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ABC ends the 2014 ratings year in third place again

NewsKevin Perry
Anzac Girls was the top ABC Drama of 2014 with a peak audience of 1.8 million. image - ABCTV

Anzac Girls was the top ABC Drama of 2014 with a peak audience of 1.8 million.
image - ABCTV

Once again, ABC ended the 2014 ratings year as the number three channel with a five city prime-time share of 10.5%. ABC was number three across each of the metro markets, with top share recorded in Adelaide (11.7%) and Melbourne (11.1%).

ABC iview is the number one TV streaming service in Australia with more than 20 million plays per month. Weekly program plays have increased by 29% compared to last year. 

ABC Television was the number one network during day-time (6am – 6pm) with a total TV share of 19.7%, up from 17.8% last year. It was the fourth ranked network in prime-time with a total TV share of 14.4%, just slightly behind the third placed network with a 14.6% share. 

ABC2 held its ground with a five city 7pm-midnight share of 1.9% among total people. Among 25-34’s, share was 2.6%, up from 2.3% in 2013. 

ABC News 24 continues to be Australia’s number one 24 hour news channel, strengthening its day-time share in 2014 to 2.7% (2.4% in 2013), with prime-time steady at 0.9%.

ABC3 remains the number one channel among 5-12’s with a day-time share of 21.3%, followed by ABC4Kids with 17.1%. ABC4Kids retained its position as the number one channel among preschoolers, with a 49.8% day-time share among 0-4’s.

Top Programs (TV audiences are based on combined metro and regional, unless stated otherwise; for series, peak episode is reported):


·         2014 was off to a flying start with NEW YEARS EVE: MIDNIGHT FIREWORKS achieving a combined metro and regional audience of 2 million across ABC and ABC News 24.

·         Australian dramas performed well this year, with top ABC series including ANZAC GIRLS (1.8 million peak audience), THE DOCTOR BLAKE MYSTERIES (1.6 million), JANET KING (1.5 million) and OLD SCHOOL (1.4 million).  Australian telemovies attracted solid audiences with THE BROKEN SHORE (1.5 million), JACK IRISH: DEAD POINT (1.4 million) and CARLOTTA (1.3 million).

·         Other top performers included THE CHECKOUT (1.5 million peak episode), arts documentary THE REAL MARY POPPINS (1.4 million),CATALYST (1.4 million), Australian comedy series UTOPIA (1.2 million) and COUNTDOWN: DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR (1 million metro only).

·         The ABC’s suite of current affairs programming engaged audiences in 2014, with peak episodes including AUSTRALIAN STORY: KERRY PACKER – A COMPLICATED LIFE PART 2 (1.6 million), 7.30: BUDGET SPECIAL (1.4 million) and FOUR CORNERS: ICE RUSH (1.2 million).



·         Top Australian programs on ABC2 included THE SEARCH FOR THE OCEAN'S SUPER PREDATOR (273,000), DEAD DRUNK: AFTER HOURS WITH TOM TILLEY (271,000), SOUL MATES (220,000), GOOD GAME (212,000) and OPENING SHOT doco, SKIMPY (165,000 metro only).

·         ABC2’s PLEASE LIKE ME was among the top series’ on iview, recording 894,000 plays (89,000 per ep). The program achieved a peak audience of 183,000 on ABC2.


ABC News 24

·         Top prime-time share in 2014 was recorded on Saturday 29 November (3.3% overnight) with coverage of the Victorian Election. VICTORIA VOTES 2014 achieved an audience of 121,000 on ABC News 24 (metro only).

·         Top day-time share was recorded on Saturday 15 November (5.4%) due to coverage of the G20.

·         Four of the top five programs on ABC News 24 in 2014 were budget coverage; 7.30 BUDGET SPECIAL (257,000), THE DRUM (254,000),BUDGET 2014: THE TREASURER'S SPEECH (250,000) and ABC NEWS LIVE: BUDGET REACTION (248,000).


ABC3 and ABC4Kids

·         Top peak programs on ABC4Kids this year included PEPPA PIG (share of 61% among 0-4s), JEMIMA’S BIG ADVENTURE (60% share), andBIG TED’S BIG ADVENTURE (62%).

·         Top Programs on ABC3 this year included ABC3 SMACKDOWN GAMES! with a share of 49% among 5-12s and NOWHERE BOYS (22% share).


ABC iview

In 2014, the top non-kids programs on iview consisted almost entirely of Australian first-run content, with Australian content comprising nine of the top ten programs (Doctor Who was the exception). Drama has been the most played non-Kids genre on iview in 2014, and Australian first-run dramas represented seven of the top eleven most-viewed iview programs this year (based on average plays per episode).

Most viewed programs this year included:

·         JONAH FROM TONGA – all episodes were exclusively available for 48 hours on iview prior to the ABC TV broadcast. Across the weekend, the ‘binge’ recorded 550,000 episode plays. The series went on to deliver an additional 1.4 million program plays ‘post-binge’, bringing the total series plays to 2 million (an average of 333,000 per episode), joining Angry Boys and Ja’mie as the most played iview programs on record.

·         Series 8 of DOCTOR WHO was popular on iview, recording 1.4 million plays (an average of 116,000 per ep).

·         THE TIME OF OUR LIVES S2 recorded an average of 118,000 iview plays per episode.

·         RAKE S3 recorded an average of 109,000 iview plays per episode.

·         New Australian dramas in 2014 were also among the top ten programs on iview – THE CODE recorded an average of 101,000 iview plays per episode, JANET KING had 104,000 average plays per episode, ANZAC GIRLS had an average of 84,000 plays per episode and OLD SCHOOL had 82,000 average plays per episode.

·         UTOPIA was the third most viewed program on iview in 2014 (based on average plays per episode) with an average of 114,000 plays per episode.

·         PLEASE LIKE ME S2 had an average of 89,000 plays per episode (up from 86,000 for S1).

·         FRESH BLOOD aired exclusively on iview, featuring 24 comedies (73 episodes). Across all episodes, the program recorded 880,000 program plays.

·         Most viewed Children’s programs include PLAY SCHOOL, PEPPA PIG and BEN AND HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM.


Richard Finlayson, Director ABC Television, said: “I am proud of what the ABC Television team has achieved, in a challenging year of stiff competition and fragmenting audiences.  

"ABC TV has proved again that we are the home of Australian stories and conversations with audiences embracing our mix of entertaining, challenging and informative programs. 

 "What particularly pleases us is that iview has withstood serious competition to comfortably maintain its position as the number one online TV service in the country. Our strategy is to lead the way in meeting our audience's desire to access content where and when they like.

"I want to thank the outstanding ABC TV team for their work and we are set for an even bigger year in 2015."