Kiwis stay home to watch Games


New Zealanders appear glued to their television screens for the Olympic Games, with many Kiwis staying home to watch.

Typical evening activities such as browsing online auction house Trade Me have dropped, while the numbers of people watching television have risen during the Games.

Free-to-air television channel Prime had its average daily audience numbers hit 1.8 million last week while the Games were on, up from just over a million previously.

During the London 2012 opening ceremony, shown live on a Saturday morning (NZ time), Trade Me's traffic fell 11 per cent from typical numbers.

Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said the Olympics had diverted a lot of people's attention and Trade Me had not been immune from that interest, especially with the accompanying hail of medals during the first week.

"It's no real surprise that online trading has taken a backseat for a chunk of New Zealanders, especially during the golden hour on Friday night.

"On Thursday night when the double scullers won gold, we saw page impressions dip by just 3 per cent, but on Friday night the impact of rowing's ‘golden hour' saw page impressions fall by 7 per cent."

Hell Pizza director Stu McMullin said the number of deliveries the company had been making since the Olympics started was up marginally.

"But there is nothing to indicate it has anything to do with the Olympics. Given the time zone difference for broadcasting - and that most events don't start until 8pm at night and finish early morning the next day - there was never going to be a huge increase.”

Dermot Murphy, owner of Courtenay Place bar The Establishment, said he thought people were staying home to watch the Games.

"I think a lot of people are staying up late at home and the next day when they've finished work they just want to get back home.

"I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of bars were finding it was having a negative impact as opposed to a positive impact."

Little Beer Quarter, a bar in Edward St in Wellington's CBD, was using the sporting event to pull in customers with special deals.

"Every time New Zealand gets gold, we do drinks for $2 in a promotion with Moa," co-owner Kelly Chappell said. "We've actually been really busy."

Waikato Times