Comparing apples and oranges: correcting the details of tv and radio ratings

Earlier this week we published an article quoting OzTAM figures from The Australian and compared them with Tuesday’s cume breakfast ratings figures on radio.

That set the cat amongst the pigeons and we were reminded that it is inaccurate to compare the TV OzTAM ratings with the GfK radio ratings, because the methodology is different.

What’s more, we compared averages with cumes. That’s not accurate.

You can read about the radio cume results in our analysis story here.

For TV, the closest equivalent to radio cume measurement is ‘reach,’ but even that is not an exact comparison.

TV reach is the sum of unique viewers who have seen at least one minute of an event or time band across its total duration. See more about OzTAM definitions here.

Radio reach (cume) is the total number of different people who listen to a station for at least eight minutes within one quarter hour, during any time period.  Read more about cumes here.

So it is like comparing apples and oranges because the two ratings methodologies are not the same.

We apologise to the Seven Network and to set the record straight we asked Seven for the TV reach figures, which are still not an exact match to the radio figures, but do give a better representation of the national audience. These figures capture the reach across metro, regional and video on demand platform 7plus (BVOD) viewers for Sunrise Monday to Friday (not including Weekend Sunrise):

Metro Regional BVOD Total
2,252,000 1,259,000 243,930 3,754,930

*OzTAM Metro, OzTAM Regional (Comb. Agg Markets), OzTAM VPM 3.1 Live + VOD inc. Co-viewing. 01/04/22 – 30/04/22, Sunrise, Reach, Total People, Cons. 7.


The default measurement of reach in TV is often 1 minute, which ups the figures even further:

Metro Regional BVOD Total
2,815,000 1,550,000 243,930 4,608,930

*OzTAM Metro, OzTAM Regional (Comb. Agg Markets), OzTAM VPM 3.1 Live + VOD inc. Co-viewing. 01/04/22 – 30/04/22, Sunrise, Reach, Total People, Cons. 7.

Looking at the detailed figures supplied to us by Seven, it is also interesting to note that The Australian reported the average 5 metro city TV breakfast show figures for ten years ago and compared them with last year. But ten years ago, the majority of TV viewing was linear with limited BVOD streaming services available, so it was not accurate for The Oz to compare those figures without including streaming services.

If you include the full national figures across metro and regional TV, plus video on demand, the premise of the Australian’s article does not ring true. On 7plus alone, between 2020 and 2021, consumption increased 39 per cent.

The Australian’s article said “In 2012, Sunrise enjoyed an average weekday viewership of 364,445 across the five major capital cities.” If you include BVOD and regional viewers, the average total audience today is actually 429,005, not 260,650 as The Australian’s article reported.








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