It’s been two years since TVNZ launched its youth-orientated U channel and to celebrate the state broadcaster is launching a new late night show called U Late, which connects to viewers on The Facebooks.
Given the slightly difficult period youth-oriented media seems to be going through at the moment, with MTV packing up the local office, a few well-established magazines folding and MediaWorks deciding to grey up its demographics on TV3 and FOUR, there were questions about whether the decision to launch a youth-focused commercial channel called U to replace TVNZ6 was wise. Well, the first cumulative Nielsen numbers are in and TVNZ are stoked with the results, with 1,392,400 viewers—or 34 percent of Kiwis—tuning in to the new channel at some point in the four weeks ending Saturday May 14.
TVNZ launched its new youth-centric digital channel U on Sunday. And while there’s plenty of talk about breaking ground, filling gaps and New Zealand firsts, there’s no talk about ratings data just yet. And there may not be any in the future, either.
Aside from a couple of very well-publicised PR disasters and a host of aggrieved agency folk who seemed mightily pissed off about the halving of their 20 percent commissions, TVNZ had a stellar year in 2010, with solid ratings, steadily increasing ad revenue and an array of impressive innovations—both for viewers and advertisers. It also welcomed new sales director Paul Maher into the fold in August and, while he thinks it will be slow and steady as she goes this year, he’s confident TVNZ can repeat—and maybe even exceed—the performance of 2010.