Seven Sharp is flying high
Seven Sharp is having its best ever run in the 7pm current affairs timeslot, posting record ratings twice in the past two weeks.
Last Tuesday the current affairs programme recorded its highest rating, bringing in 552,400 viewers and beating its previous best from its June 2 episode by 20,000 viewers, according to ratings company Nielsen.
Campbell Live had almost 300,000 fewer viewers on Tuesday, bringing in just 254,340.
The results continued a strong year for Seven Sharp, as it grew its ratings to the point where May was its highest-rated month since its inception in February 2013, with an average audience of 440,000, TVNZ said.
Of particular note for Seven Sharp was the strong ratings in the commercial 25-54 bracket - it attracted 25 per cent more viewers than TV3 in May.
TVNZ's daily content editor, Graeme Muir, said the refinement of some of the things on Seven Sharp had led to the boost in viewers.
"We knew from the start that we needed to break the mould of Close Up and come up with something fresh, we just didn't mean to drop it on our toes in the process," Muir said.
"There was a lot that worked really well with [the first version of] Seven Sharp, so this year it was a case of refining the formula."
The presenting lineup got a complete overhaul this year, with Mike Hosking and Toni Street taking over from an ever-changing three-person panel of presenters last year.
Television website Throng said Seven Sharp retained more of its viewers from One News than Campbell Live did from 3 News in the past month.
But TV3 director of news and current affairs, Mark Jennings, said Campbell Live was still stronger than Seven Sharp when it was looked at from a long-term point of view.
"The ratings vary from month to month but if you look at the long-term trend, say over the last eight years, Campbell Live's viewership has been remarkably stable, whereas TVNZ's Close Up and now Seven Sharp have lost more than 100,000 viewers.
Campbell Live's performance was even more commendable given the fragmentation of the television market, he said.
"Viewing options have increased massively in the last few years but Campbell Live has retained most of its viewers," Jennings said.
"In terms of breaking stories and creating change in this country, Campbell Live wins by a mile. Seven Sharp is not even in the same race."