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New Zealanders Tuning In To Mâori Television

24 June 2004

Ratings Show New Zealanders Tuning In To Mâori Television

The following ratings figures apply to analogue (UHF) viewership only and do not include viewers watching Mâori Television via SKY Digital and digital satellite. Independent telephone surveys indicate that 47% of Mâori watch Mâori Television via SKY digital, approximately equivalent to those watching via UHF*.

Over 350,000 New Zealanders have watched Mâori Television via UHF frequency.

Nielsen Media Research analogue (UHF) Peoplemeter ratings for Mâori Television’s first 12 weeks on air show New Zealanders (Mâori and non-Mâori) are tuning in to the channel.

Cumulative figures (measuring the number of different people) for the first 12 weeks indicate that 358,000 individuals aged five plus have watched Mâori Television, with 233,000 (65%) of those viewers non-Mâori and 125,000 (35%) Mâori.

The figure of 125,000 indicates that 30% of the Mâori population have watched via UHF. This is consistent with previous independent research of 600 Mâori which indicates that 70% of Mâori have watched Mâori Television, with almost half of those (47%) watching via SKY Digital*.

In its first week on air, 126,000 New Zealanders tuned in to Mâori Television. Mâori viewers made up 59% of the total UHF audience for week one at 74,000.

The first four weeks saw the launch week numbers more than double. A total of 276,000 New Zealanders watched Mâori Television via UHF. The non-Mâori audience represented 61% of the total viewership at 168,000.

The second four week period saw the New Zealand audience again significantly increase to 300,000 viewers. Non-Mâori and Mâori each represented approximately 50% of the channel’s total viewership.

The third four weeks saw the New Zealand audience settle at 249,000 viewers. Non-Maori represented 56% of the total viewership, with Mâori at 44%.

Mâori 5+ audience figures indicate 108,000 Mâori tuned in via UHF in the first month on air. By the end of the four weeks to 19 June Mâori viewership was at 110,000 viewers.

Mâori Television CEO, Ani Waaka, was pleased with the results, saying the solid Mâori audience and the high level of interest from non-Mâori provided a positive platform for the channel to build on.

“We are very pleased with what these results are indicating. We have always viewed Mâori Television as a channel with something to offer everyone, no matter who you are. And given that our primary objective is to normalise the use of te reo Mâori within society as a whole, it is very satisfying that our non-Mâori audience is there and is building,” said Ms Waaka.

“The early indications regarding our Mâori audience are equally encouraging. We’re very aware that many of our Mâori viewers are watching via SKY digital and that the UHF figures are not representative of the total Mâori audience. That said, these ratings show that we are building a loyal Mâori audience. We will work hard to retain them and to attract more,” she said.

Ms Waaka said the ratings mirrored the feedback the channel had continued to receive since launching on 28 March 2004.

“We have been inundated with positive responses from the New Zealand public about our programmes and the flavour of the channel. Media reviews of our programmes continue to be positive, with the most recent review published in the Dominion Post just last week,” she said.

“Of course we expected Mâori to be delighted with the opportunity to see their culture and hear their language in their living rooms each night, and this has certainly been the feedback. But what we were not so prepared for was the overwhelmingly positive reaction from pakeha and other New Zealanders who variously describe the channel as fresh, lively, entertaining, educational and a style that is ‘exquisitely New Zealand’.”

The ratings have also indicated the channel’s most popular top five programmes. The top three are programmes especially commissioned for Mâori Television.

“While these ratings give us a general guide to the UHF viewing levels they do also tell us that we are delivering a television channel that all New Zealanders can enjoy, appreciate, learn from, and find value in,” said Ms Waaka.

Of the most watched programmes, the marae make-over programme Marae DIY is top of the list for both the Mâori and the New Zealand (Mâori and non-Mâori) audiences:

Programmes commissioned for Mâori Television lead the top five shows for the Maori 5+ audience: Marae DIY (commissioned) Korero Mai (commissioned language learning programme) Kai Time on the Road (commissioned cooking programme) Nga Puna/Maumahara (archival programmes such as Prince Tui Teka) Sunday Movie (New Zealand movies)

A marae make-over programme and New Zealand-made movies lead the top five programmes for the New Zealand audience (Mâori and non-Mâori): Marae DIY Sunday Movie Korero Mai Kai Time on the Road Nga Puna/Maumahara

Mâori Television is working with Nielsen Media Research and the television industry to enable access to its Digital audience numbers. Agreement has been reached and Nielsen Media Research expects to be able to measure Mâori Television’s Digital viewership from 1 July 2004.


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