The ABC’s head of television, Richard Finlayson, has labelled the industry’s reporting of TV ratings redundant as it only takes into account TV “eyeballs” and not the myriad of other devices – delayed or otherwise – that people now use to consume TV.
Finlayson, who’s comments were reported in The Australian this morning, said of the current overnight metropolitan TV ratings: “We just simply cannot look at overnight ratings figures as the sole guide any more. The live metro (ratings figure) is so redundant, it’s ridiculous.
“You simply can’t catch the one audience in the one place any more,” he said.
Finlayson argued that a huge number of ABC viewers often caught up on its programs via its iview service.
In the article with The Oz, he cited last year’s drama series Jack Irish as an example of, what he saw as, the misreporting of audience figures. He said the current industry standard, the OzTam figures, reported the show had a metro audience of 782,000. However, Finlayson argued the program’s actual audience was more like 1.7 million viewers when you added in iview, regional and national encore screenings.
“Only 46 per cent of its total came from the five-city metro viewing,” he said. “It’s just a really good example of how audiences are watching TV and why the five-city metro rating is redundant.”