Nine prime time audience down 9% as Seven remains dominant in first half of 2016

Channel Ten was the only primary channel to find prime time audience growth in the first 26 weeks of the year, with a 1.1% audience boost for the third placed free-to-air network.

Channel Ten

Nine was the hardest hit dropping off by a massive 9.2% in total people as its programming in the first half failed to fire, while Seven was down 2.3% for the same period.

At an event earlier this week Nine CEO Hugh Marks admitted the network needed to improve its programming against Seven’s reality juggernaut My Kitchen Rules, with Reno Rumble and Australia’s Got Talent suffering massively against the cooking show, and having to be moved from the 7.30pm prime time slot.

“TV is our biggest front of house (product), and coming into the second half of this year and next year, we are very committed to launching a very effective programming schedule that competes better at the top of the year with My Kitchen Rules than we did this year,” he said.

Marks: Nine will do better in the first quarter of 2017.

Marks: Nine will do better in the first quarter of 2017.

However Nine won last week’s ratings courtesy of the strength of its State of Origin coverage, which pulled in 2.404m viewers on Wednesday, easily the biggest show of the week. Seven won four of the seven nights for total people share.

Despite its prime time drop Seven maintained dominant overall for the first half, with its primary and multichannels increasing share from 39.1% for the first half of 2015 to 39.4% this year.

Ten’s total network share improved from 24.9% to 25.3% while Nine dropped from 36% to 35.2% in total people.

In a statement Ten CEO Paul Anderson hailed the prime time result, saying: “Thanks to a clear strategy of investing in fresh and innovative prime time content and expanding our digital media business Tenplay, our audiences are growing across all platforms and we are outperforming our rivals.”

But while its total audience grew Ten’s share in 25-54s and Under 55s dropped by 0.1%, as Seven’s improved 0.9% and 0.6% respectively.

Audience shares first half 2016

All networks will be hoping for an upturn in fortunes in the second half. Ten is launching Offspring, a local version of Survivor and its Peter Brock telemovie. Seven has the Olympic Games and X Factor, while Nine will bring back its traditional ratings winner The Block.


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