EXCLUSIVE | TODAY coding error? Not according to OzTam

NINE claimed the extremely low average of 193,000 last week was a coding error, but was it?

When NINE launched the “all new” TODAY show on January 14 with Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight, the breakfast show became a talking point within the industry and in media circles. Many are asking whether the new format will work (and when I say new format I basically mean the same format with new graphics and new hosts).

So, every negative story around ratings is important to NINE. They do not want the perception the show isn’t working. The network is fighting hard to get positive stories out into the market place.

But on January 22 the show suffered a ratings disaster when the overnight figures came out at 8.58am. The official OzTam results showed TODAY had rated a measly 193,000.


It’s the kind of result media writers love as it becomes more fodder within the media bubble.

It wasn’t long before NINE’s very capable PR team sprung into action to declare there had been a coding error.

But, TV Blackbox can reveal that episode of TODAY was never re-coded. The figure of 193,000 still stands in the official OzTam ratings. That’s the worst result for the show in 12 years.

So, what happened? Was the coding error not really a thing but a clever diversion, or is it as simple as someone not following it up?.

UPDATE: A Nine spokesman said:

“Last week an error was made in coding the Today Show, we immediately corrected the error & re-coded the early part of the program the following day & the corrected data is now available via Nielsen’s Arianna.”

See NINE’s version of the chart below. It remains unclear why the figures above (that were produced yesterday) still showed 193,000.

TV Blackbox hopes the 210,000 figure is correct as we like a competitive landscape and look forward to seeing the evolution of TODAY in 2019.

Listen to the latest episode of TV Blackbox for more by clicking HERE