SBS’s eye-opening three-part documentary series First Contact hosted by Ray Martin concluded last night with the final episode attracting a combined metro and regional audience of 568,000.
Broadcast simultaneously on SBS ONE and NITV, with a delayed 9:30pm broadcast on SBS 2, the First Contact finale reached 947,000 (632,000 metro and 315,000 regional) Australians based on five consecutive minutes of viewing.
On SBS ONE, 399,000 metro and 169,000 regional viewers tuned in reaching a peak audience of 722,000 (485,000 metro and 237,000 regional) and a metro free-to-air share of 10.4%.
The First Contact broadcast on NITV attracted a combined metro and regional audience of 36,000 (10,000 metro, 26,000 regional). On SBS 2 at 9:30pm the program recorded a combined metro and regional audience of 68,000 (41,000 metro, 27,000 regional).
The special live Insight program hosted by Stan Grant at 9:30pm continued the conversation on SBS ONE with a combined metro and regional audience of 412,000 (metro audience of 297,000 and 115,000 regional viewers) and a metro free-to-air share of 10.3%, beating Channel Seven and ABC in the time slot.
Over the three nights (Tuesday 18 November – Thursday 20 November), First Contact had a cumulative reach of 1,847,000 Australian viewers based on five consecutive minutes of viewing (metro and regional) across SBS ONE, NITV and SBS 2.
Audiences who missed the broadcasts have flocked to watch the program online, with catch-up numbers on SBS’s On Demand service for First Contact episode one currently at 123,645 views, episode two currently at 64,426 views and episode three currently at 10,072 views. Total current views for the series on SBS On Demand are at 198,143.
SBS director of television, Tony Iffland said: “During the past three days, First Contact has truly shone a light on the divide between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Australia. SBS and the program’s producers Blackfella Films are beyond delighted that so many Australians have come together to engage in debate and discussion about an issue that effects all of us.
“Audiences not only tuned in across the three channels and on SBS On Demand, but they also took to social media, which saw the program trend globally on Twitter – testament to the SBS network’s ability to lead debate and discussion.
“The success of First Contact extended beyond the documentary itself, with record numbers for NITV – the two Awaken specials presented by Stan Grant achieved the channel’s highest ever ratings.
“By working collaboratively across SBS ONE, NITV and SBS 2 to reach as many Australians as possible, SBS has amplified a topic of national concern, and we hope that the discussion continues after our broadcast.”
The hash tag #FirstContactSBS again trended number one on twitter in Australia for the third consecutive night yesterday.
All three episodes of First Contact, as well as the live Awaken and Insight specials, are now available at SBS On Demand.