Seven Sharp vs Campbell Live

April 14th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar


Throng has compiled this chart. It shows the ratings since Seven Sharp started.

When it comes to Campbell Live though, the average audience of 281,669 viewers in 2013 was the best they’ve ever been.  During that year, Campbell Live regularly beat Seven Sharp and broke a number of ratings records.  Things were looking great.  TVNZ had opened the door and Mediaworks looked set to capitalise on it.  Unfortunately for them, TVNZ made further changes in 2014 with the introduction of Mike Hosking and Toni Street and with it came the ratings growth and the upward ratings trajectory that the management team had hoped for the year earlier.

In 2014, the average audience for Campbell Live fell 22% to 219,406 viewers per night.  So far in 2015, the average audience is down a further 13% to 191,432.  Overall, this equates to a 32% drop in the average nightly audience.

It is worth pointing out that if Campbell Live does fold, I am sure the talents of John Campbell will not be wasted. He is generally an excellent broadcaster and am sure he would be picked up elsewhere.  It might not be a daily show, but we do not have a lack of current affairs shows in NZ. We have:

  • Q+A
  • The Nation
  • Native Affairs
  • Sunday
  • 360
  • 3rd Degree
  • 60 Minutes
  • 20/20
  • Attitude
  • Marae
  • Rural Delivery
  • Tagata Pasifika
  • Te Karere
  • Media Take
  • Backbenches
  • Inside NZ
  • Mataora
  • Te Kaea
  • Te Tepu
  • Focus

So if Campbell Live does end, it is not the end of current affairs in NZ. Far from it.

Seven Sharp soaring

June 17th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

campbell-live-vs-seven-sharp-week-20-2014 Seven Sharp on One is killings its timeslot. Throng reports:

Year on year, Seven Sharp continued to improve on 2013 with a 25% increase on the same period as last year while it was down 33% for John Campbell and his team.

It seems obvious that Mike Hosking and Toni Street are a winning combination. At the rate Campbell Live is going, more people will be tuning into Whale Oil every day than watching Campbell Live!

A new line up for Seven Sharp

December 19th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Broadcasters Mike Hosking and Toni Street say they are excited to be joining current affairs programme Seven Sharp.

TVNZ confirmed last evening the show would return next year, with Hosking and Street joining co-host Jesse Mulligan.

Alison Mau, another of the show’s hosts announced her last night she would finish with the show on Friday, while Tamati Coffey’s fate was unclear, although TVNZ said last night it was looking at other opportunities for him.

It will be interesting to see how the new line up goes. Hosking is an experienced broadcaster. Also will be interesting to see how Ali Mau goes on Radio Live with Willie Jackson. Would have more fun to see her paired up with John Tamihere 🙂

Manufactured rage?

March 20th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Regan at Throng blogs:

Last Thursday, Seven Sharp ran a story about domestic violence in a staged enactment in an Auckland street.  This morning (five days later), the New Zealand Herald has a story that claimed“Women’s Refuge has criticised a Seven Sharp story on bystander reaction to violence against women which used the song Smack My Bitch Up as a backing track”.

The New Zealand Herald has a history of inciting anger when there is none and this latest escapade is no different.

We spoke to Women’s Refuge this morning and a spokesperson told us that they had been completely unaware of Seven Sharp’s story until the NZ Herald had contacted them for comment.  Colour me surprised. 

Getting upset over a backing track that features no lyrics on an issue that is increasingly problematic in New Zealand is incredibly petty and completely misses the point.  The fact that the issue is getting raised at all is something that should be congratulated, not lambasted for such trivial and inconsequential points.

If the track had included lyrics, then lots of people would be upset. But the reality is that no one watching the show was in any way offended. It was only five days later the “rage” was manufactured.

More on Seven Sharp

February 13th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Joe Nunweek has blogged what is probably the most detailed critique of Seven Sharp. It’s a good read.

As I have blogged previously I have generally enjoyed the show. But there was one part this week that really made me groan. They had someone on for 5 to 10 minutes to give his view of how the entire banking system was a Ponzi scheme and that the Reserve Bank should just print more money or something (no it wasn’t Russel Norman – this guy made even Russel seem rational). Then at the end of the entirely unchallenged viewpoint:

“Now, we could have had any number of economists in to discuss the yin and the yang of what we’ve just seen, but we’d rather know what you think!”


I’m all for viewer input and feedback but they are complementary for expert opinion – not a substitute for it. Especially in an area such as the financial and banking system. It was an appalling decision to not only refuse to have anyone to to put the other side of what the Social Credit type activist was claiming – but to actually boast of how they were not interested in having a well-informed discussion. If they had put on an economist on, then the viewer would have been in a better position to give feedback. Feedback is not a substitute for analysis.

To give credit to Greg Boyed, he did at least attempt to point out why the banking system is not a ponzi scheme.

Seven good and bad on Seven Sharp

February 6th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

A press secretary commented to me yesterday that I seem to be the only person in the country who liked Seven Sharp. By coincidence Heather DPA walked past at that point!

Anyway it is fair to say that almost all reviews and comments online have been critical, including of course those written before it aired!

But I thought this post by Toby Manhire is pretty well balanced. The summary is:


  1. The tone
  2. The personnel
  3. Ali Mau
  4. The set
  5. The John Key office item
  6. The Afghanistan and post-traumatic stress disorder item
  7. No pratfalls


  1. The lack of live-news content
  2. Interactivity
  3. The tone
  4. The tone cont’d
  5. The timing of the John Key office item
  6. Some of the jokes
  7. The absence of studio guests

Tuesday’s night show was a bit different to the first night. One thing which would improve things for me is having them say at the beginning of the programme what they’ll be covering. If you know what is coming up, you are more likely to stay past the jokes.

The naturist item was quite interesting. A good example of meeting someone behind the headline story. I had some sympathy for him up until the point he compared himself to Martin Luther King.

Had to laugh at the position of the boom mike in the interview 🙂

Not quite so many items as the night before, which was good in my opinion.

And a mini coup with getting Karen from the Rachel v Karen phone call on screen. Not as exciting as one would have thought though from the phone call.

The Richie McCaw item was very boring, but I guess rates well with hormonal women.

So after two nights, I’m still in the liking it category. But no, I won’t be doing daily reviews. After this I’ll give a month before blogging again on it.

Seven Sharp

February 4th, 2013 at 9:52 pm by David Farrar

Well I have to say I liked it. Highlight was the suggestion that the person who accompany the PM onto the Waitangi Marae was Karen from Stokes Valley. One of many times I had a good laugh.

The three hosts had good rapport with each other and the items were interesting. Obviously enjoyed Heather DPA’s tour of the PM’s Office and how he has a sword instead of a panic button.

No it wasn’t in-depth critical analysis of the day’s issues. It was never going to be that. There are other shows for that. But I think a bit of humour isn’t a bad thing to get people watching.

It is of course one day only. The real challenge is to still be fresh and interesting a month down the track. It’s certainly done well enough that I’ve set it down as a series record on My Sky – something I had never done with Close Up (or Campbell Live).