Local talent hits spot for NZ viewers

SAM BOYER
Last updated 09:25 08/01/2013
WINNER: New Zealand's Got Talent winner Clara Van Wel.
Fairfax NZ
WINNER: New Zealand's Got Talent winner Clara Van Wel.

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New Zealanders enjoy watching New Zealanders on television, especially talented ones.

So much so, that nine of the top 10 most-watched shows in 2012 were episodes of New Zealand's Got Talent.

The All Blacks and our Olympic rowers were the most popular sports events of the year, and the best-watched drama was Shortland Street.

Five of the six free-to-air channels' favourite shows involved talented Kiwis - only FOUR bucked the trend, with their top show a viewing of Rambo: First Blood.

State-owned network TVNZ led the viewership stakes in 2012 with all 50 most-watched shows. TV One had 48 of the most-popular episodes, while TV2 chipped in with two instalments of Shortland Street.

TVNZ spokesperson Megan Richards said it had been a good year for the network.

"We expected New Zealand's Got Talent to do well, but it actually exceeded our expectations and it certainly reinforced our faith in local content.

"There were a few jokes around at the start about whether New Zealand did in fact have talent, but I think there's little doubt about that now."

Winner Clara van Wel's first single, Where Do I Find Love, is currently No 11 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.

Almost a quarter (24.6 per cent) of the population tuned in for one of the early rounds of Talent, making it the most popular episode of any show in 2012.

One News was the best-viewed news programme, more than twice as popular as 3 News.

The most watched news specials were Barack Obama's presidential victory speech, the US election and The Hobbit premiere.

Only three shows in the top 50 were foreign - all episodes of Australian cop show The Force - and Mediaworks publicity manager Rachel Lorimer said that had been a common trend in recent years.

"I think New Zealanders, particularly in the last little while, own the local shows. New Zealanders really like watching themselves; they get really involved."

The viewership data, from Nielsen ratings, reveal Mediaworks - which runs TV3 and FOUR - did not feature in the top 50 shows.

The Nielsen ratings are based on all viewers in all age groups over 5 years old. The data is collected using "a fully representative panel of households", it says.

But despite Mediaworks' poor showing, Ms Lorimer said TV3 competed well in their target demographic of 25 to 44-year-olds.

"We are very competitive in that bracket. There's a real sort of TV3 audience, who like the irreverence of [comedy show] 7 Days and the style of 3 News."

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For TV3, local content will be boosted even further in 2013. "I'd say 2013 for TV3 will be characterised by local content . . . The Block is going again, and X-Factor will be our biggest show of the year."

- The Dominion Post

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