Can X Factor Top American Idol Premiere and Rescue TV3?

Advertising Age reports today’s launch of The X Factor USA will have to draw at least 26.2 million viewers to out-rate the 10th season premiere of American Idol in January.

Anything less will be a “huge disappointment” for ex-Idol judge Simon Cowell, the trade paper argues.

If it doesn’t, the lack of hype won’t be to blame. Just how ridiculous has been the hyperbole?

Consider The X Factor’s website, which hails the talent quest’s debut as “history in the making …

“You remember your first kiss, the day you got braces, but where will YOU be for the premiere of THE X FACTOR tonight?

“Maybe you’ll be at home on the couch with your family. Or maybe you’ll go big and throw a screening party with your friends.

“Either way, it is an event, people. Get excited!”

TV3 certainly will be hoping the show excites Kiwis after a rugged ratings month in which it’s been hammered by the competition, the biggest disappointment being the high-profile flop of local HD drama, Underbelly NZ: Land of the Long Green Cloud.

TV3’s primetime share of 25-54 year-olds last week was only 15.3%, versus TV2’s 21.4% and TV One’s 19.1%.

So far this week its 25-54 average is 16.1%, which it hopes will rally with its X Factor gamble on the eve of its first live Rugby World Cup match on Saturday night.

The network’s made an extraordinary commitment to X Factor USA, dedicating two two-hour primetime slots a week initially, with a four-hour Saturday afternoon re-run.

It’s also gone to considerable expense to deliver it off the satellite in HD only four hours after the US broadcast. (Audio will be two-channel, not 5.1.)

It will be banking on the first week’s episodes to score big, firstly against Sky Sports 1’s live RWC coverage on both nights, and secondly against TV2’s HD free-to-air premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tomorrow at 7.30pm.

While TV3 and TV One have struggled against Sky and Maori TV’s RWC coverage, TV2 has done anything but drop the ball.

According to TVNZ marketing, “In the face of massive interest in Rugby World Cup, TV2 experienced a great week last week, with audiences up 15% and share up 10% to 27.6%.

“Friday night saw a huge 58% audience lift weekly with Shortland Street’s audience almost doubling week on week.

“This growth can be attributed to strong storylines for Shortland Street, new programming such as Hot in Cleveland and Amazing Race Australia coming into the schedule as well as the Grey’s Anatomy musical television event on Tuesday evening.”

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2 Responses to “Can X Factor Top American Idol Premiere and Rescue TV3?”

  1. ” (Audio will be two-channel, not 5.1.)” Why? I’m sure it airs in the US in 5.1.

  2. Enjoyed X Factor tonight. HD looked good. Always love the auditions and think there’s some good acts to follow. If you haven’t seen Harry Potter, then hire the DVD for $1 on Tuesdays and enjoy the 5.1 for a week.

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