What percentage of John Drinnan's reporting is accurate?

On Friday, the New Zealand Herald’s John Drinnan published a story that claimed 3News was only down 2% in the ratings.  The actual numbers we see have this at closer to 20% so we asked for some clarification.

He replied:


I have better things to do with my time than correct a paid professional’s poor reporting but since no one seems to do any fact checking over at the Herald…

Drinnan writes:

TV3’s 5.30pm replacement, Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, has lost 80 per cent of the soap’s audience, says TV3 head of news and current affairs Mark Jennings.

TV3 estimates 3News at 6pm initially lost about 10 per cent of its audience. Jennings insists he expected worse and ratings were now down only 2 per cent. But without a strong lead-in, 3News remains vulnerable.

The first sentence is true.  It was down 82% in the 5+ demographics the last time we checked.

The second, however, doesn’t line up with the ratings data we receive and since Drinnan showed no concern for accuracy, we went to his source for the clarification.

TV3 told us that the 2% Drinnan was referring to was not to the 3News rating but to the channel share, the measurement he should have stated he was using in his article.  That would equate to an approximate channel share drop from 20% to 18%.  In reality, it’s a 2 percentage point drop with a decrease of 10% of TV3’s channel share during 3News.

For those interested, here is a little more analysis on how Home and Away’s move to TV2 has affected TV3.

3News lost 19% of it’s average audience after the first two weeks, as we reported.

Here is what the week night, 5+ ratings for One News since the beginning of February look like.


You can clearly see since the move of Home and Away to TV2 that 3 News has definitely suffered a decrease in ratings.

Here is what the 5+ ratings look like compared to the same time last year.


Average Audience 5 weeks prior to change 2013: 329,356 viewers
Average Audience same period in 2012: 328,298 viewers
Average Audience 5 weeks since change: 266,686 viewers

19% down on previous 5 weeks
19% down on same period last year

And now that all important key demographic of 25-54.


Average Audience 5 weeks prior to change 2013: 159,800 viewers
Average Audience same period in 2012: 160,100 viewers
Average Audience 5 weeks since change: 125,000 viewers

22% down on previous 5 weeks
22% down on same period last year

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • Grabate

    His photo in the link you provided says it all.

    • John Drinnan

      Now that hurts

  • That tweet response says a lot. What an arrogant idiot! Clearly he knows you’re correct but he must have too big an ego to fess up

    • John Drinnan

      Not really the – 2 per cent was ascribed to Jennings hinself as “insisted”
      outisde of official ratings.
      Ratings are clearly important but people are alowed to make own estimate on impact.
      Have extensively covered background to Home & Away loss, which is then filched by online media. Website commonly adds byline to press releases and claims stories as own. Throng would be better writing tv fans and not stats department at Auckland University.

      • For someone who writes for the NZ Herald, your spelling and grammar in your comment are abysmal. I can’t understand what point you’re trying to make at all (provided you’re the real John Drinnan and not a troll)

        • Jeseta

          Haha agreed! and I find the stats on Throng really interesting!

  • xena

    i don’t like watching it