Australia TV Ratings and News Reports

Complete guide to Australian TV Ratings 2020

oztam

Even though most of us are living in a world where streaming is a big part of our lives, broadcast TV is still massive and, unlike streaming, can react to viewers almost immediately. But they’re not just guessing about what people are watching – TV networks are expensive things to run, and to make sure that advertisers get what they’re paying for, a real measure of viewer numbers is needed.

That’s where the official TV ratings come in. If you’ve ever wondered why your favourite show moved to a new time slot or a different day, or disappeared entirely, chances are it was because of the results of the official ratings that showed exactly how many people were watching it. Ratings numbers are delivered to TV networks regularly – once weekly, there are now daily and even hourly reports, thanks to advances in technology. For many years, these ratings reports were kept largely secret. From time to time you’d hear about a show doing well in the ratings, or failing to pull viewers in. But the up-to-date results were only available to the networks. That’s not the case anymore, though, and on these pages you’ll be able to browse through the latest TV ratings across a range of categories, updated every day so you know exactly what’s getting the attention of viewers.

How TV Ratings are measured in Australia

Years ago, ratings were collected by sending out paper “diaries” to selected viewers, who would be asked to write down what shows they watched and on which channels. In those days, it was all about “who’s watching what”. The huge changes in how we watch TV thanks to technology, though, have meant that ratings need to be measured differently. Now, there are several different elements that feed into the ratings system – including pay TV, time-shifting (like catch-up TV or recordings on a DVR).

It’s a complex system that’s actually not that hard to understand – check out the links below for detailed information about how the system works:

In this report of Australian TV ratings, we look at the following categories:

About the OzTAM Ratings System

Working out the viewer numbers for Australian free to air and pay TV channels is a complex task made much more accurate by advances in technology. Today the OzTAM ratings, an acronym for ‘Australian Television Audience Measurement’, measures actual television viewing in 5,250 homes all around Australia, with an additional 2,120 homes being monitored for their viewing of pay TV such as broadcast giant Foxtel. While it might seem like a small number of homes to monitor compared to the size of the Australian population, statistically it’s more than efficient to get an accurate picture of who’s watching what and when. Compared to other countries’ TV ratings systems, OzTAM uses one of the largest number of households in the world compared to the total population size, making it incredibly accurate.

How The TV Ratings Process Works

Because the ratings data being collected directly reflects what each household in the survey is watching, OzTAM installs a special device in the homes of those selected to be a part of the ratings panel. Known as Unitam, the device is better-known to some as a “people meter”. This clever little device can monitor and record a full range of information about the channels and shows being watched, as well as who’s watching them. All the household members need to do is “check in” with a remote control when they start watching (as do any guests who happen to be there at the time). From that point on, they watch TV as normal, and Unitam silently captures the details of what’s being watched in the background whether tuned into Network Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC, SBS or the subscription based Fox Sports channel. The date and time, how long shows are watched for, and even whether individual TVs are switched on or off is all captured, along with the audio from the watched channel so the correct shows can be identified.

Each night, Unitam “phones home” to OzTAM headquarters, uploading all of that day’s viewing data. Then, sophisticated software takes over, processing the data to identify what was being watched – not just the show, but whether it was a time-shifted recording of that show. The system can identify shows watched (from devices such as Foxtel iQ or Fetch TV) up to four weeks later.

By the morning, the results of the previous day’s surveys are ready to be released – outlining minute-by-minute ratings numbers for each channel and show. Those numbers are further refined that afternoon, when the television broadcasters supply the actual broadcast times of the night’s shows so any that ran overtime can be taken into account. Those ratings, based on what are called Confirmed times, are the most accurate, and are released the following day.

How The TV Ratings Panel is put together

Selection of homes to take part in OzTAM ratings is the result of a survey of thousands of homes across Australia each year. Any home can be selected and interviewed, and from those results a pool of 5,250 homes is chosen in the five largest cities. A separate pool of homes is chosen for regional ratings (3,198 homes) while for pay TV ratings, 2,120 homes are chosen from both the metropolitan and regional pools.

The exact requirements for being accepted as a ratings household are kept secret – and change from year to year – to make sure the results represent a true sample of the Australian TV viewing audience, across many different age groups and economic backgrounds.

Those chosen to be on the OzTAM panel can stay for up to four years – though they can leave at any time if they no longer want to take part in the survey.

Terms Used in the Ratings Reports Explained

There’s a lot of “industry lingo” used in the official ratings, as you’ll see when you browse the results. While much of it is straightforward, there are some terms that are well worth explaining:

STV

Subscription TV – basically, any form of TV that requires payment to view. In most cases, that simply refers to Fetch TV and more importantly Foxtel. Note that it doesn’t include paid streaming services like Netflix and Stan, or “catch-up” streaming services.

Overnight

While it might sound straightforward, the “overnight” viewership figure is the least accurate – as it doesn’t include playback of recorded shows watched after 2am the following morning and doesn’t yet incorporate the time schedule corrections sent by the various TV networks to OzTAM the following day. It does, however, give an incredibly fast basic idea of how many people watched exactly what the previous night. If you see media referring to “the overnights,” that refers to these numbers.

How to Read the TV Ratings Reports

Armed with the terms above, interpreting the ratings data is pretty simple. OzTAM can dig deep into their data to reveal information like the exact times of day the numbers cover, whether shows were repeats or first-run episodes, and even drilling down into the hard data that advertisers want to know, such as the viewing habits of the household’s main grocery buyer (who’s referred to as the “MGB”!)

The numbers you’ll see on these pages will give you a more general overview of what rated well overnight, as well as a longer-term look at how shows did when 7-day and 28 day playback numbers come in. For many shows, it’s that delayed playback that can make all the difference, with some shows more than others tending to be watched later from recordings rather than live as they air.


TV Overnight Ratings updated on 19th January 2020

Top 20 Consolidated 28 Programs
All Free-to-Air

  • Report: Top 20 Consolidated 28 Programs
  • Channels: All Free-to-Air
  • Market: 5 City Metro (aggregate figure)
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 02:00 – 26:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Date: 22/12/2019
  • Deliverable: Consolidated 28, Consolidated 7 and Overnight 

Rank Description (grouped) Channel\Network Consolidated 28 Consolidated 7 Overnight 000s Increase on Consolidated 7 000s Increase on Overnight
1 NINE NEWS SUNDAY Nine 795,000 795,000 794,000 0 1,000
2 SEVEN NEWS – SUN Seven Network 790,000 789,000 788,000 1,000 2,000
3 MIDSOMER MURDERS-EV ABC 684,000 637,000 539,000 47,000 145,000
4 ABC NEWS SUNDAY-EV ABC 552,000 552,000 548,000 0 4,000
5 BLUEY-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 523,000 300,000 105,000 223,000 418,000
6 60 MINUTES -SUMMER Nine 512,000 508,000 498,000 4,000 14,000
7 SEVEN’S CRICKET: BIG BASH LEAGUE – SYD SIXERS V BRIS S1 Seven Network 505,000 505,000 503,000 0 2,000
8 GRAND DESIGNS: HOUSE OF THE YEAR-EV ABC 463,000 451,000 431,000 12,000 32,000
9 SEVEN’S CRICKET: BIG BASH LEAGUE – SYD SIXERS V BRIS S2 Seven Network 459,000 459,000 459,000 0 0
10 SEVEN’S CRICKET: BIG BASH LEAGUE – SYD SIXERS V BRIS INN BRK Seven Network 452,000 452,000 451,000 0 1,000
11 SEVEN’S CRICKET: BIG BASH LEAGUE – MELB STARS V HOBART S2 Seven Network 348,000 347,000 346,000 1,000 2,000
12 THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW Network 10 322,000 316,000 284,000 5,000 37,000
13 SEVEN’S CRICKET: BIG BASH LEAGUE – SYD SIXERS V BRIS PRE GAME Seven Network 289,000 289,000 289,000 0 0
14 PRETTY WOMAN RPT Network 10 275,000 271,000 267,000 5,000 9,000
15 10 NEWS FIRST SUN Network 10 273,000 273,000 273,000 0 0
16 WEEKEND SUNRISE – SUN Seven Network 268,000 268,000 268,000 0 0
17 SEVEN’S CRICKET: BIG BASH LEAGUE – MELB STARS V HOBART INN BRK Seven Network 252,000 252,000 252,000 0 0
18 SEVEN’S CRICKET: BIG BASH LEAGUE – MELB STARS V HOBART S1 Seven Network 249,000 247,000 245,000 1,000 3,000
19 SERENGETI Nine 247,000 240,000 232,000 7,000 16,000
20 NINE NEWS: FIRST AT FIVE Nine 205,000 205,000 205,000 0 0

Daily Free-to-Air Share
All Free-to-Air Channels

  • Report: Daily Free-to-Air Share
  • Channels: All Free-to-Air Channels
  • Market: 5 City Metro (aggregate figure)
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 18:00 – 24:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Deliverable: Overnight, Consolidated 7 and Consolidated 28

Channel Overnight 19/01/2020 Consolidated 7 12/01/2020 Consolidated 28 22/12/2019
ABC 11.7% 9.7% 15.3%
ABC KIDS/COMEDY 3.2% 2.7% 3.9%
ABC ME 0.6% 0.8% 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 1.7% 1.8%
ABC Network 17.1% 14.8% 21.9%
Seven 17.4% 18.8% 18.5%
7TWO 2.2% 3.5% 2.2%
7mate 3.9% 3.3% 3.7%
7flix 1.3% 1.1% 2.2%
Seven Network 24.8% 26.8% 27.1%
Nine 16.6% 11.9% 15.5%
9GO! 3.4% 3.3% 4.4%
9Gem 3.4% 8.7% 3.0%
9Life 3.2% 2.3% 2.7%
Nine Network 26.6% 26.1% 25.7%
10 14.2% 16.1% 10.0%
10 Bold 4.2% 4.4% 4.3%
10 Peach 3.1% 2.0% 1.9%
Network 10 21.5% 22.5% 16.3%
SBS 6.3% 6.8% 5.1%
SBS VICELAND 0.7% 0.8% 1.6%
SBS Food  1.2% 1.0% 1.1%
NITV 0.7% 0.1% 0.4%
SBS World Movies 1.1% 1.2% 0.9%
SBS Network 9.9% 9.9% 9.1%

Top 20 Programs
All free-to-air Multi Channels

  • Report: Top 20 Programs
  • Channels: All free-to-air Multi Channels
  • Market: 5 City Metro (aggregate figure), Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 02:00 – 26:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Date: 19/01/2020
  • Deliverable: Overnight

Rank Description (grouped) Channel\Market (r) 5 City Metro Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth
1 NCIS RPT 10 Bold 150,000 49,000 41,000 32,000 7,000 20,000
2 BLUEY-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000 25,000 47,000 23,000 23,000 27,000
3 WOULD I LIE TO YOU?-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000 25,000 37,000 37,000 13,000 15,000
4 MASTERS OF FLIP -PM 9Life 122,000 16,000 56,000 17,000 16,000 17,000
5 DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBOURHOOD-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000 21,000 47,000 20,000 12,000 21,000
6 LAW & ORDER: SVU EP 2 RPT 10 Bold 120,000 30,000 35,000 26,000 12,000 17,000
7 PLAY SCHOOL-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000 13,000 48,000 36,000 11,000 11,000
8 BONDI RESCUE EP 3 RPT 10 Bold 118,000 29,000 36,000 37,000 8,000 8,000
9 PEPPA PIG-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000 28,000 27,000 25,000 17,000 20,000
10 LAW & ORDER: SVU RPT 10 Bold 117,000 36,000 34,000 20,000 9,000 16,000
11 BEN AND HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000 27,000 31,000 13,000 16,000 23,000
12 BANANAS IN PYJAMAS-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000 13,000 47,000 21,000 10,000 14,000
13 ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES -EV 9Gem 106,000 25,000 31,000 19,000 14,000 18,000
14 LIVE AT THE APOLLO-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000 20,000 33,000 18,000 15,000 15,000
15 PLAY SCHOOL NURSERY RHYME NEWS TIME-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000 22,000 19,000 25,000 12,000 22,000
16 FLOOGALS-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000 19,000 23,000 22,000 13,000 24,000
17 SPICKS AND SPECKS-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 99,000 13,000 30,000 34,000 10,000 12,000
18 DOT.-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000 27,000 34,000 23,000 8,000 6,000
19 KIRI AND LOU-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000 17,000 28,000 14,000 14,000 24,000
20 FRIENDS EP 5 RPT 10 Peach 97,000 32,000 41,000 13,000 7,000 4,000

Top 20 Programs
All free-to-air Channels

  • Report: Top 20 Programs
  • Channels: All free-to-air channels
  • Market: 5 City Metro (aggregate figure), Sydney, Melbourne
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 02:00 – 26:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Date: 19/01/2020
  • Deliverable: Overnight

Rank Description (grouped) Channel\Market (r) 5 City Metro Sydney Melbourne
1 NCIS RPT 10 Bold 150,000 49,000 41,000
2 BLUEY-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000 25,000 47,000
3 WOULD I LIE TO YOU?-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000 25,000 37,000
4 MASTERS OF FLIP -PM 9Life 122,000 16,000 56,000
5 DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBOURHOOD-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000 21,000 47,000
6 LAW & ORDER: SVU EP 2 RPT 10 Bold 120,000 30,000 35,000
7 PLAY SCHOOL-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000 13,000 48,000
8 BONDI RESCUE EP 3 RPT 10 Bold 118,000 29,000 36,000
9 PEPPA PIG-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000 28,000 27,000
10 LAW & ORDER: SVU RPT 10 Bold 117,000 36,000 34,000
11 BEN AND HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000 27,000 31,000
12 BANANAS IN PYJAMAS-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000 13,000 47,000
13 ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES -EV 9Gem 106,000 25,000 31,000
14 LIVE AT THE APOLLO-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000 20,000 33,000
15 PLAY SCHOOL NURSERY RHYME NEWS TIME-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000 22,000 19,000
16 FLOOGALS-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000 19,000 23,000
17 SPICKS AND SPECKS-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 99,000 13,000 30,000
18 DOT.-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000 27,000 34,000
19 KIRI AND LOU-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000 17,000 28,000
20 FRIENDS EP 5 RPT 10 Peach 97,000 32,000 41,000

Top 20 Consolidated 28 Programs
All Subscription Channels

  • Report: Top 20 Consolidated 28 Programs 
  • Channels: All Subscription Channels
  • Market: National STV
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 02:00 – 26:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Date: 22/12/2019
  • Deliverable: Consolidated 28, Consolidated 7 and Overnight 

Rank Description Market Channel\ Consolidated 28 Consolidated 7 Overnight 000s Increase on Consolidated 7 000s Increase on Overnight
1 LIVE: BBL: SYDNEY SIXERS V BRISBANE HEAT FOX CRICKET 206,000 206,000 203,000 0 3,000
2 LIVE: BETWEEN THE INNINGS FOX CRICKET 192,000 192,000 192,000 0 0
3 LIVE: BBL: SYDNEY SIXERS V BRISBANE HEAT FOX CRICKET 185,000 185,000 185,000 0 0
4 LIVE: BBL: MELBOURNE STARS V HOBART HURRICANES FOX CRICKET 156,000 156,000 156,000 0 1,000
5 LIVE: BETWEEN THE INNINGS FOX CRICKET 125,000 125,000 125,000 0 0
6 LIVE: BBL: MELBOURNE STARS V HOBART HURRICANES FOX CRICKET 119,000 118,000 118,000 1,000 1,000
7 UPRIGHT FOX SHOWCASE 99,000 57,000 32,000 42,000 67,000
8 LIVE: BETWEEN THE BASH FOX CRICKET 87,000 87,000 87,000 0 0
9 LIVE: BBL POST GAME FOX CRICKET 87,000 87,000 87,000 0 0
10 DIE HARD Movies Hits 60,000 56,000 25,000 4,000 35,000
11 SANDITON BBC First 57,000 48,000 14,000 10,000 44,000
12 S.W.A.T. FOX One 45,000 41,000 28,000 4,000 17,000
13 THE BIG BANG THEORY FOX Funny 44,000 44,000 44,000 0 0
14 HEY DUGGEE CBeebies 42,000 13,000 2,000 29,000 40,000
15 LIVE: B4 THE BASH! FOX CRICKET 42,000 42,000 42,000 0 0
16 24 HOURS IN EMERGENCY Lifestyle Channel 41,000 30,000 25,000 11,000 16,000
17 THE SIMPSONS FOX8 41,000 41,000 41,000 0 0
18 THE CRICKET TRAGIC FOX CRICKET 40,000 40,000 39,000 0 0
19 THE SIMPSONS FOX8 38,000 38,000 38,000 0 0
20 THE SIMPSONS FOX8 38,000 37,000 37,000 1,000 1,000

Latest Australia TV Ratings News

© OzTAM Pty Limited 2019. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM. Program performance and ranking information subject to change when not based on final program logs. Ranking information is for individual episodes. Includes Preliminary data.

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