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Late night opportunity if networks gets creative?

Viewers started switching off by 9:30 last night -meaning there could be room to capture late night viewers with a little bit of risk involved.

By 10pm last night, audiences had all but switched off their televisions -meaning there is also an opportunity for a show to capture viewers’ imagination.

By 10pm last night the top rating show was ABC doco Australia After War at only 138,000 metro viewers, indeed most shows were underwhelming from 9:30pm onwards.

Meanwhile The Block again topped entertainment at 671,000 metro viewers.

That outranked 7:30 (416,000), SAS Australia (401,000), Take 5 with Zan Rowe (291,000) and the final Shark Tank at just 239,000.

Later The Cheap Seats led with 335,000 then Old People’s Home for Teenagers (303,000), Under Investigation (262,000)

Nine network won Tuesday with 30.6% then Seven 28.5%, ABC 16.9%, 10 16.0% and SBS 8.0%.

Nine News (700,000 / 694,000) was best for Nine. A Current Affair led with 644,000 then Hot Seat (309,000 / 199,000). Love Triangle was only 88,000.

Seven News was #1 at 823,000 / 805,000. The Chase drew 489,000 / 299,000 then Home & Away (454,000). HMP Behind Bars was just 123,000.

ABC News pulled 522,000. Australia After War (138,000) and The Drum (122,000) followed.

The Project pulled 249,000 for 10. 10 News First was 189,000 / 133,000 then NCIS (112,000).

On SBS it was SBS World News (141,000 / 113,000), Insight (72,000), Dateline (69,000), Mastermind (62,000) and The Point just 37,000.

7TWO’s The Coroner topped multichannels at 105,000.

Sunrise: 209,000
Today: 193,000
News Breakfast: 98,000 / 40,000

In Total TV numbers last Tuesday were:

The Block: 1.25m
SAS Australia: 889,000
Old People’s Home for Teenagers: 575,000
Home & Away: 914,000
Take 5 with Zan Rowe: 528,000
Shark Tank: 364,000

OzTAM Overnights: Tuesday 17 October 2023

19 Responses

  1. I watched a documentary at 11.30pm on Chernobyl, which was quite interesting.
    Also why do some channels start movies at 7.30, not really a sit down and watch time in my opinion.

  2. It amazes me when you see a uk market (yes, I know, very different), have their staple shows air at 9pm nightly with big success. It makes you wonder why networks don’t try something here – yes we know people switch off. But surely it’s worth a try to maintain an audience for similar targets from the 730-830 slot?

    Maybe not the best/strongest example – but the voice at 730 and then big brother at 830 for instance.

  3. It seems unthinkable that networks used to invest in expensive productions like the Don Lane Show at 9.30-11pm or Tonight Live with Steve Vizard at 10.30-11.30pm. (Even throw in Rove at 8.30-9.30pm too. Nowadays hardly anything is invested in quality productions other than the odd drama (and sport) after 8.30pm. Thank god for the Working Dog team! I suppose its too late in 2023 to ask for a 25th anniversary special edition of The Panel isn’t it?

    1. yup, too expensive now and doesn’t get the required eyeballs to justify the money. Instead people watch catch up tv, streaming platforms or glued to their phone on tiktok etc.

  4. See channel 10 needs to change 10 News Frist time the ratings is all ways declining the 5 pm. Timeslot is no good for 10 years any more it’s time for a change after more than a decade.its needs to move to 6:30pm to 7:30pm

  5. I watched 7 News and SAS last night. After that I went to Netflix and watched the 2014 documentary Born in Gaza (runtime approx 1hr) which was a hard watch. All amazing kids and everyone should have a look at if they can handle difficult content.

  6. It’s very hard to watch anything after 9pm now, thanks to 7, 9 and 10 having ridiculous ‘overruns’ to end/start programs at all odd times. These days, if I don’t want to watch, say, 10’s show following HYBPA I won’t switch to 7 or 9, or ABC or SBS to pick up something that’s 10 or 15 minutes in. I’ll go elsewhere. Oh for the days of IMT which started at 9:32 precisely, every night, and “8:30” meant 8:30. The genius who first started this ‘overrun’ idea didn’t think it through. 10’s blending the end of one show with the start of the next, no break, no credits and mixing music, is a real turn off. Nanny Fine in her strike negotiations should demand credits be contracted in every licence to be played in full and not cut, as used to be the case. Not squeezed into a box behind some promos or run at a ridiculous speed, as does 7.

    1. Overruns is the problem in a nutshell –

      you cannot guarantee watching the start of a 930 show on another commercial network without missing part of the show before it on an opposing network.

      And approximately 66% of commercial viewers are watching the other station at any one time.

      The only times this used to occur were after 1030 pm due to either the varying lengths of the movie, or The Don Lane Show.

      The new kids on the block knew better, and reinvented the programming ship with magnets that attract icebergs.

  7. An interesting analysis David.
    I wonder what could ‘capture the imagination’ post 9.30pm.
    Clearly networks have looked at and rejected any form of talk show/late night current affairs (Project repeats aside) and any comedy or drama option would unlikely get viable numbers. Almost month by month the numbers for overnights even in the early evening post News are dropping.
    Australia is also a bit odd in that we tend to go to bed earlier and get up earlier than comparable nations. In speaking to managers of theatrical venues recently they are finding the traditional start time for shows of 8.00pm to 8.30pm is no longer working as shows will finish ‘too late’ for people planning for work/school the next day.
    The same is increasingly true for in-person evening sports events getting lower numbers of live people at the grounds.
    I am not sure that there is a solution to the problem identified except pulling prime time back to earlier in the night.

    1. I think part of the problem is that the commercial networks aren’t even really looking. They’re thinking cheap re-runs with lower viewership will still result in higher advertising revenue than even the cheapest of original programming might pull. (I think they’re wrong, but still).

      7, 9, and 10 seem to have forgotten the cultural power of television. Australians head to bed or streaming earlier because there’s nothing to watch later in the evening. They have the power to change how Australians live and consume entertainment. I’d happily stay up till 11 or so if there was something worth watching. I reckon the cut-off point is probably 10.30 or so. But most people would probably finish whatever program was airing at that time before they knocked off for the night.

  8. Networks will use the excuse “we don’t program for that time because there are no viewers” rather than recognising that there are no viewers because they’re not programming for that time.

      1. Monday’s would be the only night I don’t really tune into a streamer. ABC News and 7.30 between 7 and 8, tune out till HYBPA? at 8.40(ish) on 10, then I switch to Q&A and catch that until whenever that eventually ends. Then I watch Media Watch on iView after that because I missed it watching HYBPA? earlier.

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