Channel 4 emerges relatively unscathed from year of live events

Editor | 20-12-2012

Even though it went big on the Paralympics, Channel 4 is claiming that a year of massive live events covered by rivals — principally Euro 2012, the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics — has not significantly dented its 2012 audience share.

The UK’s fourth largest broadcaster has revealed that its share of audience across its total portfolio is 11.4% for the year-to-date, just 1% down on that for 2011. Moreover, it claims that it has stemmed decline on its main channel with a current year-to-date share of viewing for Channel 4 — including the recently launched 4Seven weekly best-of service — of 6.6%. This is down 3% compared with the previous year, and represents the joint smallest decline in share in five years for the channel.
Clearly basking in the huge feel-good factor generated by the Olympics, Channel 4's most popular programme of 2012 was The Paralympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, which averaged 7.9 million viewers and peaked with 11.6 million — the channel's biggest audience in over a decade. Over the course of the Games, Channel 4's coverage reached 39.9 million people — 69% of the UK population.
Overall, new programmes comprised the vast majority of the channel’s most-watched shows in 2012, with new commissions accounting for 74% (37) of the top 50 programmes broadcast on the main channel in 2012, and 77% (22) of the top 30.
In addition to the good news on share, Channel 4’s sales department claims to have had a strong year, with share of commercial impacts for both of its key target demographics up year-on-year. For 16-34s, it is currently up 2% at 32% SOCI; and for ABC1 adults, currently up 3% at 28% SOCI.
The popular 4oD on-demand service continues to be the leading commercial VOD proposition in the UK with over 412 million VOD views across 2012 year-to-date, a 6% year-on-year increase. Over six million viewers have now chosen to register with Channel 4 as part of its viewer engagement and data strategy — at a rate of over 10,000 a week over 2012.