Seven CEO Tim Worner calls for the end of overnight TV ratings

Tim Worner, CEO of Seven West Media, has used an Advertising Week dinner panel packed with television CEOs to call for the end of overnight TV ratings which are perpetuating falsities.

During a Think TV dinner discussion moderated by the managing editor of The Australian Financial Review Joanne Gray – which was somewhat derailed by the Nine Fairfax merger – Worner said OzTAM should only provide overnight network share, not the figures for individual program performance, as they are inaccurate.

Tim Worner (Seven), Patrick Delany (Foxtel), Kim Portrate (Think TV), Hugh Marks (Nine) and Paul Anderson (Ten) put down the weapons to talk about the power of TV

Worner said the figures for a program should not be released until 28 days after its initial screening on linear television in order to more accurately reflect both live viewing numbers and catch-up audiences.

“I don’t believe we should provide overnight numbers. I think we should provide overnight shares, and then once we actually know what the total audience for a show is, that’s when we should provide the number. Not before, when we’re actually providing a number that’s misleading, because it’s not the total audience of the show,” he said.

When pushed by Gray on how this would work given audiences are catching up in perpetuity, Worner said: “You can know what a total is after seven days, after 28 days.”

CEO of Ten, Paul Anderson, said more focus needed to be put on catch-up TV viewers, pointing the finger at other traditional mediums.

“What we’re doing is we’re actually following where our audiences are going,” he said.

“So there’s still a big linear number overnight, but the catch-up number that we’re getting is growing. It’s growing across different genres and the catch-up for an episode of Love Island [on Nine], or an episode of Bachelor in Paradise [on Ten] for one episode is actually bigger than the most successful radio shows. So it’s actually becoming a medium in its own right.”

Earlier this week OzTAM and measurement company Nielsen announced plans to create a new database to combine audience estimates of TV-set viewing with streaming through connected devices.


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