While there are those who are gnashing their teeth at the thought of TVNZ axing yet more news and current affairs, they seem to have completely missed the point that TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Ross Dagan, said:
“the proposed closure of the show is a pro-active response to feedback that television viewers are looking for something fresh and quite different in early evening current affairs.”
Are these wailers oblivious to the complaints about the direction in which Close Up has been heading? Based on the ratings, it appears as though some of the audience has, in fact, decided to switch off.
Throng has compiled the numbers and based on the graph below, Close Up is consistently rating lower compared to last year.
The total 5+ audience average for the two periods went from 504,077 down to 458,528, a 9.0% decrease. If ever TVNZ needed an excuse to revamp the timeslot, those figures would do it.
The Campbell Live data is interesting.
Campbell Live‘s total 5+ average audience is also down but by only 1.7% from 235,020 to 230,907.
When we look at both shows together, even with the decrease in viewers, Close Up typically draws close to double the audience of Campbell Live. Close Up is still the poorer cousin to TV2′s Shortland Street:
So should TVNZ be revamping 7pm? The numbers suggest they should. What format should it be? Light entertainment? Hard hitting current affairs? Something else?