ABC defends New Year’s Eve Coverage plus Ratings Report

The ABC responded to newspaper reports criticising last night’s New Year’s Eve broadcast by today releasing data showing that huge audiences tuned in to the celebrations across the country.

The Midnight Fireworks were the number one program of the night with a five city audience of 1.3 million and a total audience share of 51.8%. ABC numbers show the audience peaked at 1.9 million on ABC and ABC News 24 when regional viewers are added.

Earlier the Family Fireworks at 9pm had a peak national audience of 1.3 million on ABC, ABC3 and ABC News 24 with the five city audience at 829,000. Other metropolitan results saw the Australia Wide Party segment recorded 689,000 while the segment including the Pub Quiz had 531,000 with the Rage News Year’s Special later on 170,000.

Richard Finlayson, ABC Director of Television said: “The Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks are an iconic annual event that brings the nation together. ABC is the home of big national moments and celebrations and we’re delighted that our night of family entertainment brought so many people to the party around the country.”

While numbers are lower than last year’s results they helped ABC to a winning network share of 26.1%. In a tight battle for second, Seven had 23.4%, Nine 23.2% and Ten 21.3% with SBS on 5.9%.

Apart from news and current affairs between 6 and 7.30pm, the only other show in town was Ten’s coverage of Game 14 of the Big Bash League. Session 2 recorded a five city audience of 629,000 including those watching through ONE in Perth while Session 1 had 517,000. Both session were number one in their time slots as well as the post game segment that had 424,000. The results were up over 30% from the same game last year. The afternoon’s Women’s game on ONE had 126,000.

Meanwhile, Seven News (860,000 and 715,000), Chase Australia (493,000 and 331,000) and Air Rescue were Seven’s best with The City of Melbourne Fireworks proving popular in its home city with an audience of 265,000. Outside the top 20 were Make You Laugh Out Loud (329,000) and The Big Bang Theory (246,000 and 204,000).

For Nine, Nine News (806,000 and 770,000) and A Current Affair (552,000) made the top ten with Hot Seat (400,000) and the movie New Year’s Eve (339,000) next best. Later, U2 Live in Paris managed 172,000.

At breakfast, Seven’s Sunrise (310,000) won its third morning of the week to edge out Nine’s Today (295,000).

Afternoon programming saw Nine’s 5pm News with 319,000, Seven News with 307,000 at 4pm and 293,000 at 4.30pm and Nine Afternoon News on 233,000 and Nine News Now with 211,000.

See Thursday 31 December 2015 for a more detailed look at the ratings numbers in the Media Spy forums.

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