Thursday 14 December 2017

AdLib: Ratings are bleak for TV stations

The costume drama Jamestown was one of Sky’s best ratings performers
The costume drama Jamestown was one of Sky’s best ratings performers

Michael Cullen

IRELAND'S TV broadcasters are coming under greater pressure to keep TV viewers, with ratings for May down across all key target groups compared to the same month last year.

A report by Carat shows that adults aged 25-44 saw the biggest decline, down 13pc year on year, followed by housekeepers with children, which dropped by 12pc. RTÉ ratings were down across the board.

TV3 experienced a decrease in ratings on most audiences in April, with only adults escaping relatively unchanged compared to last year. Housekeepers with children were impacted the most, seeing a 15pc drop. Ratings for 15-34s were down by 5pc and 25-44s fell 11pc.

In line with the industry trend, young audiences again experienced the sharpest drop. RTÉ dominated the top 20, with strong performances from the usual suspects - 'The Late Late Show', RTÉ News and the soaps, including the 'EastEnders' spin off, 'Red Water'.

The Champions League semi-finals were shown live on RTÉ and TV3 in May and scored high ratings among younger viewers.

In 2017 to date, the World Cup qualifiers, the Sunday Game and the Six Nations rugby saw some of the highest ratings for young audiences. Again, it was live sport that provided the TG4's best ratings, including the final games in the Guinness Pro 12 rugby.

Sky's May ratings dropped against all audiences. Adults 15-34 were the heaviest hit, with a fall of 15pc, followed by housekeepers with children, down 13pc. 'Modern Family', 'Geordie Shore' and the new 'Jamestown' costume drama performed best. In a bid to halt declining ratings, the TV market saw updates in June in line with the CSO release of the 2016 Census figures.

RTÉ recalibrates its costs per thousands (CPTs) to advertisers. The extension provides a wider viewing population and, as a result, commercial ratings are due to rise.

Over the coming months, Carat expects to see improvements in year-on-year ratings, as the updates rebalance TV viewership.

Nielsen TV audience-measurement now covers streaming TV viewing for the first time, including Netflix and Amazon Prime. While the penetration of web-enabled TV homes is still relatively low, with Sky's launch of NowTV and IPTV from Eir and Vodafone, streaming is set to gain traction.


Vincent Browne has no plans to do anything with 'Magill' for "some years", he has told AdLib. The broadcaster and journalist, whose TV3 contract ends this month, recently acquired the rights to publish the current affairs magazine from 'Business & Finance' publisher Ian Hyland, who bought 'Magill' in the early 2000s. The magazine has not been published since 2009.

Browne had considered doing a 'best of' edition in the autumn, followed by a series of one-off specials. He founded 'Magill' in the 1970s. Some of Ireland's foremost writers worked for the magazine, including 'Sunday Independent' columnist Gene Kerrigan, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly and bestselling author Colm Toibín.

'Magill' earned a reputation for breaking major political stories and exclusives on the Arms Trial and planning corruption in Dublin. It was reborn in 1997, when Browne joined forces with VIP publisher Michael O'Doherty, with John Ryan as editor. The title was later sold to 'In Dublin' publisher Mike Hogan. But when Hogan's Hoson publishing business ran into trouble, 'Magill' was sold to Hyland.


Court perimeter ads are banned at Wimbledon, but the world's most famous tennis tournament has a line-up of top brand suppliers, including Ralph Lauren, Evian, Lavazza and HSBC. Slazenger's ties with Wimbledon go back 105 years, making it the world's longest-running branded sports deal. Next in line is Britvic's Robinsons fruit drinks, which can be spotted next to the umpire's stand.

Robinsons' long association with Wimbledon dates back to 1935, when lemon barley water was first created in the changing rooms to hydrate players.

Five years ago, the All England Club reprimanded US tennis star Serena Williams for breaching sponsorship rules by taking a bottle of PepsiCo's Gatorade into a press conference.


IPG Mediabrands has agreed a partnership deal with Dyjaho. The link-up gives Mediabrands a foothold in Munster and provides the Cork agency with media buying and planning services. Dyjaho was set up by a year ago by former Bulmers Cider marketing manager and H+A boss Pat Kierans.

The moniker comes from the names of Kierans's three children - Dylan, Jamie and Holly. Clients include Dairygold, Laya Healthcare, Swamp women's fashions, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Ayrton Group and UCC.


Voices heard in TV and radio ads can sometimes come as a surprise. The latest campaign for Mick's Garage car parts by Bloom has a familiar ring to it. That's because the voice belongs to none other than Bloom copywriter and one-time stand-up comedian Gerry Kennedy. Kennedy's greatest claim to fame in adland was a series of award-winning campaigns for Kellogg's and Smithwick's during his days at McConnells. More recently, he rolled out Lefevre Cidre in Ireland.

Michael Cullen is editor of;

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