abcnews24 ABC’s new high-definition news channel ABC News 24 has clocked up over a million viewers in its first ratings survey.

The channel, which launched on 22 July, only started reporting ratings data from last Sunday.  The first week of the channel’s ratings data shows that 1.3 million viewers in the five capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth) watched ABC News 24 for at least 5 consecutive minutes during the week.

Despite the promising audience numbers ABC News 24 only reported an overall prime-time audience share of 0.5 per cent of free-to-air only households in the five cities.  This is compared to ABC’s other digital channels ABC2 on 1.7 per cent and ABC3 on 0.6 per cent.  So it would appear that ABC News 24 is attracting plenty of browsers but they are not necessarily staying tuned long enough to have a greater impact overall.  But it is only early days for the channel and at the same time it is only available as a high-definition channel, effectively blocking access to any digital viewers with standard-definition tuners.

ABC1 reported an audience share of 14.8 per cent, giving the national broadcaster a total of 17.6 per cent across its four channels.

In a media release from ABC, news director Kate Torney welcomed the results:

“To achieve a reach of 1.3 million for the first week of available audience figures is great news and assures us that people are switching on ABC News 24.  There’s obviously a news focus at the moment with the election campaign, but for a launch of a new channel we are pleased with the results.”

The Seven Network (Seven + 7TWO) won the week with 28.6 per cent, followed by Nine/GO! on 27.7 per cent and Ten/One on 20.8 per cent.  SBS managed an overall total of 5.2 per cent across its two channels.

Breaking the numbers down to individual channels, Seven (24.9 per cent) won ahead of Nine (23.6), Ten (19.1), ABC1 (14.8) and SBS1 (4.6), followed by digital channels GO! (4.2), 7TWO (3.7), ABC2 and One HD (1.7 per cent each), ABC3 and SBS2 (0.6 per cent each) and ABC News 24 (0.5).

Source: TV Tonight

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