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A Current Affair trumps Seven’s Home and Away in popular timeslot

Guest Mishyy

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A CURRENT Affair appears to be gaining the upper hand on long-running soap Home and Away, which will cause a few headaches for the Seven Network.

The Nine Network is now dominating the all-important 6pm to 7.30pm timeslots, which are considered vital to promoting other programming and also retaining viewers for the rest of the night.

Nine took a gamble on January 6 when it went to an hourlong news service and pushedA Current Affair back to 7pm to take on Home and Away.

A month later Seven dumped Today Tonight in favour of one-hour news bulletins between 6-7pm in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with the aim to focus on longer feature-type stories. The program is still seen in Adelaide and Perth.

Seven said at the time it was out to boost its news gathering resources by creating a News Investigations and Features unit.

Home and Away won the first week of official ratings, which started February 9, butACA has won both nights this week and by a decisive margin.

On Monday the margin was about 200,000 viewers and on Tuesday ACA was sixth with 1.013 million viewers and Home and Away was 11th with 874,000 viewers on OzTAM’s overnight ratings.

Nine also had a decisive win with its hourlong news service which is broken into two segments for ratings purposes.

Nine News (1.106 million) was third and Nine News 6.30pm (1.085 million) was fourth.

In comparison, Seven’s News (986,000) was eighth and Seven News/Today Tonight (944,000) was ninth with 944,000.

Reality shows My Kitchen Rules (1.883 million) and The Block: Fans v Faves (1.149 million) were first and second, respectively, on Tuesday.

Getting crunched in the reality show wars is Network Ten’s The Biggest Loser, which was 28th with 323,000 viewers.


Oh let me guess, it's all the Braxton's fault lol

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I wouldn't worry too much if I was Channel 7 to be honest as it was inevitable that ACA would gain a large audience no matter whether it was on at 6:30pm or 7:00pm. It's always had a large audience and since Today Tonight is no longer on, maybe old Today Tonight viewers are switching onto A Current Affair at 7:00pm. By the way who watches that garbage anyway? It's just tabloid and no longer reporting on important news stories.

Home and Away has been fine with it's ratings in 2014 as it's averaging exactly 1,000,000 viewers according OzTam ratings figures which I've kept track of since Home and Away first started this year so those getting excited by the gradual downfall shouldn't speak too soon!

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Well, I think it's a sign.

Home and Away have lost a growing number of the established and long-term audience. Continually aiming Home and Away at the lowest common denominator is not a good move.

What do you mean that it's a sign? The show is averaging 1,000,000 viewers a night in Australia! Yes that's right 1,000,000 viewers a night in Australia. There's statistical evidence that proves that this is the case as of Tuesday February 18 2014.

Also your comment about Home and Away aiming itself at the lowest common denominator is a load of rubbish as you can't make an ambiguous statement like that without elaborating on it. Are you referring to certain characters being the 'lowest common denominator' or a certain target audience that the show is aiming towards enticing viewers to watch the show as being the 'lowest common denominator'?

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The viewing figures are up and down. A few years ago, it was reaching around 1.2 million most nights but now barely scrapes a million.

My comment about the lowest common denominator refers to the audience. To me, it's clear that the show is being targeted solely at a teenage audience. Both characters and story lines have been dumbed down to pander to this. Just look at the Home and Away Official Facebook Page if you want proof of this. It would appear that TPTB only use the Facebook and twitter comments of teenage girls to somehow represent the entire Home and Away audience. As a result of that, I don't see the direction of Home and Away changing anytime soon.

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The highest figures for this year so far have been 1.2 million viewers and the lowest so far has been 870,000 viewers and bearing in mind people have had certain issues such as the recent bushfires which affected several country communities around Victoria for instance. Also it is still summer in Australia so it's possible that people are trying to enjoy the last of what summer offers before the weather begins to get colder as the years goes on and we enter Autumn.

Another thing that has to be taken into account is that viewers have more access to watch episodes online as well as opposed to watching them on television so that desperation factor of wanting to see the show is no longer existent like it was many years ago because of these various options. I'm an example of this. Sometimes I'm not too disappointed if I miss an episode on television from time to time because I just watch that episode online anyway but a long time that would have been a different story. It could be another reason to attribute the slight decline of viewers over the years rather than show declining in quality in general.

In regards to the lowest common denominator, Facebook shouldn't be seen as being a good representation of a cross-section of the community as most users of the site are younger people. I don't doubt that maybe the producers have some ideas from social networking sites but overall I think they go along with their own ideas regardless of what us viewers think of the show. I think they worry more about channel 7 rather than anyone else to be honest. The idea that teenage audiences are the lowest common denominator is silly. They make up a wide range of audiences and like other age groups there thoughts and opinions on the show should be taken into consideration as well. One age group is not superior to the other in terms of having an opinion on the show.

Also this article only takes into account how Home and Away has been performing since the official ratings season commenced on February 9. Before that date Home and Away was averaging 1.045 million viewers a night.

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Well judging from the current episodes I had an impression, that the producers do come here and do read the comments, but choose who to listen and who don't. There were complaints about Sasha becoming uncool when she has a boyfriend and at the end of last year the character said almost exactly the same, and then there were complaints about Tamara being only someone's girlfriend and recently she was told the same by Leah. Why don't producers listen to other complaints? Who knows. Maybe because they don't want to listen to those who have already switched off? E.G. Louise's recent remark on twitter.

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