The key 16-39 age group is watching less free-to-air TV but the commercial networks are chiefly to blame for the loss of viewers.

That’s one of the findings of a report by Fusion Strategy entitled “16 – 39 Year olds don’t watch television anymore- fact or faction?””

The research film points out that the FTA broadcasters have not generated one break-out hit for that age group since Glee in 2009.

The two best performers, it says, have been Offspring and Puberty Blues, adding that none of this year’s new shows has resonated strongly with the 16 – 39s.

The report acknowledges the younger population has many other screen choices which have "exploded" on the landscape, including video games, smart phones, tablets, online video and catch up TV.

But it calculates the three major commercial networks have experienced an 18% fall in live viewing by 16-39 audiences from 2005-2012.

“We argue this is purely because there have not been enough younger hit shows particularly on Network 10,“ the report says. “All TV (viewing) has not fallen by as much, so younger viewers are simply becoming more selective with not enough targeted big hit shows.”

It asserts Ten has suffered the biggest slide in viewers in that age group partly due to the success of the Nine Network’s GO! and 7Mate, both targeted at under 40s. In that demo GO! is the No 1 digital channel, ahead of 7Mate and Eleven.

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  1. Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the scheduling mess that has been free to air shows for this demographic over almost 10 years? How can you sit down and watch a show when it is on one night at 7.30pm then not aired again for 3 months only to move to another day and time. Or isn’t advertised properly, so you never know when it will be on. Then moved to a different channel entirely! Why bother with free to air and all the ads when you can wait for the DVD. Best example is channel 9 airing second series of Mike and Molly after the DVDs came out. Bravo! The networks have dug their own graves. At least Foxtel airs complete series.

  2. Maybe if we got back to the days of programs running on time and schedules as advertised people would switch back on.The people who run the programing must realise they have to treat the viewing public with more respect as there are so many alternatives to TV and the off button is easy to use.The networks need us more than we need them. I used to watch an average of 40 plus hours a week but turned off a year ago and lucky to see 1 hour a month and not missing anything.

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