Alone, but watched by millions: Alone Australia wins again for SBS

Alone Australia is surviving well in the wilds of free-to-air television, as the show’s viewership tips over the million mark.

Episode two of the popular survival documentary program — it seems offensive to bundle this with Geordie Shore as ‘reality TV’ — achieved a Total TV National Reach of 1.03 million Australians in the week since airing, making it the most-watched program on SBS in 2024.

Considering episode two’s overnight ratings saw it reach 614,000 national viewers, this suggests a lot of people catching up on SBS On Demand during the week, which is how the first season was consumed.

More importantly, episode two dwarfed episode one’s seven-day Total TV reach of 812,000 – which also suggests new viewers are coming into the show late, catching up at their leisure, and then tuning into the Wednesday night broadcast.

“We’re thrilled with the week two numbers and the momentum the show is building both on SBS On Demand, but also national broadcast on Wednesday nights, where it is clearly becoming appointment viewing, Joseph Maxwell SBS Head of Unscripted, tells Mumbrella.

“Alone is a unique series that draws in viewers because of its unfiltered, unproduced and unpredictable stories. The extraordinary numbers are a testament to it the fact it is, once again, one of the most talked about show in Australian TV.”

Episode three aired on Wednesday, reaching 574,000 viewers overnight, slightly less than the previous week – but still enough to land the show in the Top 30 for the evening. It will be interesting to see how it fares over the seven-day period, once the BVOD stragglers are totalled in.

SBS will no doubt also take heart in recalling the epic climb of season one, which premiered to less than 200,000 viewers and ended the season commanding over a million viewers each episode, drawing larger audiences than commercial competitors Survivor and Lego Masters, and becoming the most successful show that the broadcaster has ever commissioned.

Close to half of season one’s audience came from BVOD, as Maxwell noted last year.

“It marks quite a shift in how Australians are consuming television.”


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