TV Ratings 2017: Nine claims #1 all demos, only network to grow across the board

Highlights from the Nine Network release on its ratings performance in 2017, following the end of the TV ratings survey year over the weekend.

• Only Network To Grow Share Across All Demos & Total People

The Nine Network is the No. 1 television network for 2017 across the five mainland capitals with all key demographics.

With the official 40-week ratings period concluding, the Nine Network wraps the year with the greatest share of primetime viewers (6pm-midnight) for People 25-54, 18-49, 16-39, and Grocery Buyers with Children.

On primary channel shares, Nine is also No. 1 for 2017 with all key demographics. With Total People, just one-tenth of a share point (0.1) separated Nine from Seven – the closest margin between the two leading free-to-air networks in more than a decade.

Nine is also the only free-to-air network to increase its share in 2017 across all key demographics and Total People compared to 2016:

• People 25-54: Up by 1.4 share points
• People 18-49: Up by 1.7 share points
• People 16-39: Up by 1.5 share points
• GB + Child: Up by 1.9 share points
• Total People: Up by 1.2 share points

Hugh Marks, chief executive officer of Nine Entertainment Co, said: “Our results this year speak for themselves. To be the number one network with all key demographics is the outcome of a lot of hard work by a team that I believe to be the best in television.

“These are not results we take for granted. If anything, they spur us on to continue to create even better content that will resonate with Australian audiences. We thank our viewers for watching and do not take their support lightly.”

The key to Nine’s success in 2017 was a raft of programs which delivered consistent audiences throughout the week and across the year.

The breakout smash hit of the year was Australian Ninja Warrior, which captivated audiences of all ages across Australia. With a national series average audience of 2.505 million (5 City: 1.767m/Regional: 738,000), Ninja has cemented itself as a ratings phenomenon and the best performing new series since The Voice in 2012.

The Block, in its 13th series, dominated ratings in the back half of the year. The long-running renovation-reality format is showing no signs of slowing down, with this year’s series up in audience by more than 25% on 2016. The Winner Announced moment of this year’s series holds the title of the No. 1 entertainment program of 2017 with a national average audience of 3.564 million (5 City: 2.533m/Regional: 1.031m).

Kick-starting Nine’s bumper year was a stripped series of Married at First Sight, which delivered an average national audience of 1.681 million viewers per episode (5 City: 1.193m/Regional: 488,000), culminating in 2.151 million viewers for its finale (5 City: 1.515m/Regional: 636,000).

The Voice dominated Nine’s schedule in the second quarter of 2017 and completed its fifth series with a national average audience of 1.574 million (5 City: 1.113 million /Regional: 460,000).

Nine introduced a range of new formats in 2017, including the smash-hit comedy True Story with Hamish & Andy, in which everyday Aussies recount hilarious tales that are then recreated by a cast of Australia’s most renowned performers. The inaugural series wrapped its 10 episodes with a national average audience of 1.460 million (5 City: 1.027m/Regional: 432,000).

This Time Next Year, Nine’s feelgood program about everyday people’s life transformations, hosted by Karl Stefanovic, debuted in 2017 with a national series average audience of 1.398 million (5 City: 971,000/Regional: 428,000).

Karl Stefanovic on the sets of This Time Next Year

Also new in 2017 was the hugely popular Travel Guides, which returns for a second series early in the New Year. The fly-on-the wall observational show in which diverse groups of people impart their opinions on their shared holiday experiences achieved a national series average audience of 986,000 (5 City: 703,000/Regional: 283,000).

Nine’s drama slate was spearheaded by the top-rating Doctor Doctor, which concluded its second series with a national average audience of 1.306 million viewers per episode (5 City: 855,000/Regional: 451,000).

Nine is the home of the big special events, with the TV Week Logie Awards securing a national average audience of 1.270 million (5 City: 950,000/Regional: 320,000). Still to come is the 80th annual Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve.

Nine’s sports slate in 2017 provided a year-long calendar of nail-biting spectacles, including Nine’s Summer of Cricket and world-class NRL coverage, culminating in the recent triumph of the Socceroos’ World Cup qualifying campaign.

The third State of Origin Rugby League match takes out the title of the No. 1 sports program of 2017 with a national average audience of 3.709 million (5 City: 2.523m/Regional: 1.185m).

The second Socceroos’ World Cup Qualifier against Syria is the No. 1 multichannel program of 2017, with a national average audience of 742,000 (5 City: 530,000/Regional: 212,000) on 9GO! The final match against Honduras delivered a bumper national average audience of 1.575 million (5 City: 1.203m / Regional: 371,000).

And Nine’s Summer of Cricket has just begun – the First Ashes Test between Australia and England was a ratings hit, with more than one in three Australians tuning in across the five days of play.

Nine’s news and current affairs lineup is the nation’s most trusted. Nine News has once again taken out the title of the most-watched news bulletin in Australia’s three largest cities: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

A Current Affair consistently dominates the 7pm timeslot night after night and wraps up the 2017 ratings survey period with a national average audience of 1.137 million (5 City: 802,000/ Regional: 335,000).

60 Minutes, which next year celebrates an historic 40th series, increased its audience in 2017 with Total People and all demos, and delivered an average national audience of 1.237 million viewers per episode (5 City: 859,000/Regional: 378,000; excluding “Late” episodes).

Michael Healy, Nine Network director of television, said: “Making engaging content that entertains, informs and stimulates is at the heart of what we do. We are enormously proud of the slate we put to air in 2017. We will continue to push ourselves even harder to produce innovative television that can be enjoyed by viewers on a device and at a time of their choosing.”

Michael Stephenson, chief sales officer, said: “Before the start of 2017, we made a promise to the market that we would grow our audience in thousands and share, and ensure the consistency of our schedule throughout the year.

“I’m pleased to say we have achieved this across the board this year, winning all the key demographics on the back of strong franchises like Married at First Sight, The Voice, Australian Ninja Warrior and The Block. These shows are all proven performers that will again deliver strong audiences across the key demographics throughout the year in 2018.

“Marketers want partners they can trust to deliver results and at Nine are confident that we will have another strong year in 2018 with growth in the demographics that matter and continued consistency of schedule.”

In the broadcast video on demand (BVOD) space, 9Now had an average monthly audience across 2017 of just under two million (1.996m CYTD), and in October had the largest digital audience of any commercial TV player, with a total unique audience of 2.530 million. Much of that growth was driven in the BVOD app space where 9Now posted the highest increase of any Australian TV app, with its audience up 100.2% year-on-year (Jan-Oct) and the 9Now app audience totalling 1.325m in October.

Meanwhile in programming, this shift to on-demand viewing was clear with both Married at First Sight and Love Child among the handful of TV programs to pass the 100,000 viewer threshold in the OzTAM VPM ratings.

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