With the official TV ratings system offline for a second day due to an alleged attack from hackers, TV networks have been left with little idea of how their content is performing.
The outage of official Nielsen ratings collection has caused considerable headaches for broadcasters, particularly at Seven where the network had high hopes it would be able to report significant numbers for its Big Brother finale last night.
With the potential that we may never receive official ratings for the Big Brother LIVE special, TV Blackbox decided to utilise an alternative ratings system powered by pay-tv operator Fetch-TV to monitor viewing behaviour.
The Fetch system provides real-time monitoring regarding what channels are being watched at any given moment via Fetch set-top boxes in customer homes
TV Blackbox opted to observe viewers only on the East Coast to avoid time zone confusion. On average Fetch has around 100,000 customers on the East Coast contributing to the data.
The Fetch data tells us that 7:40pm Big Brother was just ahead of its rivals with 16.1% of Fetch viewers watching the show. RBT on Nine was just behind with 14.7%. ABC current affairs program 7.30 secured 9.7%. While Bachelor in Paradise had 8.04%
Things didn’t vary much during the evening, at 8:30pm Big Brother still had 16.3% of the audience, just ahead of RBT on 14.6%, while Bachelor in Paradise had 8.2% and Hard Quiz had 5.7%
By 9pm, Seven’s primary channel had 14.5% of viewers, compared with 13.3% watching Nine.
Important differences worth noting with Fetch data is that unlike Oztam ratings, the Fetch data includes metro and regional customers. The system also has no way of knowing how many viewers are watching a particular television, and does not provide any demographic information regarding who the viewers are.
The Fetch data often varies significantly in comparison with the official ratings data distributed by OzTAM, so this information should only be used as an approximate indication of viewing behaviour.