After years of failed attempts (Sunrise & Firstline) Mediaworks committed huge resource to creating a state of the art studio and through much extended, advance publicity to herald the launch of NZ’s first multi-platform show, The Paul Henry Show show launched on April 3rd 2015. While it took a year for the audience to build to within spitting distance of TVNZ 1 Breakfast – which had enjoyed virtually, competition free morning air for 18 years – Paul Henry grew to win the time slot (7-9AM) with AP 25-54 for three months in August 2016 before departing the show in December 2016. Then came the inevitable questions – how would MW survive without Paul in this show?
There followed a 3 month hiatus and the hard won audience momentum dissipated. Then the AM Show launched February 22nd this year…. and it certainly looked like Duncan Garner and his team were facing a massive head wind. Although the show begins at 6AM the consistent ratings start at 7AM. Progress however has been constant with the gap between TVNZ 1 Breakfast and The AM Show steadily narrowing, until, in July and August we have seen MW inch ahead again.
What does it mean?
Not surprisingly this has impacted TVNZ 1 Breakfast, essentially halving their breakfast audience for AP 25-54.
And while there is a theory that a strong morning channel becomes the default channel for the evening News, there is no evidence of this currently with TVNZ 1 News remaining strong in a time slot that has minimal YOY audience decline compared with all day PUTs.
However the gap could be narrowing. In July 2016 TVNZ 1 News @ 6 was 43% ahead of Three Newshub, while in July 2017 we have seen the lead reduce to 27%.
The battle continues!