SBS television event First Contact, hosted by Ray Martin, aired on the SBS network last night.
The series ran across the three SBS channels playing simultaneously on SBS ONE and NITV at 8.30pm with a replay on SBS2 at 9.30pm.
Figures provided by SBS show the program to have a cumulative reach of 996,000 viewers in metro and regional areas based on five consecutive minutes for the First Contact broadcast across the three channels.
The average ratings breakdown for each program is as follows:
First Contact – 8.30pm – SBS ONE
Metro – 432,500
Regional – 178,700
Total – 611, 200
First Contact – 8.30pm – NITV
Metro – 25,600
Regional – 12,600
Total – 38,200
First Contact – 9.30pm – SBS2
Regional – 15,400
Total – 55,700
SBS is understandably pleased with the result however the metro ratings from the three channels combined put the program outside of the top 20 free-to-air shows of the evening. Seven’s Home and Away and Dancing With The Stars were the top two non news programs for the night rating 934,000 and 932,000 respectively.
SBS also aired Awaken: First Response a follow up program on NITV which aired at 9.30pm. It was the highest ever rating program for NITV with 96,500 metro and 34,000 regional viewers.
The hashtag #FirstContactSBS trended worldwide on Twitter during broadcast and remains in number one position today.
First Contact is a three part series which continues this evening and ends on Thursday. It follows six non-indigenous Australians as they delve into the world of Aboriginal Australia.
SBS director of television, Tony Iffland said: “SBS and our production partner Blackfella Films are incredibly proud of this landmark series that shines a light on the divide between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Australia. First Contact goes to the heart of our charter and is an example of SBS’s ability to deliver bold event television that provokes debate.
“It’s fantastic that so many Australian viewers tuned in to witness this important national story which has and will continue over the next few nights to contribute meaningfully to the conversation about what it means to be Australian today.
“First Contact was a true network event, bringing our three channels and their distinctive audiences together, to successfully deliver this series to as many diverse Australians as possible and encourage them to join in to this national discussion and debate.”