The men at the centre of two of New Zealand's most controversial murder cases went head-to-head on Sunday night TV - with big audiences on both free-to-air networks.

TV One's Sunday, featuring David Tamihere, was seen by 413,300 viewers.

David Bain's interview on TV3's 60 Minutes, which ran in the same 7.30pm timeslot, recorded 350,800 viewers.

In the 25-54 age bracket most valued by advertisers, Mr Bain drew 172,260 viewers while Tamihere got 141,690.


While Mr Bain's interview ran over the full hour of 60 Minutes, Tamihere's came between clips on actress Lucy Lawless and tennis great Andre Agassi.

Both networks expect the interviews to continue to draw attention this week as people turn to OnDemand online services and recorders such as MySky to watch the shows.

Broadcaster John Campbell's interview with Kim Dotcom last Thursday smashed TV3's previous OnDemand record after more than 191,000 people streamed the show online.

In their first in-depth television interviews since being released from prison, both Mr Bain and Tamihere protested innocence of the crimes they served time for - albeit in contrasting styles.

Mr Bain spoke at length and appeared visibly upset about the murder of his parents, two sisters and brother.

He was jailed for 13 years for the killings but found not guilty in a second trial held in 2009.

He said he got through the ordeal because of his upbringing.

Tamihere, who was released in 2010 after serving 20 years for the murders of tourists Urban Hoglin, 23, and Heidi Paakkonen, 21, was less expressive.


He claims he was framed by the police and now wants a retrial.

On Saturday the Weekend Herald revealed Tamihere, 58, could be recalled to prison after allegedly breaching his parole by flying over the crime scene with a TVNZ television crew.

His parole conditions state he cannot visit the Coromandel region past Kopu and Whangamata without the written permission of his probation officer.

The Corrections Department has applied to the Parole Board to recall him.

TVNZ cut the footage and apologised.

Tamihere will appear in Waitakere District Court today and face a recall hearing late next month.