HDTV Ratings: October 20-24

The final, semi-final and opening of the 2011 Rugby World Cup were the most watched events on NZ TV since 1995, TVNZ reports (see below).

The final drew 2.03 million viewers, the semi-final 2.02 million and the opening ceremony, 1.93 million.

TV One had the lion’s share of total viewers for the final, with 687,200, compared to Sky’s 599,800, TV3’s 472,000 and Maori TV’s 225,600.

However, in the 25-54 ratings, it finished behind Sky — 17% of this demographic versus the satcaster’s 19% — but ahead of TV3 (13.5%) and Maori TV (5.8%).

TV2’s HD sitcoms, Mike & Molly and The Middle, rated below average because of TV One’s pre-game build-up and TV3’s 60 Minutes RWC special, while coverage of the NZ vs France match obliterated the network’s Sunday movie, Step Brothers, which couldn’t rate above 2.7% in the major demos.

On Friday, TV3’s RWC semi-final coverage drew more 25-54s than TV One — 10.2% vs 6.7% — but fewer than Sky (12%).

Maori TV scored 3.7% of this demo and TV2, which counterprogrammed with the HD movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 4.9%.

The boy wizard fared only marginally better with TV2’s target audience, 18-39 year-olds (5.4%), and was most popular with household shoppers with kids (7.2%).

TV2’s re-run of the HD ‘toon, Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five, rated well below Shortland Street (which it pre-empted), drawing 9.7% of HHS/kids and 8.6% of 18-39s.

On Saturday, TV2’s HD movie, Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End, was twice as popular as its SD opposition, rating 10.1% of 25-54s, 9.7% of 18-49s, 8.6% of 18-39s and 10% of HHS/kids.

TV3’s HD comedy, Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year, continues to struggle, rating only 2.6%-3% of these demos, while TV One’s Get Fresh With Al Brown largely out-rated the competition.

Meanwhile, last night’s HD premiere of James May’s Toy Stories: The Great Train Race was watched by 8.9% of 25-54s, 7.6% of 18-49s and 7.1% of 18-39s, making it more popular than TV One’s MasterChef Australia: The Finals.

But it didn’t have enough puff to beat TV2’s The Amazing Race Australia; TV2 also won the 8.30pm hour with The Mentalist.

TOP 12 EVENTS ON NZ TV (courtesy of Nielsen TAM, reported in thousands of viewers from 1 January 1995 – 24 October 2011):

  • RWC 2011 Final (NZ v France) 23/10/2011 > TV One, TV3, Sky, Maori: 2,036,900.   
  • RWC 2011 Semi-final (NZ v Australia) 16/10/2011 > TV One, TV3, Sky, Maori: 2,024,000.
  • RWC 2011 Opening Game (NZ v Tonga) 09/09/2011 > TV One, Sky, Maori: 1,930,000.
  • Boxing – Tua v Lewis 12/11/2000 > TV3: 1,841,230.
  • One News Special – Diana’s Death 31/08/1997 > TV One: 1,703,310
  • 2000 Olympics Opening Ceremony 15/09/2000 > TV One: 1,654,310.
  • One News Special – Diana’s Funeral 06/09/1997 > TV One: 1,649,710.
  • RWC 2011 Qtr Final (NZ v Argentina) 09/10/2011 > TV One, TV3, Sky, Maori: 1,624,400.
  • RWC 2003 Final (England v Australia) 22/11/2003 > TV One: 1,604,800.
  • Diana Exclusive 21/11/1995 > TV2: 1,516,780.
  • RWC 2011 Opening Ceremony 09/09/2011 > TV One: 1,499,160.
  • RWC 2007 (NZ v France) 07/10/2007 > TV 3: 1,410,410.
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