The Herald reports on TV ratings and gets it wrong

nz-herald-wrong-againThe New Zealand Herald must have been hawkeye on Throng this morning as they rushed up a post about the ratings for The X Factor NZ in another attempt to stymie Mediaworks and in the process, jumped to a number of conclusions that once again put into question the credibility of a once proud media organisation.

According to the Herald, 100,000 fewer viewers tuned in for last night’s instalment of TV3’s talent quest compared to Tuesday’s show. They attribute this to “after the previous week’s episode featured convicted killer Shae Brider.”

There are a number of problems with this. Firstly, The Herald is simply trying to undermine a competitor with their own negative narrative which raises its own issues of trust. Secondly, they’re comparing a Sunday night episode to a Tuesday night episode. The Tuesday night episode was the end of the auditions. In many cases, viewers tune in for the auditions and then tune in and out for key events like, the reveal of the finalists who made it through bootcamp, as opposed to all of bootcamp itself.

If we compare Sunday to Sunday, the actual drop is only 51,890 viewers. However, there was a 67% increase in the number of viewers tuning in for the screening on TV3 Plus 1, which resulted in the overall drop only down 7% on the previous week.

If we take a look at how the first season rated, there is a similar trend in what happened with the bootcamp ratings:

The Herald also gets it wrong when talking about Our First Home NZ:

It also marks the first time TV One’s Our First Home has beaten X Factor NZ in the ratings war since the series first went head-to-head.

Last night, 331,000 viewers tuned in to the renovation series, up from 261,000 the previous week.

The actual numbers for the previous week was 322,910. The 261,000 they refer to is from Tuesday.

The Herald then state:

The news will have Mediaworks executives concerned as sponsors continue to evaluate their position and association with X Factor NZ.

I’d suggest that this endless, misleading campaign against Mediaworks should cement the fact that the New Zealand Herald has no credibility as a news organisation any more and heads should be rolling. If this is how NZME. is preparing to convince investors that they’re the media organisation they should be investing their funds in then this is a pretty bizarre way to go about it. I can only assume that they’re deliberately hoping people will be stupid enough to part with their cash so the current owners can remove the lead weight around their necks. Personally, I think people can see through their BS.

Perhaps the Herald might like to consider an apology of its own.


I see Stuff have made the same stupid mistake in comparing Sunday to Tuesday.

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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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  • roger

    I agree with what you are saying, but are you also going to point out that Stuff/Fairfax are doing the same thing? “X Factor ratings plunge”…

    • Regan Cunliffe

      I hadn’t seen that when I began the post as the Herald had it up first. Fairfax, at least, attribute where they got their information from.

      • roger

        Yeah but they make the same errors in comparing Tuesday and Sunday. But yes, at least they mention Throng!

  • Trevor Ashman

    I hate the overviews they do of each show on Stuff, it’s obviously written by someone who doesn’t like the show, it’s so sarcastic 🙁

    • roger

      I agree. Why not find a fan!

      • Trevor Ashman

        Exactly Roger, someone who actually appreciates the show. I think it’s so well done 🙂

    • Dave Ian Batten

      It’s written by a person who doesn’t know a thing about TV.

  • benpaul12

    Regan, your level of defence for the show is sounding just as bad as The Herald’s constant negativity.

    Despite the sensation there *is* a story here with X-Factor’s numbers.

    • Regan Cunliffe

      Where is my defence of the show?

      • benpaul12

        You’ve defended this year’s ratings by comparing it with Season 1’s by stating the reason for it is purely based on the content (bootcamps/auditions).

        • Regan Cunliffe

          I haven’t defended this year’s ratings at all. They are down, quite considerably, on the first season. Those are the facts.

          Pointing out that the decline at the end of the auditions is similar to season one is purely observational.

          I’ve shown data over time and presented a trend without fear or favour. I’m not the one jumping to conclusions based on a single data point and additionally, I’m not trying to justify what the ratings are either.

          I’m presenting the facts, as they are. I fail to see where I’ve spun anything to suggest these numbers are “good” for Mediaworks. They’re just not as bad as their competitors would like you to believe they are.

  • Henry

    “The Herald is simply trying to undermine a competitor with their own negative narrative”. Isn’t this exactly what you are doing with this post? The picture is a bit over the top don’t you think!

  • George

    Fact is the whole show goes downhill when the crazies are weeded out. Will the new “Beyond the Darklands” direction the show’s taking this year reverse that?
    Surely it’s too early to tell.

  • jane

    herald clearly very biased. Fox news model.

  • Dave Ian Batten

    What idiots!

  • Mat

    Herald (and Stuff) are too busy writing stories about random dog walkers or tourists and deeming them to be headline news worthy. Sad sad state of our main daily.