New show sharper in the ratings

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 15:45 07/02/2013
seven sharp
TVNZ

LIGHT AND BREEZY TONE: Seven Sharp with presenters, from left, Jesse Mulligan, Ali Mau and Greg Boyed.

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Seven Sharp has won the battle of the viewers in its opening days, beating out Campbell Live by more than 87,000 viewers on their closest night.

But only two days after the debut of TVNZ's newest current affairs show, Seven Sharp took a hit of more than 100,000 viewers.

According to Nielsen figures, when the show premiered in TV One's 7pm timeslot on Monday, it took in 497,000 viewers aged five and over, compared with 242,800 viewers for TV3's Campbell Live.

But those figures dramatically dropped over the following two days.

On Tuesday, viewers for Seven Sharp dropped by more than 95,000 to 401,000 compared with TV3's 221,700.

Last night, even less people tuned in to watch TVNZ's satirical take on current affairs, with more switching to TV3 to watch Campbell play backyard cricket with the Black Caps.

Only 325,900 people watched the third episode of Seven Sharp last night. That was still ahead of Campbell Live's pull of 238,600 viewers, but Campbell saw an increase of more than 10,000.

According to Nielsen, in the last week TVNZ's old current affairs show Close Up was on the air, it pulled in an average 441,100 viewers aged five and over.

TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said it was still too early to draw conclusions on how the show was tracking.

"There’s always the curiosity factor on day one, and then yesterday was a public holiday with beautiful weather in the evening in many places.

"We’re very happy with the way the new show is bedding in, but we wouldn’t expect to have any firm idea of the trends for another month or so."

TVNZ's new light-hearted approach to covering current affairs has largely been panned by critics since its first episode.

On its first showing, Seven Sharp was trending on Twitter, with an overwhelming majority of the comments being negative.

A Canterbury University Professor has also taken aim at the show, saying it "lacked journalistic drive".

Canterbury University senior journalism lecturer and former Press journalist Tara Ross said the show posed no questions.

"Where was the passion to tell a good story or get viewers thinking? Good current affairs stories should pose a question; Seven Sharp's stories didn't do that.''

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