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.

Paul Henry - which runs from 6 am to 9am and is simulcast on TV3 and RadioLive - was launched on April 7 as a big initiative by Mediaworks to take a slice of the morning television and radio market.

But despite heavy promotion, the breakfast TV show has yet to take off and the company is not releasing internal research that it says shows the radio show is doing well.

There are currently no formal radio ratings.

MediaWorks has made a big multi-million investment promoting Paul Henry since the start of the year.

It stopped promoting other programmes such as Campbell Live, which is now under review for low ratings.

However in TV terms at least, it appears to be making a financial loss.

Advertising consultant Martin Gillman said a one per cent rating 6am to 9am show might be expected to yield $100,000 net ad revenue weekly. And on that basis Paul Henry would be earning $60,000 a week or $3 million annually.


In his opinion, this was not enough to cover the costs of the show - with a reported team of 30 staff.

The TVNZ Breakfast audience was three or four times bigger, which suggests it will be earning around $250,000 weekly or $12 million annually, Gillman said.

But he said it was not too late for the TV audience to take off.

However, he believed the heavy promotion leading to the April 8 launch had been misplaced.

MediaWorks would have been better to have a "soft launch" for the show encouraging people to look at it once it had fixed its foibles, he said.

MediaWorks spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer said that any estimates of the audience had to incorporate figures for the radio and TV.

Mediaworks had always pressed that radio was the focus. The company was "very happy" with results so far, she said.