Friday, 29 October 2010

Some more on S4C viewing figures!

These are observations of a friend who was involved with broadcasting in Wales about S4C viewing
These people that harp on about the fact that S4C has "zero" ratings for some programmes don't realise that the zero doesn't actually mean zero !

Basically, in lay mans terms, a set figure is used as a benchmark, and if the programmes audience figure is below that figure then its classed as a zero rating. I know it was well publicised that Sgorio had attracted a zero rating, but what wasn't widely publicised was that the majority of zero ratings were for the "Cyw" programmes. This would be like judging the BBC's performance based on their CBeebee's channel.

Another point that also seems to be missed by some are the figures in their true context. If we take Pobol Y Cwm as an example, thier average audience figure is 125,000, which in tv land, isn't a huge amount however when you consider there ...are approximatley 600,000 Welsh speakers, who are just as likely to watch an English Language channel as well as S4C, 125,000 out of a potential audience of 600,000 equates to 20.8%. In comparison, Eastenders average audience varies between 7 and 12 million and the UK population is approximatley 61 million, which is the potential maximum audience figure. If we use 10 million as an average for Eastenders then that equates to 16.4% and even if we use 12 million as a figure that still only equates to 19.7%. So by using the above figures Pobol Y Cwm performs better than Eastenders, however I do concede that Eastenders has hit the 40% target in the past.

In today's multi channel age, there would be many a programmer who would love to have an audience reach of 20.8%. What people seem to forget is that when S4C was established, it wasn't established to compete with English language channels for audiences, it was established to help protect the Welsh language


Anonymous said...

excactly. By this UK-centric criteria then 'nobody watches' Iclandic tv, or Estonian tv or Basque tv or tv in any other language which as an audience of singnificantly less than 60 million!

A good article here.

S4C can't be too defensive, nor its supporters either, the channel does have a very big challenge. But in the same way that critics have to realise that S4C has to do the job of the combined BBC tv channels in one station and that on a budget of half Channel 5s with no ability to buy in good American sit coms or NCIS (who'd watch a dubbed version of it!) then there's also a need to recognise the size of it's audience.

Gwilym Iwr

Anonymous said...

sorry, just seen you've posted the article on 'Broken TV'.

Another point to make is that so many of these figures have a margin of error. In UK terms lets say 30,000 is neither here nor there. In Welsh speaking terms it's about 10% of the potential audience.

It's like measuring the outcome of a local by-election using canvassing returns for the whole UK.

With the advent of so many channels, all channels have seen a drop in viewing figures. For S4C a very small UK drop in percentage makes the difference between 'No Viewers' and 'viewers'.

Gwilym Iwr

Anonymous said...

Added to this is the fact that they don't count viewing figures for chilfrens tv, so while cyw aatracts a very high percentage of viewers, it isn't counted.

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