Who would have predicted this? While Campbell live ratings soar Paul Henry’s show is flatlining and Mediaworks executives must be wondering what to do.
John Drinnan in the Herald reports:
MediaWorks appears to be getting poor returns for its big investment in Paul Henry.
The show has been hovering at less than one per cent share of its target demographic.
According to AC Neilsen ratings for the target audience of people aged 25-54 on April 29, Henry drew 0.9 per cent.
On Thursday, April 30 it went to a rating of 0.5 per cent of the target audience and on Friday, May 1 it reached 0.6 and fell to 0.3 ratings points this past Monday.
Audience numbers for breakfast TV are typically low – by comparison TVNZ’s Breakfast attracted between 2.1 and 2.8 per cent of the same key demographic.
Based on likely advertising income Drinnan suggests that the show must be losing money although Mediaworks claims the show is doing fine thanks to the radio focus of the show.
Meanwhile Campbell live viewing figures have surged since the announcement of its review. The graph below from Throng clearly shows the change in fortune.
Matt Nippert thinks that Campbell Live has been given something of a reprieve. How could you cut a programme which is performing so well?
The review originally planned to finish on April 17 has now had this date pushed out with no specific end date now scheduled.
The elongation of the process is understood to have caused concern among Campbell Livestaff, who suspected management would now wait for public attention to wane, and ratings to dip, before swinging the axe.
Victoria University employment law professor Gordon Anderson said while legislation was “pretty open” in terms of how restructuring decisions should be made, the lengthening of the process and revelations that sponsor Mazda had been moved from an annual to a three-month contract in February did raise questions.
“As long as it looks commercially justified, they can make that decision. But once you go out of your way to set it up not to be commercially viable, unless you’ve got a good reason to be moving sponsors to short-term contracts, [MediaWorks] could find themselves running into trouble,” he said.
Anderson said given that the review was announced with the purpose of improving the commercial performance of the 7pm slot, the boost in audience numbers would make it difficult to justify axing the show. “I suspect if the ratings stay up, that’ll tie their hands,” he said.
The current Mazda sponsorship deal expires on May 29. What happens to Mazda’s sponsorship after this time will no doubt signal the future of Campbell Live.