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Sunrise reaches 2 (years not viewers)

The good folk at MediaWorks resisted the temptation to gloat much about the headline numbers from TVNZ’s annual report released earlier this week, possibly because they’re sharing the same pain. However, this morning was party time at TV3 as Breakfast rival Sunrise put two candles on its birthday cake.

Given the almost invisible ratings the show was getting in its first months on air, some people might be surprised that it’s still standing but, after the gamble of bringing in Oliver Driver as co-host a year ago, TV3’s earlybirds seem to have acquired some traction, although TVNZ’s morning offer still outperforms Sunrise 6:1 in the 5+ ratings.

MediaWorks has always maintained that it was in it for the long haul with Sunrise, but in the show’s early days there wasn’t much else positive that could be said. On the upside for TV3, Sunrise has increased its share of the 18-49 audience by 38% in the last 12 months, while Breakfast has seen its 18-49 share eroded by 9.2%.

However, using numbers rather than percentages, Breakfast averaged 144,860 viewers for September, compared to Sunrise’s 28,670 in the 5+ ratings.

On Wednesday, when the earthquake and tsunami hit Samoa, ONE News Midday had its highest ever viewing figure of 208,600 people against Sunrise’s 34,000. Yesterday TVNZ’s figures dropped back to 123,610 (TVNZ) against 48,650 (TV3).

Continuing its statistical assault to celebrate the Sunrise birthday bash, MediaWorks claimed that Sunrise had also eaten further into TV One’s key 25-54 demographic. Sunrise’s audience share grew by 32.1% in September this year, compared with the same month in 2008; Breakfast’s share dropped by 15.4% year-on-year for the same month.

TVNZ is sticking with the numbers rather than the percentages, as it’s the leader by a fair margin.

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