Regional TAM is increasing its audience measurement services by 50%.
Regional TAM is increasing its audience measurement services by 50%. Brett Wortman

Wham bam, thank you TAM

REGIONAL television viewers are finally getting the credit we deserve.

Regional TAM announced this week it will increase the number of homes in its television audience measurement (TAM) panel by 50%.

This is a good thing on a number of levels.

Firstly, it reflects the significant influence regional viewers have on the ratings figure for prime-time shows.

Many metropolitan media outlets quote ratings figures for the five major capital cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

But when regional numbers are added in to get a national figure, the results can change dramatically.

The most-watched prime-time show on a given night isn’t always the same for the five metros and it’s no different with regional areas.

More Melbourne viewers tune into Offspring because it’s a locally produced show, while the most recent season of House Rules did extremely well in south-east Queensland thanks to the popularity of Dalby brothers Luke and Cody Cook.

The ratings for a big TV event like State of Origin can nearly double when regional figures are included.

Which show has “won the night” can often be greatly influenced by those viewers out in the bush.

So why does this matter to you?

Ratings have a huge influence on the future of programs. Whether or not a show goes into a second, third or fourth season on a commercial free-to-air network will depend on how many people from various demographics tune in and therefore make that show appealing to advertisers.

That leads into the other major benefit of Regional TAM’s expansion for the free-to-air networks: more detailed information for advertisers.

As much as we all hate ad breaks, they help to fund the free entertainment and information services we enjoy on the small screen.

Regional TV networks like WIN and NBN will particularly benefit from the greater depth of regional ratings data as they will be able to show which programs are most popular in a given area.

And the more investment there is in TV programming, especially locally produced shows, then the greater choice channel surfers will have.



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