HDTV Ratings: October 6-9

Live HD coverage of last night’s Rugby World Cup match between the All Blacks and Argentina wasn’t enough to sway free-to-air viewers.

They opted for Maori TV’s SD telecast over TV One and TV3’s HD broadcasts.

But Sky Sports 1’s HD coverage was the most watched of all the RWC channels in the key demograhics.

It drew 16.6% of 25-54 year-olds, compared to MTS’ 12.4%, TV One’s 10.8% and TV3’s 6.4%.

The FTA gap narrowed with 18-49s — MTS 10.9%, TV One 9.1%, TV3 7.6% — but Sky Sport 1 was still the clear winner, with 14.2%.

The outcome prompted MTS to issue a press release stating it was the most-watched FTA broadcaster for the RWC.

“The results show New Zealanders trust us to give them the viewing experience they want for Rugby World Cup 2011,” chief executive Jim Mather said.

The All Blacks’ win over Argentina scored an audience of 501,500 and represented MTS’ second biggest audience of the tournament so far.

“What is particularly pleasing is that our audience actually grew from the exclusive free-to-air game between Australia and South Africa to the All Blacks game, which was shared by all channels,” Mather said.

TV2 has been the other FTA winner. Last night’s HD re-run of I Am Legend couldn’t out-rate the RWC in most of the key demos but the network’s savvy counterprogramming on Saturday saw the maiden HD voyage of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl easily win its slot while TV One and TV3 split the RWC audience with their live coverage.

Pirates stole 8.2%-8.5% of the major demos and 9.4% of household shoppers with kids, but TV One and TV3’s Saturday HD staples, Get Fresh With Al Brown and ITM Fishing Show, were gutted by RWC coverage on Sky Sport 1 and MTS.

On Friday, TV3’s X Factor USA helped it to win the night, with 11.9% of 25-54s, 11.3% of 18-49s and 18-39s, and 12.8% of HHS/kids.

In contrast, TV2’s HD presentation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets rated 9.1%-11.4% in these demos.

Curiously, TV3’s Friday X Factor edition is far more popular than Thursday’s, which trails TV2’s reality line-up across the board.

Moreover, Rove LA continues its steep decline, with Thursday’s episode rating only 4.8% of 25-54s, 4.9% of 18-49s and 5.8% of 18-39s, which was about half of the viewers in those age groups that were tuned in to TV2.

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One Response to “HDTV Ratings: October 6-9”

  1. Maybe people who watched the first game on MTS were too lazy to switch to a HD feed. I watched the TV3 feed as the 5.1 was very good compared to TV One’s 5.1 sound. Pity that both channels went to stereo at about 28 minutes in the game and it stayed that way until the second half started.

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