3 NewsIn July of 2013, in the midst of a receivership, TV3 lost the Australian soap Home and Away as its lead in to 3 News. Home and Away had been long credited as setting up TV3’s nightly schedule with the audience that it delivered at 5:30pm sticking around for the rest of the evening.

In Home and Away’s absence, the first few weeks saw the average audience for the 5:30pm timeslot drop by more than three quarters. The flow on effect, however, wasn’t as significant with the average audience of 3 News down only 19%.

While 3 News had been impacted by the loss of Home and Away, Campbell Live was delivering audience levels that were 18% higher than its news bulletin lead in, a boost in part off the back of TVNZ’s initial attempt at rejuvenating their own 7pm time slot with Seven Sharp. Continue reading »



I’ve been blogging about television for more than a decade but it is time for me to move on to other projects.

I have some final pieces of analysis that I’ll be publishing over the next few days but as of today, there will be no more daily ratings published.

I’d like to thank the 1.4+ million people who have joined me on this particular journey. It’s been quite the ride.

If anyone is interested in taking over the site, please feel free to email me:

Graham Norton chats to Adele tonight – it’s the one everyone’s been talking about where she impersonates herself, hilarious!

Posted by TV3 on Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Featuring her first television performance since 2013 and songs from her latest album 25, TV3 will broadcast the exclusive British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) special, Adele Live in London, on the channel tonight.

Continue reading »

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Most watched

  1. Shortland Street: 218,900 (64%, TV2, 7:00pm – 7:30pm)
  2. World’s Fattest Man A Love Story: 216,400 (77%, TV2, 8:35pm – 9:40pm)
  3. One News: 183,400 (31%, TV ONE, 6:00pm – 7:00pm)
  4. My Kitchen Rules New Zealand: 163,800 (65%, TV2, 7:30pm – 8:35pm)
  5. Piha Rescue: 149,900 (42%, TV ONE, 8:05pm – 8:35pm)

Continue reading »

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Most watched

  1. One News: 583,050 (TV ONE, 6:00pm – 7:00pm)
  2. Highway Cops: 414,140 (TV ONE, 7:30pm – 8:05pm)
  3. Seven Sharp: 365,890 (TV ONE, 7:00pm – 7:30pm)
  4. Piha Rescue: 358,950 (TV ONE, 8:05pm – 8:35pm)
  5. Shortland Street: 340,080 (TV2, 7:00pm – 7:30pm)

Continue reading »

But I only want to watch sport and have to pay for the dross I don’t watch

A common thread of discussions is the big bundle that subscribers have to pay for to get access to the coveted sport.  Sadly Sport only accounted for 4.7% of total audience share in 2014 (slightly more than Prime) and only 4.9% in 2013 (equal to Prime).  To put that in perspective that’s a whopping 8 minutes 39 seconds per day per person (1 hour/week) or 23 minutes per household per day (2.7 hours/week).  Ahem – for a nation of rugby addicted sports fanatics.  In 2014 the audience across The Box, Vibe, Jones and Crime & Investigation was greater than Sky Sport 1-4.  So while we claim that we really only want Sky for the Sport – all evidence to the contrary.


So the basic reality is that despite there being individuals that say that they want just the Sport and complain bitterly that they are required to pay $77.50/month for their sport the average person in the average Sky household is watching a whole lot more than just sport.

Estimation/Speculation on the Cost Per Viewing Hour (CPVH) for Sky components

Recall from our earlier discussion piece that the cost for viewing Sky content in Sky households was $1/hour/person (Sky – When is expensive too expensive).  And given the absence of discussion on the analysis, taken as read.  Trying to add further granularity on the value of the different packages (Sport, Movie, Basic) becomes more of a dark art absent the cold data that only Sky possesses.  But one can estimate (or speculate).


To get a better understanding of CPVH across the premium segments we should apportion different aspects across sport, movie and all other channels.  Even in this age one can “rent” a decoder from Sky to get One, 2 and TV3 for $18/mth.  The relative availability of Freeview decoders and PVR’s should reduce this revenue to zero for Sky however it provides a useful data point for apportioning decoder rental across our components.  We use relative viewing time as the mechanism.  Example for 2014:


We have apportioned the HD ticket between the Movies and Sport packages given the primary driver for HD content (at least within Sky’s offering) is likely to be watching either of these packages.  We have again apportioned on the basis of average time spent viewing.  See example for 2014:


All other costs other than package costs have, for the ease of simplicity been allocated to watching the residual channels (non movies/sport) on the Sky platform.

We have assumed that 75% of subscribers take Sport (see Herald article from earlier this year which has been relatively static compared to when Sky disclosed package subscription data in its Annual or Interim Reports.

We have assumed that the proportion of Movies subscribers has fallen at 2% per annum since 2010’s last known disclosure.  That is consistent with trends pre-2010.  In 2014 we have estimated that 38% of subscribers take Movies as part of their package.

Sport – the Cost Per Viewing Hour

Aggregating the Monthly price of Sport  and its share of HD and the decoder results in monthly  prices of c$33-37/mth across the 2010-2014 time period.  When analysing the viewing minutes per person on Sport we deduce that the CPVH for Sky Sport has been around $2.65-$3.20 per hour.

Our metrics will be overstated with the number of minutes of ESPN for the timeperiod not being known and thus cost of ESPN included in the numerator but the minutes excluded from the denominator.


Looking at comparatives.  We’ll use the NRL as an example of watching a premium sport and paying for the privilege of doing so.    We’ll ignore the cost of carriage (ie data costs of between 0.6Gb and 2.3Gb/hour) given the rapid commoditisation of data.

If you were a miser that squeaked while you walked and subscribed to Livestream, the NRL’s streaming partner in countries where there is some or no broadcast coverage, at Euro60/season (NZD100) and a VPN service, to disguise that you were a NZ viewer circumventing another parties broadcast rights, at $5/mth to watch the Warriors on your 120″ screen then your cost would be $135 for the 30 week (or 7 month period).  This equates to $4.50/week or, assuming you only watch 1 match, $4.50 for your 90 minutes of viewing (including halftime).  Simply put you CPVH would be $~3.00.

Alternatively you could subscribe to FanPass at $300/season or $10/week for your one game.  Simply put your CPVH would be $6.67.



It is obvious that a supporter that only watches their own team is paying a substantial premium to watch one game on the legal streaming service.  And highlights why most sports streaming packages offer a “Supporters” package that hollows out just their teams games, at a fraction of the cost of a full season pass for the codes diehard fans that want to consume every game.  Will FanPass offer a Supporters Package this year?  IMHO it should. 

Movies and the Residual – Cost Per Viewing Hour

Similarly allocating the HD share and decoder share to Movies we find that the CPVH of the Movies on Sky has varied from $3.23-$5.00 over the time period.  Recall from our earlier analysis that PPV pricing of recent releases was $1.25-$2.95/hour.  As such it comes as little surprise to find that the proportion of Sky subscribers taking Movies (and hence viewership) is declining.  Simply adding more Movie channels amid increased prices has not changed uptake or inherent value.

After stripping out the premium aspects of Sport and Movie we can deduce that the residual cost of Sky (the big basic) where the majority of viewing takes place has a CPVH of between 55 cents and 70 cents per person.


Hardly an expensive proposition for a platform that continues to grow its audience share and viewing minutes compared to its challenged Free-to-Air counterparts.  In aggregate a Cost Per Viewing Hour of $1/person doesnt seem high but excluding Movies and Sport to find that the content that is actually watched to be only 70 cents per viewing hour makes farce of the claims that pay television is expensive.

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Top 20 most time shifted shows

  1. The Walking Dead: 53940 (TV2, 9:30pm – 10:30pm)
  2. Castle: 44300 (TV ONE, 9:35pm – 10:35pm)
  3. The Block NZ Villa Wars: 24240 (TV3, 7:30pm – 8:35pm)
  4. Shortland Street: 23120 (TV2, 7:00pm – 7:30pm)
  5. Mayday: 17000 (PRIME, 9:35pm – 10:30pm) Continue reading »

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Most watched

  1. Shortland Street: 206,900 (58%, TV2, 7:00pm – 7:30pm)
  2. One News: 182,600 (28%, TV ONE, 6:00pm – 7:00pm)
  3. Border Security International: 168,700 (35%, TV ONE, 7:30pm – 8:00pm)
  4. The Force: 157,600 (35%, TV ONE, 8:00pm – 8:35pm)
  5. The Block NZ Villa Wars Unlocked: 148,500 (64%, TV3, 7:30pm – 8:35pm)

Continue reading »

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Most watched

  1. One News: 663,500 (TV ONE, 6:00pm – 7:00pm)
  2. Border Security International: 481,070 (TV ONE, 7:30pm – 8:00pm)
  3. Seven Sharp: 457,450 (TV ONE, 7:00pm – 7:30pm)
  4. The Force: 447,930 (TV ONE, 8:00pm – 8:35pm)
  5. Shortland Street: 356,130 (TV2, 7:00pm – 7:30pm)

Continue reading »

The My Kitchen Rules New Zealand (MKR NZ) competition reaches boiling point this week as the top five teams fight for their place in the 2015 MKR NZ Grand Final!

Continue reading »