Yesterday’s press release from TVNZ on ratings for TV3′s 60 Minutes is the perfect example of statistics gone bad. Really bad.
TVNZ claims that 60 Minutes had an average audience of 130,060 in April, quoting Nielsen TAM (5+). We publish these same ratings each day on Throng, and based on the figures we have been sent, the average audience was approximately 257,000. TVNZ’s figure is roughly half that!
The press release gets even more dramatic by saying 60 Minutes has lost “almost 300,000 viewers per week since February”. Hold on a minute: that’s an awful lot of viewers to be losing. With over 8 weeks in March and April, that would have given 60 Minutes over 2.4 million viewers in February – more than the total number of Kiwis watching the Royal Wedding!
“[60 Minutes] had an average of 422,120 viewers watching each week in February” is misleading as there was only one episode of show screened in February! It was a special 30 minute Christchurch earthquake special on the day after the quake, so not surprising that it rated so highly.
Whenever statistics show “significant change”, you sure better double and triple check your figures before putting out a press release about them. According to ratings data, 60 Minutes increased its average viewership in April as compared with those in March.
TVNZ starts their release by saying “There’s only one significant change in the news and current affairs viewership according to the monthly ratings data released…” Yes, and it’s nothing to do with 60 Minutes…
Normally TVNZ are pretty good with their ratings figures, not so this time.
This is the clear bad stats of the week winner.