Sky News records record ratings for COVID-19 crisis coverage

• Audience grows 63%, Sky News Foxtel’s #1 for five weeks

Sky News Australia has reported a surge in audience as Australians turn to its news service across television, online and audio platforms as the global coronavirus crisis continues.

The channel has summarised the highlights from the past five weeks of ratings data:

Sky News has been the #1 channel on Foxtel for more than five weeks (1 March – 7 April), with total audience increasing +63% year-on-year, reaching 2.4 million viewers.

This includes an increase throughout the day (6am-6pm) of +82% across programs including First Edition, AM Agenda, NewsDay, Afternoon Agenda and The Kenny Report.

Viewing to primetime (6pm-11pm) is up +41% driven by programs including Paul Murray Live, Credlin, The Bolt Report, Jones & Credlin and the Sunday night coronavirus investigations hosted by Peter Stefanovic.

Since launching on 23 March, the dedicated 24/7 Sky News COVID-19 channel on Foxtel has reached 1.4 million viewers (23 March – 7 April).

Additionally, there have been 1.1 million streams to the Sky News COVID-19 channel online.

Sky News Australia has shattered its previous digital traffic records with visitors to skynews.com.au surging +404% since the start of March bringing unique users to 3.5 million. Those people streamed Sky News Australia videos more than 5 million times over this period.

Significant traffic increases continued across Sky News Australia’s portfolio of digital platforms with syndicated video views across the News Corp network, Microsoft, YouTube and Facebook exceeding 80 million since March, representing a year-on-year increase of +536%.

The trend of consecutive record-breaking weeks continued last week with the network scoring 19.9 million video views across all digital platforms, the biggest week in the company’s history.

Audio figures have been bolstered by the launch of Sky News on iHeartRadio on 23 March which has already been streamed more than 18,000 hours.

Paul Whittaker, Sky News Australia chief executive said: “At this time of unprecedented health and economic uncertainty, more people than ever before are turning to us for accurate and timely breaking news, in-depth analysis and expert commentary.

“Our team is working around-the-clock to deliver our trusted news content to Australians at this crucial time across our broadcast, digital and audio platforms.”

Over the past five weeks (1 March – 7 April) individual programs across Sky News on Foxtel have delivered large audience increases as viewers turn to the team for the latest news and exclusive insights:

• First Edition (Weekdays from 5am) with Laura Jayes and Peter Stefanovic has seen a +37% average audience increase during this period, reaching 559,000 cumulative viewers.
• AM Agenda (Weekdays from 9am) with Tom Connell and Annelise Nielsen up +91%, reaching 723,000 viewers.
• NewsDay (Weekdays from 12pm) with Ashleigh Gillon up +144%, with a reach of 805,000.
• Afternoon Agenda (Monday – Thursday at 2pm) with Kieran Gilbert has seen average audiences increase +93%, reaching 876,00 viewers.
• The Kenny Report (Weekdays at 5pm) with Chris Kenny has delivered a +62% increase in average audience, reaching more than 560,000 viewers.
• Credlin (Weeknights at 6pm) anchored by Peta Credlin increased its average audience by +58%, reaching 649,000 viewers.
• The Bolt Report (Weeknights at 7pm) hosted by Andrew Bolt is up +38% year-on-year, with a reach of 710,000 viewers.
• Kenny on Media (Mondays at 8pm) hosted by Chris Kenny is up +52% compared to the same timeslot last year, reaching 295,000.
• Jones & Credlin (Tuesdays at 8pm) with Alan Jones and Peta Credlin recorded a +12% audience growth, reaching 372,000 viewers.
• Richo & Jones (Wednesdays at 8pm) anchored by Graham Richardson and Alan Jones increased viewing by +66% compared to the same time last year, with a cumulative reach of  264,000.
• Chris Smith Tonight (Thursdays at 8pm) hosted by Chris Smith is up +147% compared to the same timeslot last year, reaching 323,000 viewers.
• Paul Murray Live (Sunday – Thursday at 9pm) grew by +39%, reaching 888,000 viewers.
• Sharri (Sundays at 6pm) increased average audiences by +101%, reaching 314,000.
• Coronavirus: Special Investigations (Sundays at 7.30pm) hosted by Peter Stefanovic have seen a +105% increase compared to the usual timeslot average audience, reaching 295,000.
• The Front Page (Monday – Thursday at 11pm) anchored by Peter Gleeson is up +42%, with a cumulative reach of 399,000 viewers.
• Outsiders (Sundays at 9am) with Rowan Dean, Rita Panahi and James Morrow saw an average audience increase of +53% while Outsiders’ Guide (Fridays at 8pm) is up +314% compared to the same timeslot last year.
• In My View (Sundays at 8pm) is up +67% on average audience compared to the same timeslot last year, reaching 363,000 viewers.

Top Photo: Annelise Nielsen and Kieran Gilbert on Sky News

Source: OzTAM National STV Panel, Total People, 01.03.20 – 07.04.20 vs STLY/ 16 days prior, Sky News Live, Sky News Extra/ COVID-19, Overnight and Average Audience & 1 Min Cume Reach. Programs that didn’t air in 2019 are compared to the program in the same timeslot and day range. Encore programming is excluded.

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