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Top-rating Australian TV drama on playback

Playback audience for first-release Australian adult TV drama on free-to-air television, 2010–2014


Next update January 2016

The rising popularity of the personal video recorder (PVR) in Australia has allowed more content to be consumed by more people at more times throughout the day. Viewers can choose to watch a program live at the time of broadcast or record it through a PVR and play it back at a later time. Recordings watched within seven days of broadcast are referred to as ‘playback’ viewings. (Note that this doesn’t include online viewings through catch-up TV services such as iView and Plus7.)

The analysis shows that while playback viewing allows strong, high-profile performers such as Packed to the Rafters to further increase their total audience, it is also assisting programs that might otherwise be lost in a crowded television market to find a larger audience.


2014

In 2014 the first-release Australian television drama with the largest proportion of audience contributed by playback was the series Please Like Me series 2 on ABC2, with 44.3 per cent of its audience of 108,000 coming from playback viewings. This is the highest proportion of playback viewing of a first release Australian drama since 2010. This was followed by The Code for the ABC, where playback accounted for 30.8 per cent of an audience of 764,000.

Ranked by playback share of audience.

Rank1 Title2 Network No. of episodes Audience ('000s)3 Playback share of audience (%)
Live4 Playback5 Total6
1 Please Like Me series 2 ABC2 10 60 48 108 44.4%
2 The Code ABC 6 529 235 764 30.8%
3 Wonderland series 27 TEN 6 392 171 563 30.4%
4 The Time of our Lives series 2 ABC 8 549 225 774 29.1%
5 Jack Irish: Dead Point ABC 1 715 289 1,004 28.8%
6 Puberty Blues series 2 TEN 9 458 180 637 28.3%
7 A Place so Call Home series 2 7 10 828 324 1,152 28.1%
8 Wonderland series 18 TEN 9 426 166 592 28.0%
9 Jonah from Tonga ABC 6 278 107 386 27.7%
10 Old School ABC 8 640 243 883 27.5%
11 Utopia ABC 8 564 196 760 25.8%
12 Rake series 3 ABC 8 602 207 809 25.6%
13 Offspring series 5 TEN 13 767 261 1,027 25.4%
14 Upper Middle Bogan series 2 ABC 8 543 181 724 25.0%
15 It’s a Date series 2 ABC 8 448 147 595 24.7%
16 Love Child 9 8 1,112 353 1,466 24.1%
17 House Husbands series 3 9 13 813 258 1,071 24.1%
18 Secrets & Lies TEN 6 326 103 430 24.0%
19 The Moodys ABC 8 339 104 443 23.5%
20 Soul Mates ABC2 6 90 27 117 23.1%
21 ANZAC Girls ABC 6 793 240 1,033 23.2%
22 Winners & Losers series 49 7 13 763 228 991 23.0%
23 Party Tricks TEN 6 464 137 602 22.8%
24 Janet King ABC 8 723 213 936 22.8%
25 Neighbours series 31 ELEVEN 240 223 66 289 22.8%
26 Small Time Gangster10 SBS ONE 3 80 22 102 21.6%
27 Winners & Losers series 311 7 13 856 229 1,085 21.1%
28 The Killing Field 7 1 1,115 290 1,405 20.6%
29 The Gods of Wheat Street ABC 6 428 110 537 20.5%
30 The Doctor Blake Mysteries series 2 ABC 10 848 212 1,061 20.0%
31 Parer’s War ABC 1 512 119 630 18.9%
32 INXS: Never Tear Us Apart 7 2 1,757 404 2,162 18.7%
33 Carlotta ABC 1 775 171 946 18.1%
34 Fat Tony & Co 9 9 992 214 1,206 17.7%
35 Black Comedy ABC 6 271 57 329 17.3%
36 The Broken Shore ABC 1 858 178 1,036 17.2%
37 Schapelle 9 1 964 189 1,153 16.4%
38 Home and Away series 27 7 235 826 143 969 14.8%
39 Kinne 7mate 6 187 32 219 14.6%
40 This Is Littleton ABC 4 74 7 81 8.6%
41 The Lost Tools of Henry Hoke ABC 20 272 11 283 3.9%
42 Hard Rock Medical12 NITV 4 5 0 5 0.0%

Source: OzTAM; compiled by Screen Australia. OzTAM commenced the measurement of 'as-live' and 'time shift' viewing on 27 December 2009.

Notes:
1. Ranked by playback share of total audience. Programs with the same share are ranked by unrounded number.
2. Australian free-to-air adult titles, first release only, excludes shorts and titles with total duration under 60 minutes; broadcast 1 January to 31 December 2014.
3. Audience is all people, five-city metro average across series.
4. 'Live': the viewing of broadcast television content at time of the live broadcast.
5. 'Playback': the viewing of broadcast television content which is not watched live at the time of broadcast but is recorded and played back within seven days of the live broadcast time (includes 'as-live' viewings that are watched on delay). The playback audience does not include online viewings through catch-up TV services such as iView and Plus7.
6. 'Total': refers to consolidated ratings data used to determine the total viewing for the television broadcast content. Consolidated data incorporates both 'live' viewing and viewing of recorded broadcast content that is played back within seven days of original broadcast, ie 'playback'.
7. Series average across first 6 episodes aired in 2014. Final 16 episodes are to air in 2015.
8. Series average across remaining 9 episodes aired in 2014. Previous 13 episodes aired in 2013.
9. Series average across first 13 episodes aired in 2014. Final 13 episodes are to air in 2015.
10. Series premiered on subscription television in 2011. Series average across remaining 3 episodes aired in 2014. Previous 5 episodes aired in 2013.
11. Series average across remaining 13 episodes aired in 2014. Previous 13 episodes aired in 2013.
12. Series average across final 4 episodes claimed as an official Australian/Canada co-production.

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2013

In 2013, the first-release Australian television drama with the largest proportion of audience contributed by playback was the series Please Like Me on ABC2, with 29.2 per cent of its audience of 185,000 coming from playback viewings. This was followed by Housos series 2 on SBS One, where playback accounted for 27.0 per cent of an audience of 282,000.

Ranked by playback share of audience.

Rank1 Title2 Network No. of episodes Audience ('000s)3 Playback share of audience (%)
Live4 Playback5 Total6
1 Please Like Me ABC2 6 132 54 185 29.2%
2 Housos series 2 SBS One 9 206 76 282 27.0%
3 Wonderland7 10 13 546 193 739 26.1%
4 Ja'mie: Private School Girl ABC1 6 631 208 839 24.8%
5 The Time of Our Lives ABC1 13 654 206 858 24.0%
6 Serangoon Road ABC1 10 376 114 490 23.3%
7 Offspring series 4 10 13 738 216 954 22.6%
8 A Place to Call Home series 1 7 13 1,153 322 1,475 21.8%
9 Underbelly: Squizzy 9 8 709 189 898 21.0%
10 Upper Middle Bogan ABC1 8 707 186 893 20.8%
11 House Husbands series 2 9 13 938 242 1,180 20.5%
12 It's a Date ABC1 8 609 156 765 20.4%
13 Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries series 2 ABC1 13 822 210 1,032 20.3%
14 Packed to the Rafters series 6 7 12 1101 281 1382 20.3%
15 Mr & Mrs Murder 10 13 537 132 668 19.8%
16 Paper Giants: Magazine Wars ABC1 2 756 184 940 19.6%
17 Packed to the Rafters series 58 7 12 1,270 291 1,561 18.6%
18 The Doctor Blake Mysteries series 1 ABC1 10 876 197 1,073 18.4%
19 Winners & Losers series 39 7 13 913 205 1,117 18.4%
20 Mrs Biggs 7 5 485 107 592 18.1%
21 Redfern Now series 2 ABC1 6 473 104 577 18.0%
22 Reef Doctors10 10/Eleven 13 126 27 153 17.6%
23 Power Games: The Packer Murdoch Story 9 2 666 139 806 17.2%
24 Small Time Gangster11 SBS One 5 101 20 121 16.5%
25 Better Man SBS One 2 233 45 278 16.2%
26 Neighbours series 30 Eleven 240 256 46 301 15.3%
27 Home and Away series 26 7 225 865 128 993 12.9%
28 Cliffy ABC1 1 882 128 1010 12.7%
29 The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting ABC1 6 298 41 340 12.1%
30 Twentysomething series 2 ABC2 6 59 8 67 11.9%
31 An Accidental Soldier ABC1 1 653 83 736 11.3%

Source: OzTAM; compiled by Screen Australia. OzTAM commenced the measurement of 'as-live' and 'time shift' viewing on 27 December 2009.

Notes:
1. Ranked by playback share of total audience. Programs with the same share are ranked by unrounded number.
2. Australian free-to-air adult titles, first release only, excludes shorts and titles with total duration under 60 minutes; broadcast 1 January to 31 December 2013.
3. Audience is all people, five-city metro average across series.
4. 'Live': the viewing of broadcast television content at time of the live broadcast.
5. 'Playback': the viewing of broadcast television content which is not watched live at the time of broadcast but is recorded and played back within seven days of the live broadcast time (includes 'as-live' viewings that are watched on delay). The playback audience does not include online viewings through catch-up TV services such as iView and Plus7.
6. 'Total': refers to consolidated ratings data used to determine the total viewing for the television broadcast content. Consolidated data incorporates both 'live' viewing and viewing of recorded broadcast content that is played back within seven days of original broadcast, ie 'playback'.
7. Series average across first 13 episodes aired in 2013. Final 13 episodes are to air in 2014.
8. Series average across remaining 12 episodes aired in 2013. Previous 10 episodes aired in 2012.
9. Series average across first 13 episodes aired in 2013. Final 13 episodes are to air in 2014.
10. Series average across first two episodes screening on Network Ten primary channel and remaining 11 episodes screening on Eleven.
11. Series premiered on subscription television in 2011. Series average across first five episodes aired in 2013. Final three episodes to air in 2014.

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2012

In 2012, the first-release Australian television drama with the largest proportion of audience contributed by playback was the mini-series Puberty Blues, with 23.9 per cent of its audience of 891,000 coming from playback viewings. This was followed by Offspring series 3 on Channel Ten, where playback accounted for 23.9 per cent of an audience of 1,014,000.

Ranked by playback share of audience.

Rank1 Title2 Network No. of episodes Audience ('000s)3 Playback share of audience (%)
Live4 Playback5 Total6
1 Puberty Blues 10 8 679 213 891 23.9%
2 Offspring series 3 10 13 772 242 1,014 23.9%
3 Rake series 2 ABC1 8 741 216 957 22.6%
4 The Strange Calls ABC2 6 49 14 63 22.2%
5 Killing Time7 7 10 363 101 464 21.8%
6 Packed to the Rafters series 58 7 10 1145 305 1449 21.0%
7 Tricky Business 9 13 567 151 719 21.0%
8 House Husbands series 1 9 10 1,016 269 1,284 21.0%
9 Underbelly: Badness 9 8 1,026 271 1,297 20.9%
10 Jack Irish: Bad Debts ABC1 1 911 235 1146 20.5%
11 Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms 10 6 935 230 1,165 19.7%
12 Winners & Losers series 2 7 22 1004 243 1247 19.5%
13 The Straits ABC1 10 459 104 563 18.5%
14 Jack Irish: Black Tide ABC1 1 804 180 983 18.3%
15 Laid series 2 ABC1 6 264 57 320 17.8%
16 Packed to the Rafters series 49 7 7 1401 300 1,701 17.6%
17 A Moody Christmas ABC1 6 564 117 681 17.2%
18 Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries series 1 ABC1 13 834 168 1,002 16.8%
19 Redfern Now ABC1 6 590 116 707 16.4%
20 Howzat! Kerry Packer's War 9 2 1981 378 2359 16.0%
21 The Mystery of a Hansom Cab ABC1 1 800 151 950 15.9%
22 Mabo ABC1 1 516 96 613 15.7%
23 Woodley ABC1 8 366 63 429 14.7%
24 Neighbours series 29 Eleven 240 256 41 297 13.8%
25 Devil's Dust ABC1 2 660 99 759 13.0%
26 Underground – The Julian Assange Story 10 1 1283 191 1474 13.0%
27 Outland ABC1 6 209 31 240 12.9%
28 Dangerous Remedy ABC1 1 601 87 688 12.6%
29 Home and Away series 25 7 223 873 111 983 11.3%
30 The Great Mint Swindle 9 1 1065 129 1194 10.8%
31 Danger 5 SBS One 6 116 14 130 10.8%
32 Problems ABC1 4 312 36 348 10.3%
33 Lowdown series 2 ABC1 8 347 40 387 10.3%
34 Beaconsfield 9 1 1554 171 1725 9.9%
35 Scumbus 10 1 164 16 179 8.9%
36 Micro Nation Eleven 15 123 7 130 5.4%

Source: OzTAM; compiled by Screen Australia. OzTAM commenced the measurement of ‘as-live’ and ‘time shift’ viewing on 27 December 2009.

Notes:
1. Ranked by playback share of total audience. Programs with the same share are ranked by unrounded number.
2. Australian free-to-air adult titles, first release only, excludes shorts; broadcast 1 January to 31 December 2012.
3. Audience is all people, five-city metro average across series.
4. ‘Live’: the viewing of broadcast television content at time of the live broadcast.
5. ‘Playback': the viewing of broadcast television content which is not watched live at the time of broadcast but is recorded and played back within seven days of the live broadcast time (includes ‘as-live’ viewings that are watched on delay). The playback audience does not include online viewings through catch-up TV services such as iView and Plus7.
6 'Total': refers to consolidated ratings data used to determine the total viewings for the television broadcast content. Consolidated data incorporates both 'Live' viewing and viewing of recorded broadcast content that is played back within seven days of original broadcast, ie 'playback'.
7. Series premiered on subscription television in 2011.
8. Series average across first 10 episodes that aired in 2012. Final 12 episodes are to air in 2013.
9. Series average across remaining seven episodes aired in 2012. Previous 15 episodes aired in 2011.

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2011

In 2011 the first-release Australian television drama with the largest proportion of audience contributed by playback was the SBS series Housos, with 30.7 per cent of its audience of 319,000 coming from playback viewings. This was followed by Angry Boys on ABC1, where playback accounted for 25.7 per cent of an audience of 935,000.

Ranked by playback share of audience.

Rank1 Title2 Network No. of episodes Audience ('000s)3 Playback share of audience (%)
Live4 Playback5 Total6
1 Housos SBS One 9 221 98 319 30.7%
2 Angry Boys ABC1 12 695 240 935 25.7%
3 Twentysomething ABC2 6 62 17 79 21.5%
4 Rush series 4 10 13 629 167 796 21.0%
5 At Home with Julia ABC1 4 801 167 968 17.3%
6 Sea Patrol series 5 – Damage Control7 9 13 668 129 797 16.2%
7 Underbelly: Razor 9 13 1,457 280 1,737 16.1%
8 Offspring series 2 10 13 903 169 1,072 15.8%
9 City Homicide: No Greater Honour 7 8 650 121 771 15.7%
10 The Slap ABC1 8 793 140 932 15.0%
11 Winners & Losers 7 22 1,270 210 1,480 14.2%
12 Wild Boys 7 13 988 163 1,151 14.2%
13 Rescue Special Ops series 3 9 22 744 122 867 14.1%
14 Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo ABC1 2 1,224 198 1,422 13.9%
15 Underbelly Files: Infiltration 9 1 1,083 175 1,259 13.9%
16 Packed to the Rafters series 48 7 15 1,607 254 1,861 13.6%
17 Shift and Swift Couriers SBS One 10 260 40 300 13.3%
18 Underbelly Files: Tell Them Lucifer was Here 9 1 1,337 192 1,529 12.6%
19 Panic at Rock Island 9 1 585 84 669 12.6%
20 Underbelly Files: The Man Who Got Away 9 1 988 131 1,119 11.7%
21 Blood Brothers 9 1 796 101 897 11.3%
22 East West 101 SBS One 7 212 26 238 10.9%
23 Bed of Roses series 39 ABC1 9 620 76 696 10.9%
24 Laid ABC1 6 478 57 535 10.7%
25 Crownies ABC1 22 534 55 589 9.3%
26 Neighbours series 2810 Eleven 240 306 30 336 8.9%
27 Home and Away series 24 7 221 968 71 1,039 6.8%
28 Review with Myles Barlow11 ABC1 2 101 2 103 1.9%

Source: OzTAM; compiled by Screen Australia. OzTAM commenced the measurement of ‘as-live’ and ‘time shift’ viewing on 27 December 2009.

Notes:
1. Ranked by playback share of total audience. Programs with the same share are ranked by unrounded number.
2. Australian free-to-air adult titles, first release only, excludes shorts; broadcast 1 January to 31 December 2011.
3. Audience is all people, five-city metro average across series.
4. ‘Live’: the viewing of broadcast television content at time of the live broadcast.
5. ‘Playback': the viewing of broadcast television content which is not watched live at the time of broadcast but is recorded and played back within seven days of the live broadcast time (includes ‘as-live’ viewings that are watched on delay). The playback audience does not include online viewings through catch-up TV services such as iView and Plus7.
6 'Total': refers to consolidated ratings data used to determine the total viewing for the television broadcast content. Consolidated data incorporates both 'live' viewing and viewing of recorded broadcast content that is played back within seven days of original broadcast i.e. 'playback'.
7. Series average inclusive of varying first release dates across five-city-metro regions.
8. Average of the 15 episodes that aired in 2011. Final seven episodes are to air in 2012.
9 Average of the nine episodes that aired in 2011. First three episodes aired in 2010.
10. Episode on 10 May interrupted mid broadcast due to technical problems. Analysis includes average of encore screening of this episode on 11 May.
11. Average of the two episodes that aired in 2011. The previous four episodes aired in 2010.

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2010

In 2010 the first-release Australian television drama with the largest share of audience contributed by playback was the ABC2 series I Rock, with a quarter of its audience of 35,000 coming from playback viewings. This was followed by Rake on ABC1, where playback accounted for 15.8 per cent of an audience of 817,000.

Ranked by playback share of total audience.

Rank1 Title2 Network No. of episodes Audience ('000s)3 Playback share of audience (%)
Live4 Playback5 Total6
1 I Rock ABC2 8 26 9 35 25.7%
2 Rake ABC1 8 688 129 817 15.8%
3 Offspring series 1 10 13 932 139 1,071 13.0%
4 The Librarians ABC1 8 561 77 638 12.1%
5 Rush series 3 10 22 790 106 896 11.8%
6 Wilfred series 2 SBS One 8 139 18 156 11.5%
7 City Homicide series 4 7 22 910 110 1,020 10.8%
8 Packed to the Rafters series 3 7 22 1,824 211 2,036 10.4%
9 Cops L.A.C.7 9 13 663 74 737 10.0%
10 Offspring 10 1 1,093 121 1,214 10.0%
11 Sisters of War ABC1 1 803 79 883 8.9%
12 Bed of Roses series 38 ABC1 3 651 62 713 8.7%
13 Underbelly: The Golden Mile 9 13 1,659 154 1,813 8.5%
14 The Circuit series 29 SBS One 1 229 21 249 8.4%
15 Rescue Special Ops series 27 9 13 946 78 1,024 7.6%
16 Bed of Roses series 2 ABC1 8 605 44 649 6.8%
17 Sea Patrol series 4 9 16 1,103 74 1,177 6.3%
18 Review with Myles Barlow ABC2 6 83 5 88 5.7%
19 Wicked Love: The Maria Korp Story 9 1 1,284 75 1,360 5.5%
20 30 Seconds ABC1 6 275 13 288 4.5%
21 Lowdown ABC1 8 508 24 532 4.5%
22 Neighbours 10 235 566 25 591 4.2%
23 Home and Away series 23 7 220 988 33 1,021 3.2%
24 Hawke 10 1 1,559 38 1,597 2.4%
25 Chandon Pictures series 210 ABC1 8 198 5 202 2.5%

Source: OzTAM; compiled by Screen Australia. OzTAM commenced the measurement of ‘as-live’ and ‘time shift’ viewing on 27 December 2009.

Notes:
1. Ranked by playback share of total audience. Programs with the same share are ranked by unrounded number.
2. Australian free-to-air adult titles, first release only, excludes shorts; broadcast 1 January to 31 December 2010.
3. Audience is all people, five-city metro average across series.
4. 'Live': the viewing of broadcast television content at time of the live broadcast.
5.'Playback': the viewing of broadcast television content which is not watched live at the time of broadcast but is recorded and played back within seven days of the live broadcast time (includes ‘as-live’ viewings that are watched on delay). The playback audience does not include online viewings through catch-up TV services such as iView and Plus7.
6 'Total': refers to consolidated ratings data used to determine the total viewing for the television broadcast content. Consolidated data incorporates both 'live' viewing and viewing of recorded broadcast content that is played back within seven days of original broadcast i.e. 'playback'.
7. Series average inclusive of varying first release dates across five-city-metro regions.
8. Series average across first three episodes aired in 2010. Remaining nine episodes aired in 2011.
9 Average of only episode aired in 2010. Previous five episodes aired in 2009.
10. This series had previously screened on subscription television.

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