HD Ratings: RuPaul a Drag or a Draw?

Upending its entrenched Saturday night movies strategy to accommodate RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under didn’t pay off in the ratings for TVNZ 2.

The weekend’s premiere was competitive enough to largely win its slot but averaged fewer viewers in the key commercial demographics.

That may have been partly due to the pulling power of Super Rugby on Sky, although coverage didn’t dent the popularity of TVNZ 1’s evening line-up.

It also went to air a couple of hours after launching on TVNZ OnDemand, so much of the target audience may already have viewed it by then.

In any event, the premiere rated lower than the previous week’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos.

It averaged 1.7% of the former (vs 1.8% for T3) and 1.9% of the latter (vs 2.8%).

But it did inherit a lower viewership from The Jungle Book than T3 did from the third Narnia movie.

And RuPaul did largely hold its viewership over the hour, dipping from 2.0% of 25-54s to 1.8%, and from 1.9% of 18-49s to 1.4%.

TVNZ 1 won the early part of the night, with Cook, Eat, Repeat and Natural World in the 25-54 demo and was competitive with Super Rugby in the 18-49 demo while The Jungle Book and Three’s Johnny English Reborn seesawed.

Three’s Married at First Sight Australia dominated Sunday evening and TVNZ 1’s Beat the Chasers ruled the 8.30 hour, averaging 3.3% of 25-54s and 2.4% of 18-49s.

TVNZ 2’s Best Foods Comedy Gala out-rated Three’s network movie premiere of Escape Room in both demos and TVNZ 1’s Line of Duty slightly improved its 25-54 viewership (1.1%) after weeks of dismal ratings.

On Friday, Super Rugby again dented free-to-air viewership but it’s clear TVNZ 1’s Interior Design Masters With Alan Carr isn’t a good fit with The Repair Shop.

It averaged 0.8% of 25-54s, a steep fall from the premiere’s 1.8%, and was down 1.6 points on its lead-in.

The same was true in the 18-49 demo, where week-on-week viewership fell from 1.3% to 0.5%.

Three dominated the 18-49 demo from 7.30-9.30 with the movie Cowboys & Aliens.

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