Last year New Zealanders spent more time than ever watching television. While the average person’s viewing time of three hours and 22 minutes per day remained unchanged from 2010, more people tuned in each day, resulting in growth of total hours viewed up two percent.
An unprecedented 2.5 million New Zealanders tuned in for the final of the Rugby World Cup, a staggering 91.6 percent of the total television audience, while 2.3 million tuned in for the semi, with hundreds of thousands more, unrecorded in the data, watching the games from bars, restaurants and fanzones. The Nielsen data released to the industry early this month shows other viewing spikes included the Royal Wedding in April and reaction to the Christchurch earthquake in February.
“It was really pleasing to see New Zealanders so committed to watching local television programming this year,” says Rick Friesen, chief executive of industry body ThinkTV. “Obviously, the Rugby World Cup featured very high in many channels’ viewing statistics, but ongoing local series programmes such as Shortland Street, Drug Bust, Missing Pieces, The Food Truck and North all featured in each channel’s top ten programmes.”
Overall 2011 saw an additional 55,000 people tuning in, with 75 percent of the population now watching television on a daily basis. Over three million New Zealanders now watch the box each day.
(All viewing figures sourced from Nielsen TAM)