How bad is it at 7pm for Campbell Live?

The answer to that question is very. I have two graphs to show you. The first depicts what is happening between Campbell Live and Seven Sharp this year. Both shows have reversed their trends of 2013 and while TV One storms ahead, increasing their average audience from week to week, the decline over at TV3 is rapidly increasing.


Audience % growth at 7pm – 2014 vs 2013 Blue: Seven Sharp | Green: Campbell Live

This is a very unhealthy trend for Mediaworks to have. Last year, Campbell Live were the big winners in TV One’s dramatic changes at 7pm but in 2014, it is simply not working.

In 2013, Campbell Live enjoyed its highest ratings since the series began and it finally looked as though TV3 had become competitive at 7pm. Meanwhile, TV One flailed around hopelessly as their attempt to reinvent 7pm current affairs backfired spectacularly.

Realising that their competitive advantage at 7pm had eroded further and that they were bleeding viewers to TV3, TVNZ began to implement much needed changes.  They have worked.  How much longer before Mediaworks realise that their current format isn’t working and that it’s time to follow suit?

Seven Sharp is increasing it’s audience week on week while Campbell Live, at best, are remaining stagnant.  It is worse than that though.

Audience levels watching current affairs at 7pm are down across the board.

% Audience Loss 2013 vs 2014

% Audience Loss 2013 vs 2014

In 2013, the average audience for Seven Sharp was 374,212 viewers per episode. In 2014, that has so far increased to 408,593. Campbell Live on the other hand has gone from 296,379 to 226,371 viewers per night. This is a net loss of 35,627 viewers per night. That is about half of the 70,000 odd viewers that Campbell Live has shed on average every night so far in 2014.

Meanwhile, Paul Henry’s late night current affairs show continues to storm ahead on TV3.

The big question now is, can Mediaworks sustain these loses at 7pm without making significant changes? Would Paul Henry provide a stronger programming option at 7pm?

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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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  • Tania

    I prefer Paul Henry in the late night slot, but feel that Campbell Live need to up the ante … perhaps less of the sob stories approach and more variety would be a good start, as would more stories to fill the half hour slot. At the moment, it feels like the news crossed with Fair Go and sucks the life out of me. There has also been at least one occasion where Campbell Live have reported a woeful tale, only for countless people to dispute the facts on Facebook, which Campbell Live have not addressed (the one I’m referring to from 12-18 months ago, where a family was having to live in their car as they had nowhere to live; the true story was that they skipped places without paying rent. If they’re going to report such things, they should at least do homework about the subjects first). I might be tempted to start watching if there was a co-host … Paula Penfold (from 3rd Degree; Mike McRoberts’ wife) would be my first choice.

    • Tania

      (I prefer Paul Henry in the late night slot as his show is more infotainment; it would no doubt have to be a lot more serious if he was in the 7pm slot. I really like the rapport that Paul and Jannika have too, which is better tailored to late night).

  • Simon Green

    If TV3 were take change (and I hope they don’t), then they should probably look at The Project (Channel Ten Australia) for an example. Personally, I’m still one that watches 3 News and Campbell Live.

  • TK

    Why are you using 5+ to make such bold statements? TV3’s+TVOnes demographic (I forget exactly what it is – 25-54?) is a better measure of Campbell Live maybe needing to be changed. If they’re not aiming for everyone, but are competing in a particular demographic, and that’s where advertisers are, so why present this? It’s like criticizing Picasso for not painting with realism.