How long before Sunrise is cancelled?

Last week the Herald ran a media column which included comments on the Sunrise’s low ratings, and even has some saying that the show’s days must be numbered.

In response, TV3’s news chief Mark Jennings said that Breakfast was also down in ratings, didn’t see any major problems with Sunrise and didn’t plan any major changes to the show.

As audience numbers over the summer months may dwindle, audience share is a valid way to compare the two shows over time.

There have been three full weeks of breakfast TV shows this year, with Breakfast taking an average of 44.5% of the audience share and Sunrise taking an average of 7.0%.

Compare this to the last three weeks of breakfast TV in 2007: Breakfast took an average of 45.5% of the audience share and Sunrise took an average of 6.7%.

Barely a shift – if at all. The problems with Sunrise are not new and any changes made over the summer have not yet had any impact.

So the question remains: how long will TV3 be happy with an average of a mere 19,000 people watching the show?

(To put this into sharp perspective, Welcome to Paradise averaged 60,000 viewers.)

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  • jono

    what a bunch off bull.

    the show should stay , it is still early days and give it a year or so 2 find its niche with people.

    19,000 people is still 19,000 people, and not zero!

    people are so quick 2 critise and should realise that there is more than one breaky show avaiable now so enjoy it that we can have a choice of viewing.

  • jono

    also…the litle note saying welcome to paradise had 60,000 cant be put into perspective with sunrise or breakfast because welcome to paradise screened at night time not in the morning , obiviously more people are watchning tv at night time than morning, im sure if it was on in the morning it would get far less viewership than 60,000 people.

  • sarahorm

    It does take time for a show to find its feet and there is no way Sunrise will be cancelled. It will cost TV3 far more in the long run to cancel it within the first two years than it would to keep it running with low ratings.

    It’s actually got great potential if you watch it. It often has much stronger news than TV1, and very senior reporters compared to Breakfast and some fantastic travel pieces and giveaways.

    I agree it definitely needs some work but give it time and watch this space I reckon. They can’t keep it like this forever so soon they’ll raise the red flag and charge full speed at TVNZ like they always do.

  • taffy

    it’s like the situation with late night news but in reverse!

  • Rachel

    I imagine they have budgeted for the show for a year and have goals for the ratings by the end of that year. I would imagine that an average of 0.5% or less of the population tuning in isn’t their goal.

  • Anonymous

    Earlier this year I talked to someone who works on the show who said it was “shit” and they all knew it.

  • Rogue

    This is like a repeat of the One vs 3 news wars… Sunrise will always lag behind Breakfast until some nut at TVNZ has brain explosion and decides to screw things over or if Paul retires… Though they might want to start with replacing James, I just don’t think he cuts it on TV. He’s way too awkward and it’s not something I think he can get over… They cant just rely on Carly’s beauty to carry the show!

  • DanielM

    Someone at TVNZ did have a brain explosion though with Breakfast. They thought that Alison Mau could hold the show all by herself, but it wasn’t long until they brought Paul Henry in!

  • DanielM

    Lol, you mention her name once and guess who turns up on Breakfast to fill in for Pippa.

  • regan

    Jono, your comments about prime time vs morning viewership is redundant. 1,000 people watching TV is still 1,000 people whether it is 8:00am or 8:00pm.

  • jono

    i agree with what u say but ther are going to more people watching tv at night, and they could of put a comparison of another morning programme than a night time show, any1 no wot primes morning tv ratings are…to give more of a view on whos watchn what?

  • newsgeek

    Great to see Australia’s best news export, Alison Mau, back on Breakfast this morning… almost fell off my chair when I first saw her. I guess her contract with Prime ended at the end of last year. Could this be the start of something much bigger, I wonder? Wouldn’t it be great to have the Dallow/Mau Husband/Wife pairing reunited at six – along with the return of Jim Hickey, it would be at least a partial return to the great and wonderful beast that One News once was…

    Better mention something about Sunrise too, I suppose… it needs either very major surgery, or to be cancelled. Perhaps replacing James Coleman with Ali Ikram might be a start. Breakfast is awesome now, the 3Ps Pippa Paul and Peter work so well as a team, and you want to have them on in the background with you in the morning. When I turn over to Sunrise in the ad breaks, I find myself being repelled away very quickly. I enjoy the Today show on Prime more, and that’s not even relevant to NZ most of the time! In short – Breakfast makes you laugh while Sunrise makes you cringe.

  • Charlotte

    I don’t know about Today, but more people watch tele-evangelist Creflo A Dollar Jr at the bright hour of 6am on TV2 than Sunrise.

  • Rogue

    I like Ikram, though I think the Karaoke gig is ruining his credibility… And the SPCA pet segments pretty good too… Unfortunately Carly and James just don’t ‘click’ on screen, especially when you compare it to the easy banter between Paul, Pippa and Peter… Though Pippa tends to err… absorb Paul’s jibs rather than get tetchy like Kay did. lol

  • Sally

    I think you all should get out more…

  • newsgeek

    Exactly what do you get out and do at 7am in the morning Sally?

  • regan

    Nice call Newsgeek 🙂

  • Jack Frost

    You have to stand back and look at the bigger picture.

    Take tomorrow for example;
    12:15am to 5:30 Infomercials,
    5:30 to 6:30 two lots of bible bashing,

    When they hardly want to have a mention in the TV top 20 list,
    by screening mostly below standard programs, not exactly a inspiration to turn on your TV at 6:30am.

  • lil_chanteuse

    My first impression of Sunrise was that the presenters didn’t grab me. Unlike on Breakfast where you like or loathe Paul Henry (and his dynamic with his co-presenters) the presenters on Sunrise just seemed a bit lifeless. TV3 traditionally appeals to a younger market. Get some young/more enthusiastic presenters in and I’ll be more likely to watch it.

  • TV Blogger

    @sarahorm: Sorry I’m gonna have to call you on the ‘stronger news’ comment. Sunrise news is significantly shorter and often disjointed (particularly when loud mouth Coleman pipes up and interrupts the newsreader).

    Regardless, All I can say is I wish Throng contributors knew Jennings. He is probably the most Bullish man in NZTV.
    Furthermore, there ain’t a Snowball’s chance in Hell of him pulling Sunrise.
    Just like the dreaded ‘Campbell Live’ He’ll keep flogging that dead horse – whilst giving it mouth-to-mouth, until the sun goes down.(you’ll excuse the horrific analogy)

    Sunrise will start to pink-up again when the horrific Aussie twang of Newsreader Kate Lynch is replaced by regular Sacha McNeil – and she in-turn hocks off her new wedding photos to one of the Women’s Gossip Rags.

    Also, anyone that thinks Programming will try and pull the rug out from under Jennings is just plain delusional.
    The P.R. nightmare which that incurs (in comparison to the relatively inexpensive costs of making the show) isn’t worth it.

    Still, standby for some big changes to come – I hope you like listening to ‘The Breeze’ in the morning, if ya don’t you better stick to Breakfast w/ Breakfast 😉

    Finally, I know Mark reads throng so listen up Mr. Ikram’s Karaoke HAS GOT TO GO!” Every morning I wake-up to that travesty a little bit inside me dies!

  • sarahorm

    Jennings is not only bullish but he’s very smart and one would hope he has a plan to pull this programme out from under.
    The Sunrise news is much stronger. Their bulletins might be shorter but they don’t replay stories that have played throughout the day before. Don’t confuse brevity with content. They will put fresh international news in place of old local content which is brave and intelligent.
    Also they’re much quicker to get breaking news to air, their dedicated reporters throughout the country are mostly from TVNZ, are older than their rivals with much more experience and actually have a bit of clout.
    Don’t get me wrong, I think Breakfast is a better watch, but I think (and more so hope) Sunrise will pick up on its strengths and become a decent rival to TVNZ.

    James has GOT to go.

  • TV Blogger

    This is my last comment on this topic and then I’ll leave it alone – promise!
    Anyone who’s been on Throng for a while will remember when I called catastrophe on Coleman back in August.
    I never said Coleman was crap at presenting, but Sunrise is not his demographic.
    The thing is Sunrise has great individual talent, Sacha is Excellent on News. Josh is ideal (in comparison to Tamati) for those who want a little less ‘mo in their morning (I is a gay, and I approve this msg).
    Carly is somewhat weak and needs someone to carry her.
    Whoops, I left someone out, I’ve never really cared for Rod in a morning setting – sorry 🙁
    They really need a uniting male presenter to avoid all that Bizarre dead air.
    I’d love to see Jennings swap-out Coleman with someone like Robbie Rakete – he’d be ideal.
    I got to admit I don’t know how you’d do it/avoid a backlash. Plus, I’m not even sure if Robbie has a contract with TVNZ? Perhaps a TVNZ’er could give us the D’l on that one.
    Anyway, James really needs to stick with radio – A role they can forcibly turn his mike off during NewsBreaks ;-P
    K, I’m done now.

  • BobBob

    I choose to watch Breakfast when i get up in the morning. Paul and Pippa are great together, compared to the dullness of that other mob. James Coleman really needs the flick and Carly needs to stop trying to look like Posh Spice.
    Maybe they should try emulate TODAY on Prime. Now that is a class act in terms of Breakfast shows.

  • Kim1

    Leighton Smith this morning suggested Iain Stables as a possible replacement for Coleman, now that he has left his job on ZM. He thought it would help increase the show’s “3 viewers” 😛

    He’d be great, I’d tune in to see him.

  • regan

    Hmm.. Stables on Sunrise? That could be very good and very bad for TV3

  • Rogue

    I don’t think it’ll work. Firstly, people moan over Paul’s… er… brashness? so I’m not sure if NZ is ready for Stables that early in the morning! lol Plus I cant see him meshing with Carly at all, she’d probably end up in a psychiatric ward after a few months…

    I agree with TV Blogger regarding Robbie Rakete, they’d be better off trying to take on a new angle rather than trying to compete with Breakfast head on. Rakete’s ‘nice guy’ image would work well in that respect…

  • Tally Att

    Gosh, why are we so into rehashing old media faces in NZ. Can’t we put a fresh face on the hot seat. I’m sure there’s a lot of talent out there who’d do a much better job that has been Rakete or the untellygenic Stables.

  • Rogue

    Well James was a fresh face on TV and look how well that turned out…

  • Jack Frost

    I forgot to say the other night I watched “Sunrise” I must say it was much better than the TV1 crap with time wasting gigging, and then “TODAY IN HISTORY” GET A [BUZZ]ING LIFE!!! I’m not getting to work late just to look at today in history, if I dont get to work on time I might be history.

    The only thing that bugged me was the advertisements, but then that is on TV1 as well

    GREAT WORK TV3 much better “information/time” ratio than TV1

    Sorry had to go at 7pm.

    But still prefer the radio in the morning, with the current standard of free to air.

  • DanielM

    Wait, the other night? It starts at 6.30 in the morning. O_o

  • Jack Frost

    Thanks DanielM

    Great work, sorry there is no cigar.
    (I got that saying off TV recently)

    I thought someone might pick that error up, normally I leave TV3 at 7pm just after the news, but before I go to work it is just after 7am, so the other morning turned the TV off at 7am. sorry for the error.

  • samantha jones

    When this exact subject came up a couple of weeks ago it was my 30 something successful professional (gay) friends who were it’s biggest fans. Why? Its smarter, the news is fresher/from more experienced reporters and they enjoy the business coverage, they also find the aspirational mum on One hard work…

    “first come the gays, then come the girls, then comes the industry”

    It might take a while but I think Sunrise will sneak up on Breakfast, it’s happened with their flagship, breakfast television will be easy in comparison…

  • Tui

    I had a glance at the show again today.
    I don’t know how to describe my feelings on TV3. I’ve never liked it’s news because it’s dark, cold and “closed”.
    I find it so hard to be interested in watching Sunrise because it’s so dark and bland. Boring, cold, chillful and just not that inviting. The only cool thing about the show is the graphics, which are appealing.

    Breakfast on the other hand, is open, bright, warm, funny and interesting! Despite it having the worst graphics i’ve ever seen, it’s still a show I like waking up to (even though I’m 15 :s ).

    Does anyone actually watch the show? If so, why? I’m curious to know.


    I HOPE sunrise will fall and lose ratings, 3news is following the same trend though. Its very likley evryone will turn to one news and even tvnz news inspite of its 4 brilliant channels

  • Fozzy Bear

    I’m still not convinced by how accurate “ratings” are. How many tvs and viewers are there in NZ vs how many of those ratings box thingees?
    Sunrise could be getting far bigger numbers with viewers who don’t fall into the ideal ratings box recipient pigeon-hoel.
    It’s like most surveys. The more someone dislikes something, the more likely they are to take a survey bagging it – politics is a prime example. Health, law, you name it, you’ll have loads of negative poll figures. Do a survey on chocolate or fluffy puppy dogs and nada.
    Tv one will traditionally get the older viewers who have always watched it. They are less likely to try the new turk. Most are richer and more likely to be targeted for this style of system.

  • Anonymous

    Come on TV3 put your money were your mouth is, show us how much value you place on sunrise GIVE US SUNRISE IN THE “TV WEAKENDS” either that do a cut repeat of sample from Monday-Friday, that I would love to watch but have go to work.

    It sure would beat that other crap you show in the weakends.

  • TV Blogger

    NEWSFLASH: TV3 Employees’ terrifying threat. ‘Sunrise Seven Days a Week’

    See it here

  • TV Blogger