SBS hits top ratings in five years

09 February, 2009 by IF

[Press Release by SBS]

SBS has achieved its highest prime time summer audience share in five years. For the ten weeks since 30 November 2008, SBS achieved an average prime time network share of 7.1 per cent, a rise of 0.1 share points (1.6 per cent) on the same
period a year ago*.


SBS has also grown its absolute audience in the high income-earning OG1 demographic by 2.5 per cent compared to last summer. Established favourites – headlined by Top Gear, Food Safari, Iron Chef and Mythbusters – and new shows, including Carla Cametti, PD and Long Way Down, have led the way.

Top Gear has achieved record audiences, with the current series averaging nearly 1 million viewers each week (990,000).*

Long Way Down is achieving audiences consistent with its predecessor, Long Way Round, and averaging 397,000 viewers weekly. Meanwhile, Food Safari and Carla Cametti, PD have grown SBS’s audience in their respective timeslots.

Food Safari has boosted SBS’s audience on Wednesdays at 7.30pm by 50 per cent compared to the timeslot average in 2008, while Carla Cametti, PD has improved the Thursday 8.30pm slot by an impressive 67 per cent.

SBS Director of Content, Matt Campbell, said: “SBS’s long-standing practice of airing quality programs straight through summer is a real point of difference, as our increased audience share demonstrates.”

Richard Finlayson, SBS Director of Commercial Affairs, added: “It is particularly pleasing to see SBS grow absolute audience in the OG1 demographic, the highest income-earning group, over summer compared to last year.

“Not only do we gain audience share when the commercial networks go on summer holidays, but we enjoy a terrific promotional opportunity for great upcoming SBS content.”

SBS’s strong summer performance is a superb launching pad for the rest of the year, with upcoming highlights including: the Emmy Award-winning Mad Men; brand new series of gripping Australian dramas, East West 101 and The Circuit; a second madcap season of Top Gear Australia; all new Who Do You Think You Are?, and; a huge year of international sport including the 2009 Tour de France and 2009 Ashes Test Series.

The top 10 SBS programs for summer 2008/9 were**:
Rank Program Audience (000s)
1 TOP GEAR (series 12, episode 2) 1061
2 MYTHBUSTERS (series 4, episode 8) 512
3 SWIFT AND SHIFT COURIERS (episode 9) 511
4 FOOD SAFARI (series 3, episode 5) 502
5 TALES FROM THE PALACES rpt (episode 2) 475
6 LONG WAY DOWN (episode 5) 465
7 CARLA CAMETTI, PD (episode 1) 458
9 IRON CHEF rpt (series 4, episode 102) 436
10 LOST WORLDS:THE ROMAN EMPIRE rpt (episode 1) 427

Source: OzTAM. Survey weeks 49, 2008 – 6, 2009 (30 November, 2008 – 7 February, 2009), five network metro share, 1800-2230, Sunday-Saturday
*Survey weeks 49, 2008 – 6, 2009 vs weeks 49, 2007 – 6, 2008, average all people audience, 1800-2230, Sunday-Saturday

Survey weeks 49, 2008 – 6, 2009 vs weeks 49, 2007 – 6, 2008, average OG1 audience, 1800-2230,

**Top rating episodes in summer period (weeks 49, 2008 – 6, 2009)