HD Ratings: Bledisloe Bleeds Free-to-Air

Sky’s Bledisloe Cup coverage on Sunday mauled the free-to-air networks, with viewership nosediving in the ultra-prime period of 6.30-9.00.

The live rugby on Sky Sport 1 averaged 8.8% of the country and, in the core commercial demographics that matter most to the networks, 9.2% of 25-54 year-olds and 7.4% of 18-49s.

TVNZ 1’s time slot-winning warhorses Hyundai Country Calendar and Sunday were particularly hard hit, along with TVNZ 2’s season premiere of Inside Taronga Zoo and Three’s network movie premiere of Charlie’s Angles (2019).

HCC averaged 5.7% of 25-54s and 3.9% of 18-49s vs 10.8% / 8.1% the previous week; similarly, Sunday averaged just 4.2% / 2.6% vs vs 6.2% / 4.6% a week earlier.

Of course, last week’s results were helped by huge ratings for 1 News at Six (13.1% / 9.4%) whereas this weekend’s broadcast mustered only 8.5% / 6.0%.

One Lane Bridge at 8.30 was steady on 1.7% / 1.2%, but probably didn’t have much further to slip after the previous week’s season low, while lead-out The Panthers dropped to 0.5% / 0.4%.

The S2 premiere of Inside Taronga Zoo was a disaster. After S1 opened to high weeknight ratings on TVNZ 1, the shift to a weekend slot on a different channel against formidable competition resulted in averages of just 2.9% / 2.4%.

This was on the back of 3.4% / 2.7% for the 30th anniversary re-run of Mr Bean and opposite the penultimate episode of Three’s The Block NZ (4.3% / 2.9%).

But TVNZ 2 dominated from 8.30 with The Bourne Ultimatum averaging 2.5% / 1.4% against Charlie’s Angels’ 1.9% / 1.2%.

TVNZ 1 won the night with core demo shares of around 20% while Three’s were in the mid-high teens and TVNZ 2’s in the 11% range.

TVNZ 2’s Saturday movies Beauty & the Beast and Bridesmaids also outrated TVNZ 1’s Call the Midwife Delivery Special and Three’s premiere of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and First Man.

But TVNZ 1 led earlier, with 1 News at Six, Tipping Point: Lucky Stars and Jamie’s Easy Meals for Every Day.

And the network’s Friday line-up was unassailable in the 25-54 demo, from the news hour through to The Great British Sewing Bee.

However, 18-49 year-olds switched over after The Repair Shop to help TVNZ 2’s Have You Been Paying Attention? win the 8.30 hour.

You might have thought Three’s umpteenth repeat of Raiders of the Lost Ark was one franchise that had been plundered too often by the networks but it still delivered competitive averages of 3.3% / 2.6%.

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One Response to “HD Ratings: Bledisloe Bleeds Free-to-Air”

  1. I find it interesting that NZ On Air didn’t bother measuring Spark Sport and Sky Sport Now in its latest report. Either the audiences were too small to measure (interesting given how important the public claim that sport is and how important that the ComCom differentiate sport from general entertainment [IMHO sport is just another genre in the entertainment category – nothing special about it]) or NZ On Air forgot to ask. And yet a dead rubber Bledisloe seems to get a bit of attention …

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