The actual ratings for TVNZ7

One of the stats that should never see the light of day is monthly cumulative audience. It is a meaningless figure which counts someone who watched 15 minutes of a programme once during a month the same as someone who tunes in for three hours a day, 30 days a month (watches 360 times as much).

Cumulative figures mean almost nothing, except to get very large numbers. The cumulative unique audience for Kiwiblog is 2.78 million people. That is double the 1.4 million monthly cumulative audience for .

What matters is actual shows, and how many watch a show. People watch shows, not channels. I have long said that I think there were some good quality shows on TVNZ7, but the idea of a separate non-commercial channel as part of a commercial broadcaster was incredibly stupid. Those who really care about public broadcasting should be trying to get a better model going forward, not trying to preserve a failed model. TVNZ was never going to promote shows on TVNZ7, which might take people away from TV1 and TV2. What you actually want is to get those shows on TV1 or TV3 or Sky, or even on the Internet.

Now to provide some hard data on viewership, I’m going to blog the for most of the shows that were broadcast the week before last in the evenings, so people can see the audience differences. Now note TVNZ7 is so small it does not even get rated seperately, it comes under “Others”. So the viewing figure for others is the maximum TVNZ7 shows got.

The channels Neilsen reports on are TVOne, TV2, TV3, Prime, Maori TV, Sky, Others.

Viewer numbers for Tuesday were:

  • Tuesday One News 773,000
  • Shortland Street 712,000
  • Masterchef 619,000
  • Tuesday Close Up 487,000
  • Intrepid Journeys 452,000
  • The Middle 429,000
  • 3 News 411,000
  • Target 388,000
  • NCIS 371,000
  • Suburgatory 331,000
  • NCIA: LA 303,000
  • Campbell Live 270,000
  • Funny Roots 270,000
  • Coppers 249,000
  • GCB 230,000
  • Friends 164,000
  • Bee Gees 164,000
  • River Cottage 123,000
  • Necessary Roughness 123,000
  • Neighbours 90,000
  • Others (incl TVNZ7) at 9.30 when Good Word is on) 82,000
  • Deal or No Deal 78,000
  • Crowd Goes Wild 37,000
  • Whose Line is it 29,000

For Wednesday it is:

  • Wednesday One News 725,000
  • Shortland Street 618,000
  • Fair Go 593,000
  • Animal rescue 585,000
  • Big Bang Theory 507,000
  • Two and a half men 495,000
  • Wednesday Close Up 470,000
  • 2 Broke Girls 454,000
  • Undercover Boss 427,000
  • 3 News 338,000
  • Castle 327,000
  • Campbell Live 258,000
  • The GC 245,000
  • Road Cops 221,000
  • Hell’s Kitchen 221,000
  • Friends 192,000
  • Almighty Johnsons 166,000
  • Breakout Kings 150,000
  • WWII in Colour 82,000
  • Deal or No Deal 78,000
  • Wuthering Heights 70,000
  • Others (incl TVNZ7) from 9.00 to 10.00 when Backbenches is on) 65,000
  • QI 41,000
  • Whose Line is it 33,000
  • Crowd Goes Wild 29,000

Now recall again that Others is actually for all channels outside the main TVNZ ones, TV3, TV4, Sky and Maori TV. This includes TVNZU, TVNZ kidzone24, TVNZ7, TVNZ Heartland, Trackside, Choice, Parliament TV, Cue, Te Reo, ShineTV, CTV8, Ch9, Centre Stage, 33 TV, Channel North, Triangle TV. So the actual TVNZ7 numbers may be just a small fraction of “others”, which is already tiny.

Even all grouped together, the only shows on that evening which rate lower are those on Prime. And it not just just about the time of night. At 9 pm and 9.30 pm you often have 35% to 30% of New Zealanders still watching TV.

Now again the issue is not the quality of the TV shows. The issue was placing them as part of TVNZ on a non-commercial channel within a commercial company. It was never going to work.

Taxpayers spend $150 million a year on public broadcasting. There is no reason some of those shows which were on TVNZ7 can’t be funded, if a broadcaster is willing to host them. Setting the shows free from TVNZ7 might be the best thing which could happen to them.

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