Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Breakfast shows dish up bigger ratings

Petra Bagust is Breakfast co-host. Photo / Supplied
Petra Bagust is Breakfast co-host. Photo / Supplied

Viewers have warmed to the new Breakfast pairing of Rawdon Christie and Petra Bagust with the show increasing its ratings.

But TV3 rival Firstline has also grown its audience and for the first time has at times attracted more viewers by hourly slot.

Christie, a former BBC journalist, took over from Corin Dann last month when he moved to take up the reins as TVNZ's political editor.

Average ratings from Nielsen for Breakfast last week were 119,814 viewers aged 5+, which is 42.8 per cent audience share.

That compares with 103,614 viewers and 39.5 per cent audience share in the week beginning April 29 and prior to Christie's arrival.

But the increase did not come at the expense of Breakfast's main morning rival, with TV3's Firstline also picking up viewers.

The Rachel Smalley-hosted news programme increased audience share over the same period from 11.5 to 14 per cent.

It averaged 39,041 viewers a show last week.

Over the same time period Firstline increased audience share in the 25-54 age bracket from 13.8 to 16.5 per cent, while Breakfast made little gain.

TV3 news director Mark Jennings said the rival programmes were able to increase ratings because they offered a different product. "I think people who like fluff have got that, and I think people who like a more serious show are coming to us."

Jennings said Firstline was more competitive when the ratings were viewed in terms of hourly slots.

"Firstline in recent times has been winning some of those key hourly slots ... I think the audience is showing a liking for no fluff."

TVNZ news publicist Stephanie Taylor said the new combination of presenters of Breakfast was working well.

"It's a chemistry that we can see, and ... our viewers can see it too.

"We're always looking to build our ratings, but we're happy to be occupying our position in the timeslot by such a comfortable margin."

BREAKFAST WARS

* Week beginning 03/06/2012
* Average daily audience and audience share
* Breakfast (TV One) ... 119,814 ... 42.8 per cent
* Firstline (TV3) ... 39,041 ... 14 per cent
Source: Nielsen, Television Audience Measurement

- NZ Herald

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