Seven wins 2018 main channel ratings battle while Nine takes out 25-54 demographic

The 2018 ratings year has concluded with both Seven and Nine able to claim victories.

Saturday night was the final evening of the official 40-week rating calendar set out by OzTam.

Nine’s strongest performance came on its main channel, in the key 25-54 demographics preferred by advertisers.

Seven’s success came in the all-people demographic on its main channel, along with its combined performance across the secondary channels.

The ratings year, which skips the summer months and Easter holidays, ran from February 11 to March 24, and from April 8 to December 1.

Seven’s prime time main channel share across the ratings year was 20.7% in the Total People demographic, ahead of Nine’s main channel share of 19.2%.

Ten finished on 12.3%, with its nose ahead of the ABC’s 12.2%. SBS was fifth, with 5.5%.

The top rating secondary channel was 7mate, with a 4.1% share of Total People.

2018 Network and primary channel share across 40-week ratings year | Source: OzTam, analysed by Seven

In terms of network share across main and secondary channels, Seven reached 30.7% of Total People, ahead of Nine’s 27.3% and Ten’s 17.3%. ABC was on 16.9% and SBS Network delivered 7.7%.

Nine won the main channel battle in the key 25-54 age demographic by 20.7% to Seven’s 20.3%. Ten was on 16%.

One of the most notable things about the age demographic of 16-39 was the way that young viewers appear to have turned away from the ABC.

Just 5.4% of 16-39 viewing went to the main ABC channel. Seven’s main channel topped 16-39 viewing with a 20.5% share, just ahead of Nine’s 20.3%. It was also Ten’s strongest demo, with a 17.7% share.

But the ABC’s 5.4% share was even beaten by Seven and Nine’s secondary channels 7Mate and Go! with shares of 6.1% and 6%.

Meanwhile, Nine argued that re-slicing the data to exclude the weeks of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which aired on Seven from April 4 to 15, would also give it a narrow victory over Seven in the 16-39 demo.

Nine also said that on the same basis, it would have won on the advertiser-focused demographic of grocery shopper with child.

Nine’s analysis of primary share excluding the Commonwealth games

Nine had the top TV series of the year, with Married At First Sight averaging 1.45m metro viewers, which rose to 1.997m including regional viewing too.

Top 20 TV shows 2018 | Source: OzTam data, analysed by Seven

Seven’s My Kitchen Rules was second, with The Block third.

Ten’s best performing series was The Bachelor, which averaged 1.279m nationally.

The ABC’s best rating series was Jack Irish, which averaged 1.323m.

Meanwhile, Seven won the metro bragging rights in one-off broadcasts, with the AFL Grand Final pulling in more than 2.6m metro viewers and 3.3m nationally.

However, Nine’s biggest sporting moment, State of Origin 1, pulled in a bigger national audience of 3.4m, including 2.3m metro viewers.

Top 20 TV events 2018 | Source: OzTam data, analysed by Seven

Seven’s comments:

Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross: “The simple fact is more people watch the screens of Seven. More men, more women, more young people, more of every key demographic.

“And with the AFL and Cricket locked up until 2022, Seven can guarantee those mass audiences, and certainty for our advertisers, for years to come.”

Seven West Media Chief Revenue Officer Kurt Burnette said: “We said we would deliver and we did. Not only did we engage with more Australians of every age group, we are the only commercial network to grow share year on year in every key demographic.

“Whichever way you slice it, whatever audience our partners want to target, Seven has more of them.”

Nine’s comments:

Michael Healy, Nine Network Director of Television, said: “After a very successful 2017, our schedule this year offered audiences and advertisers greater consistency than any other network. We are proud to have delivered a strong programming slate that entertained and informed, particularly with the demographics we target. Increasingly, our viewers are choosing to watch our content on a device and a time of their choosing, a trend that we embrace and look forward to growing.”

Michael Stephenson, Nine’s Chief Sales Officer, said: “2018 was another great year for Nine. We have again delivered where it matters for marketers: No.1 in the key demographics on the primary channel. When it comes to delivering for advertisers, year in year out, Nine has the most consistent slate of programs, built around franchises like Married at First Sight, The Voice, Australian Ninja Warrior, The Block and Love Island Australia, and this slate will be strengthened in 2019 by the Australian Open.”

Ten’s comments:

Network 10’s chief executive officer Paul Anderson said: “We head into 2019 with fantastic momentum. We are the under 50s network and our audiences are growing – fact. This year, we had five of the seven prime time marquee shows that delivered growth year on year. The Bachelor Australia, Australian Survivor and Have You Been Paying Attention? and Gogglebox Australia 2018 second season (H2) achieved their biggest seasons to date while The Sunday Project increased its audience year on year.

“Channel 10 was UP 0.7 points in our key under 50s demo, 0.9 points in 16 to 39s and 0.7 points in 18 to 49s. Coupled with this linear growth, 10 Play grew an incredible 16% year on year in video segment views.

“Our shows get people talking. Think MasterChef Australia, I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! and The Bachelor Australia – all you have to do is jump online while they’re airing to see social conversations about these shows light up!

“It’s clear people are choosing how and when they watch the content they love. We’ll soon be giving our core under 50s audience another viewing option with the launch of 10 All Access, our subscription video on demand service. 10 All Access will have all the best bingeworthy entertainment from CBS and 10 including CBS All
Access Originals like Tell Me A Story, Strange Angel and One Dollar.”

According to Seven’s analysis, the network grew its share of audience compared to 2017, mostly at the expense of Nine.

Changes in audience compared to 2017 | Source: Seven

The graph below shows Nine’s analysis of the ratings year excluding the non commercial channels of ABC and SBS:


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