Duke Tops With TV Dudes

TVNZ’s male-skewing Duke channel is drawing more viewers than like-minded channels on Sky, with 95% of the audience watching it on linear TV rather than online.

That’s despite an upsurge in Kiwis streaming their content and Duke’s picture quality being of a much higher resolution when streamed than broadcast on Freeview or Sky.

The streaming isn’t true HD but is much nearer to it than the SD broadcast signal.

Since launching two months ago, Duke’s been seen by more than 1.7 million viewers and every week averages 80,000 of its target audience: males aged 18-39.

This puts Duke ahead of Sky’s Comedy Central, Sky Sports 1 and 2, Discovery and The Box when compared to Duke’s broadcast hours of 6pm to midnight, TVNZ’s director of content Jeff Latch says.

“The channel is well on track to achieve its first-year audience targets.”

Especially popular have been The Late Late Show With James Corden, Scam City and live sport.

Latch says new content, which accounts for 80% of Duke’s schedule, will be boosted in the next quarter.

“Viewers can look forward to a strong slate of new and returning dramas and comedies, which we know from their OnDemand and on air performance really resonate with our audience and provide a gateway to the channel’s other great content.

“We’ll also be screening brand new event factual series such as NRL Rookie, which will air simultaneously with Australia.”

While most of Duke’s viewers opt for live TV broadcast, “we’re expecting online streaming to grow over time,” Latch says.

“We’ve seen our online numbers spike around big sports games like the NBA playoffs, which goes to show that viewers love to keep up with the play no matter where they are.”

Duke’s also developed a 25,000-strong following on social media and is helping TVNZ to develop a “video audience measurement” that covers viewership on air and online.

It’s also introduced a new video pricing model for advertisers and lightened the ad load on Duke’s schedule, so campaigns can have stronger cut through.

Here’s hoping the new approach will lead to less clutter on TVNZ’s ad-heavy top tier channels.

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3 Responses to “Duke Tops With TV Dudes”

  1. Glad Duke is succeeding, they have a good mix of programming.

  2. Hope that they will upgrade to HD on their FTA platform with these good ratings.

  3. Yes, quite agree, especially when you look at what’s coming up (about to post details). Have asked TVNZ if there are any plans for HD FTA but it’s not committing beyond its SD service at present. Streaming is the best way to watch the channel.

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