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 8th March 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: 09/02/2020
  • Deliverable: Consolidated 28, Consolidated 7 and Overnight 

Rank Description Channel\Market Consolidated 28 Consolidated 7 Overnight 000s Increase on Consolidated 7 000s Increase on Overnight
1 LIVE: BUSHFIRE CRICKET BASH FOX CRICKET 226,000 226,000 222,000 0 4,000
2 LIVE: BUSHFIRE CRICKET BASH POST GAME FOX CRICKET 179,000 179,000 178,000 0 1,000
3 LIVE: BUSHFIRE CRICKET BASH PRE GAME FOX CRICKET 159,000 159,000 156,000 0 3,000
4 THE CRICKET TRAGIC FOX CRICKET 83,000 82,000 78,000 0 4,000
5 LIVE: WT20 TRI-SERIES: AUS V ENG FOX CRICKET 74,000 74,000 74,000 0 0
6 S.W.A.T. FOX One 74,000 73,000 46,000 2,000 29,000
7 OUTSIDERS Sky News Live 63,000 63,000 62,000 0 0
8 OUTSIDERS Sky News Live 59,000 59,000 58,000 0 1,000
9 MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL Movies Premiere 55,000 44,000 23,000 11,000 32,000
10 LIVE: AFLW: FREMANTLE V GEELONG FOX FOOTY 45,000 45,000 43,000 0 2,000
11 MAGNUM P.I. FOX One 44,000 44,000 35,000 0 10,000
12 PAUL MURRAY LIVE Sky News Live 43,000 43,000 42,000 0 1,000
13 THE DIRTY DOZEN FOX Classics 43,000 42,000 36,000 1,000 7,000
14 PEPPA PIG Nick Jr. 41,000 28,000 19,000 13,000 22,000
15 CALL THE MIDWIFE BBC First 39,000 20,000 6,000 18,000 33,000
16 LIVE: AFLW: COLLINGWOOD V WEST COAST FOX FOOTY 37,000 37,000 37,000 0 1,000
17 LIVE: GOLF: VIC OPEN FOX SPORTS 503 36,000 36,000 35,000 0 0
18 MIDSOMER MURDERS UKTV 34,000 31,000 31,000 2,000 2,000
19 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS FOX Crime 32,000 31,000 21,000 1,000 12,000
20 SELLING HOUSES AUSTRALIA Lifestyle Channel 31,000 30,000 29,000 1,000 2,000

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 08/03/2020 Consolidated 7 01/03/2020 Consolidated 28 09/02/2020
ABC 10.3% 13.3% 15.3%
ABC KIDS/COMEDY 2.3% 2.7% 2.5%
ABC ME 0.5% 0.4% 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 1.6% 1.6%
ABC Network 14.3% 17.9% 20.1%
Seven 13.2% 15.5% 16.5%
7TWO 2.9% 2.7% 2.3%
7mate 3.4% 2.9% 3.3%
7flix 2.1% 2.0% 1.9%
Seven Network 21.6% 23.2% 24.1%
Nine 25.0% 26.1% 23.6%
9GO! 3.5% 3.4% 4.2%
9Gem 13.1% 1.9% 2.2%
9Life 1.7% 2.0% 1.9%
Nine Network 43.3% 33.4% 31.8%
10 9.2% 10.1% 12.7%
10 Bold 3.5% 3.4% 3.2%
10 Peach 1.9% 2.3% 2.2%
Network 10 14.6% 15.9% 18.1%
SBS 3.8% 6.3% 3.7%
SBS VICELAND 0.5% 0.9% 0.7%
SBS Food  0.9% 0.9% 0.8%
NITV 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
SBS World Movies 0.7% 1.5% 0.6%
SBS Network 6.1% 9.6% 5.9%

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: 08/03/2020
  • Deliverable: Overnight

Rank Description (grouped) Channel\Market (r) 5 City Metro Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth
1 ICC WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP 2020 FINAL AUS V IND 9Gem 531,000 146,000 148,000 118,000 55,000 64,000
2 BLUEY-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 185,000 52,000 45,000 48,000 15,000 24,000
3 ICC WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP 2020 FINAL AUS V IND -PRE MATCH 9Gem 178,000 50,000 51,000 41,000 15,000 21,000
4 PEPPA PIG-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 175,000 57,000 34,000 46,000 16,000 22,000
5 BEN AND HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000 45,000 41,000 41,000 12,000 20,000
6 KIRI AND LOU-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000 40,000 39,000 39,000 13,000 21,000
7 DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBOURHOOD-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000 37,000 38,000 40,000 14,000 20,000
8 NCIS RPT 10 Bold 142,000 43,000 35,000 36,000 7,000 22,000
9 FLOOGALS-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000 51,000 20,000 39,000 13,000 17,000
10 INSIDERS-AM ABC NEWS 140,000 40,000 29,000 40,000 14,000 17,000
11 BANANAS IN PYJAMAS-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000 28,000 30,000 50,000 15,000 14,000
12 GRAN TORINO -EV 9Gem 137,000 31,000 41,000 34,000 20,000 10,000
13 PLAY SCHOOL-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000 28,000 27,000 44,000 19,000 12,000
14 BLUEY-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000 16,000 29,000 40,000 18,000 16,000
15 BONDI RESCUE EP 3 RPT 10 Bold 113,000 31,000 22,000 41,000 7,000 11,000
16 LAW & ORDER: SVU EP 2 RPT 10 Bold 106,000 32,000 26,000 16,000 9,000 23,000
17 WEEKEND BREAKFAST: 10AM-AM ABC NEWS 106,000 35,000 28,000 22,000 9,000 12,000
18 M- THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL-PM 7mate 104,000 16,000 25,000 16,000 16,000 31,000
19 HEY DUGGEE-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000 20,000 19,000 33,000 10,000 16,000
20 THOMAS AND FRIENDS: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES!-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000 39,000 17,000 20,000 12,000 10,000

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: 08/03/2020
  • Deliverable: Overnight

Rank Description (grouped) Channel\Market (r) 5 City Metro Sydney Melbourne
1 ICC WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP 2020 FINAL AUS V IND 9Gem 531,000 146,000 148,000
2 BLUEY-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 185,000 52,000 45,000
3 ICC WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP 2020 FINAL AUS V IND -PRE MATCH 9Gem 178,000 50,000 51,000
4 PEPPA PIG-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 175,000 57,000 34,000
5 BEN AND HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000 45,000 41,000
6 KIRI AND LOU-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000 40,000 39,000
7 DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBOURHOOD-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000 37,000 38,000
8 NCIS RPT 10 Bold 142,000 43,000 35,000
9 FLOOGALS-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000 51,000 20,000
10 INSIDERS-AM ABC NEWS 140,000 40,000 29,000
11 BANANAS IN PYJAMAS-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000 28,000 30,000
12 GRAN TORINO -EV 9Gem 137,000 31,000 41,000
13 PLAY SCHOOL-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000 28,000 27,000
14 BLUEY-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000 16,000 29,000
15 BONDI RESCUE EP 3 RPT 10 Bold 113,000 31,000 22,000
16 LAW & ORDER: SVU EP 2 RPT 10 Bold 106,000 32,000 26,000
17 WEEKEND BREAKFAST: 10AM-AM ABC NEWS 106,000 35,000 28,000
18 M- THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL-PM 7mate 104,000 16,000 25,000
19 HEY DUGGEE-EV ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000 20,000 19,000
20 THOMAS AND FRIENDS: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES!-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000 39,000 17,000

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: Thursday
  • Date: 06/02/2020
  • 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: THE CHALLENGER MELBOURNE STARS V SYDNEY THUNDER FOX CRICKET 277,000 277,000 275,000 0 1,000
2 LIVE: BBL: THE CHALLENGER MELBOURNE STARS V SYDNEY THUNDER FOX CRICKET 233,000 233,000 233,000 0 0
3 LIVE: BETWEEN THE INNINGS FOX CRICKET 230,000 230,000 229,000 0 0
4 LIVE: B4 THE BASH! FOX CRICKET 89,000 89,000 89,000 0 0
5 CREDLIN Sky News Live 65,000 65,000 65,000 0 1,000
6 THE PROFESSOR NIGHT WATCHMEN FOX CRICKET 64,000 64,000 55,000 0 9,000
7 GOLD RUSH Discovery Channel 57,000 57,000 48,000 0 9,000
8 OUTBACK OPAL HUNTERS Discovery Channel 56,000 56,000 45,000 0 10,000
9 THE BOLT REPORT Sky News Live 53,000 53,000 52,000 0 2,000
10 COUNTING ON TLC 47,000 47,000 25,000 0 22,000
11 PAUL MURRAY LIVE Sky News Live 47,000 47,000 46,000 0 1,000
12 THE SIMPSONS FOX8 40,000 40,000 40,000 0 0
13 FAMILY GUY FOX8 36,000 36,000 35,000 0 1,000
14 SILENT WITNESS BBC First 36,000 35,000 18,000 1,000 18,000
15 FAMILY GUY FOX8 34,000 34,000 34,000 0 0
16 CORONATION STREET UKTV 34,000 31,000 24,000 3,000 10,000
17 SILENT WITNESS BBC First 33,000 33,000 14,000 0 19,000
18 HIGHWAY PATROL FOX8 33,000 31,000 30,000 2,000 3,000
19 CHRIS SMITH TONIGHT Sky News Live 32,000 32,000 28,000 0 4,000
20 JEOPARDY! FOX Classics 30,000 29,000 24,000 1,000 6,000

Latest Australia TV Ratings News

© OzTAM Pty Limited 2020. 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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