total audience (not the average audience), for each episode.”

3 Responses

  1. The streamers love using billiond of minutes streamed to make a show sound massive. Usually when you divide that by how long the series actually is you end up with quite a mediocre worldwide figure.

  2. I believe the number of views on Iview, but it’s not really equivalent to actual viewers though. I have a 3 & a 6 year old and I know we watched each new episode at least 10 times the day it came out, if not more. Kids love repetition and will watch the same episode over and over again.

  3. Imagine the revelations that would emerge if OzTAM put as much time and effort into fact checking spin from Seven, Nine or Ten as they do Bluey. Poor pooch!

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