Ratings Analysis: Seven Sharp vs Campbell Live - 2013

Last year we spent a lot of time looking at the rating data between both Seven Sharp and Campbell Live.  With both shows returning tonight for 2014, and with TV One giving Seven Sharp a few tweaks, this year is likely to be just as interesting.  Which direction will Mike Hosking’s inclusion in Seven Sharp take the show?  Can Campbell Live build on their audience from 2013 and further erode TV One’s dominance at 7pm?  Those, and more, are the questions that will be interesting to watch being answered this year but before we get to that, let’s look at the final numbers from 2013.


There are three very important points to cover from the data. 1. How did Seven Sharp’s average audience do compared to Campbell Live?  2. How did Seven Sharp’s average audience compare to Close Up in 2012? and 3. How did Campbell Live’s average audience compare to their average audience in 2012?

1. How did Seven Sharp’s average audience do compared to Campbell Live?

Seven Sharp really dominated Campbell Live in the race for #1 in the 7pm current affairs time slot as Close Up had done previously.  The average audience for Seven Sharp in 2013 was 374,212 viewers per episode while Campbell Live drew 292,015 in comparison.  Seven Sharp’s audience was 28% higher on average.

tvone-7pm-audience-decline-percent2. How did Seven Sharp’s average audience compare to Close Up in 2012?

While Seven Sharp came out on top overall, compared to the previous year, 2013 really was a disaster for TV One.  Seven Sharp took TV One from having an average audience of 453,104 viewers per episode in 2012 to 374,212 in 2013 – on average that’s 78,892 less viewers every single night in 2013 compared to how Close Up performed the year before.

The loss of audience at 7pm was one of the driving factors for TVNZ to introduce changes to their weeknight program but rather than reversing or slowing down the decline, the problem was accelerated.

TVNZ had stated that the reason for the changes at 7pm were due to the declining ratings.  In 2011, Close Up was down 1.5% on 2010.  2012, which may have been the clincher for the decision, saw a 7.6% decline in audience.  Last year saw the rate of viewer evaporation more than double.  Changes to the program were inevitable so it will be fascinating to see whether two new hosts and producers will deliver what TVNZ needs to turn their early evening number around.

3. How did Campbell Live’s average audience compare to their average audience in 2012?

Campbell Live really did a stellar year for TV3 in 2013.  While they still lagged behind TVNZ, they beat TV One for the first time in the timeslot and then went on to repeat it multiple times throughout the year.  In a race with themselves, the improvement was excellent.  In 2012, the average audience for Campbell Live as 235,404 viewers per episode.  Last year, Campbell Live grew their audience by 24% to 292,015 viewers per episode.  If they can repeat that, and some, in 2014, the battle at 7pm could become very interesting indeed.

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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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  • K

    Great article Regan, very interesting. I often wonder why people say 7pm was bad for TVNZ ratings-wise in 2013 & also why Campbell Live say it was a really good year for them

    But I had just read the average audience it seems. Don’t really understand ratings but from this post I think I do a bit better now. Thanks!

  • Name

    I don’t think you’re going to get any real insight until you look at the key demographics. The real question isn’t how SS and CL are doing in 5+, it’s how TV1 is taking unmonetisable audience off TV2 in the HHS demo. Ads during Shortland Street are too expensive to pay for at full price, so they have to slash them. Sharing the audience across tv1 AND 2 allows TVNZ to get better value for HHS.

  • chickery

    seven sharp is great but they are letting themselves down now with too much
    airy fairy nonsense about each other and others which fills at least 20 mins of time
    when they could have had another item of interest. Who cares what Hoskins drives etc.

    • K

      I agree chickery & I just can’t take Toni seriously…replace her with Heather du Plessis-Allan

      • Tania

        I agree with you both, but NO to Heather. Can’t stand her and there are far better choices for co-host. Every time I flick over in the Shortland Street adverts to Seven Sharp, Toni is giggling … it’s so incredibly offputting and very old now.

        • Jack

          I had to laugh the other night when Toni said she agreed with Nigel Latta that we should be discussing the important issues. It’s funny because Seven Sharp avoid them at all cost. After that interview they went onto a story about if Colin Craig was creepy or not….

          It should be called the Mike Hosking Show because it is all about him. And I think Toni is only there because she is not intelligent enough to have a proper debate with Mike.