HDTV Ratings: Underbelly vs V, FIFA World Cup

TV3’s HD crime hit, Underbelly: The Golden Mile, last night went out with a bang.

The final episode drew 15.5% of the network’s key demo, 18-49 year-olds, 14.3% of 18-39 and 16.4% of 25-54, crushing TV2’s V, which could only rate 5.4%-5.6% in these demos.

The result helped TV3 to win one of its few nights this season, thanks to lead-in 60 Minutes and lead-out Special Victims Unit rating strongly, too.

V’s ratings were down a couple of points on last week’s double-episode and could seal sci-fi’s fate as a lost cause on TV2 after FlashForward’s failure and six years of disappointing numbers for Lost.

Fans looking forward to seeing V on Blu-ray may have to wait longer — in the US, Warner Bros has postponed its release by two months, to October 19 (although the tentative Australian release of October 27 has yet to change); expect the final season of Lost to surface on Blu-ray here around the same time but FlashForward is being released only on DVD.

Meanwhile, TVNZ today reported more than three million people, or 76% of people aged five-plus, tuned in to TV One’s month-long FIFA World Cup coverage.

“The One Sport studio presentation from Auckland coupled with high definition pictures and compelling host broadcast coverage from South Africa all combined to make TV One the FIFA World Cup channel of choice,” Jeff Latch, the head of TV One and TV 2, said in a statement.

More than 500,000 watched the semi-finals, and 740,000 the final. TVNZ says this interest was reflected across all its platforms: 55,000-plus live streams were watched on tvnz.co.nz as the live matches were simulcast on TV One or TVNZ 7; 68,000 matches were watched ondemand; and almost 70,000 edited highlights and clips have been viewed on tvnz.co.nz since the opening ceremony.

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