News Limited’s bias is at it again

Bay35Pablo Roar Rookie

By Bay35Pablo, Bay35Pablo is a Roar Rookie

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    The Daily Telegraph’s headline “NRL obliterates rival codes in TV war” caught my eye. I don’t usually read the Daily Rupert, but was looking for another article someone had talked to me about.

    Sydney viewers were “analysed” as follows:

    Tigers v Roosters (Nine) – 471,000
    Titans v Warriors (Nine) – 441,000
    Panthers v Raiders (Nine) – 254,000
    Bledisloe Cup (Seven) – 152,000
    Swans v Bulldogs (Ten) – 129,000

    A nice little kidney punch from the terror with the quip: “The biggest shock was saved for the Australian Rugby Union, whose showpiece event, the Bledisloe Cup, wooed just 152,000 Sydney viewers.”

    Of course, sneaking in later were some facts like: “However, the Wallabies did have more than 70,000 people watching them live at ANZ Stadium, and 181,000 tuned into Fox Sports – traditionally the preferred telecast over Seven for rugby fans.”

    Hmmm, so when you combine the Seven and Foxtel numbers, which you need to so as to calculate the actual number of people watching the game on TV, you get 333,000. Not paltry, better than the Panthers-Raiders game, and smashing the Swans (in the context of the Sydney market). Hardly “obliterated”.

    Let’s not get into whether we count the actual crowds, which can swing both ways. The NRL’s three crowds would match rugby one, I’ll give that up.

    And note we are dealing with Sydney viewers. So again it is worth noting the little fact for AFL numbers sneaking in towards the end: “Meanwhile, just 129,000 fans watched Swans skipper Brett Kirk and coach Paul Roos’ AFL farewell against the Western Bulldogs, despite 500,000 die-hards glued to the box in Melbourne.”

    500,000 Melbourne viewers? So we’ll stay away from national numbers because they might not look so obliterating. It would have been far more interesting to see what the numbers in the various different TV markets were, and the overall national numbers. Assuming we could get an actual like-for-like comparison, which is difficult given both Nine and Seven often don’t show codes not involving a Sherrin at a decent time in southern states.

    I wonder what the Sydney FC v Phoenix ratings were on Foxtel. The Daily Terror probably doesn’t pay attention to football unless the Socceroos are involved.

    I have to shake my head at this jingoistic flag waving from News Ltd, with selective use of statistics. As they say, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    Further, it is even funnier that News Ltd owns the rights to the NRL, rugby union and AFL (and football!) through Foxtel. So this article is essentially crowing about one subsidiary or product line of News “obliterating” another (incorrectly I would argue).

    And the media wonders why it is held is such low regard. Christian Nicolussi has missed his true calling, in advertising (or propaganda).

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    The Crowd Says (138)

    • Roar Guru

      September 14th 2010 @ 3:25am
      rugbyfuture said | September 14th 2010 @ 3:25am | ! Report


    • September 14th 2010 @ 4:48am
      extreme13 said | September 14th 2010 @ 4:48am | ! Report

      Well when they counted all the ratings including the regionals, the NRL beat both the AFL and RU and that’s despite the AFL shown nation wide compared to the NRL shown in 2 states only.

      Metro Average ‘000’s
      24 – AFL (SF2): GEELONG V FREMANTLE – 1,053
      29 – AFL (EF1): SYDNEY V CARLTON – 999

      Regional Average ‘000’s
      5 – NRL (QF1) – TITANS V WARRIORS – 569
      11 – NRL (QF2) – ROOSTERS V TIGERS – 520
      14 – NRL (QF3) – PANTHERS V RAIDERS – 501
      No AFL in Top 40.

      Combined Metro & Reg ‘000’s
      33 – NRL (QF1) – TITANS V WARRIORS – 1,359
      36 – NRL (QF2) – ROOSTERS V TIGERS – 1,257
      38 – AFL (SF2): GEELONG V FREMANTLE – 1,253
      39 – AFL (EF1): SYDNEY V CARLTON – 1,252

      So stop whinging about the NRL and the Daily terror along with News Limited and start worrying about your own codes that don’t seem to be able to pull in the viewers like Rugby League does. It makes you look a bit sad.

      Fix your own games first before kicking the code that seems to be kicked consistently at every site bar a RL site.

      • Roar Guru

        September 14th 2010 @ 8:02am
        Redb said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:02am | ! Report

        Thanks extreme. Perfectly illustrates the authors’ point, – there has been no obliteration.

        When you consider the ‘regionals’ do not include WA and SA regionals with a combined population of one million and AFL heartland, I think we can safely say the numbers look less ‘oblitery’ every second.

        The Melb ratings for AFL are for delayed telecasts in contrast to the NRL live into Sydney.

        Be interesting to see how live telecasts impact the TV ratigns for AFL in Melb for this Friday night.

        • September 14th 2010 @ 9:56am
          Whites said | September 14th 2010 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          This is the population area for the Oztam ratings

          Sydney including the Central Coast(4.486million-60%) Regional NSW/ACT- 3.0million-40%
          Melbourne region including Geelong(4.361million-80%) Reginal VIC-1.1million-20%
          Brisbane region including Gold Coast(2.870million-65%) Regional QLD-1.6million-35%
          Adelaide including most of SA(1.383million-87%) Regional SA- 0.200million-13%
          Perth and surrounding area(1.768million -78%) Regional WA- 0.500million-22%

          +Tasmania and NT are about 750,000 combined.

          Nationwide the 5city metro ratings cover roughly 65% of the population.

          For Oztam ratings regional NSW,QLD and ACT is about 4.1 million people. Tasmania, NT and regional VIC, SA and WA is about 2.55million people.

          • Roar Guru

            September 14th 2010 @ 10:04am
            Redb said | September 14th 2010 @ 10:04am | ! Report

            “Preliminary Overnights. Source OzTAM and Regional TAM. Based on 5 city metro and 4 aggregated regional markets (ex Tas).”

            The figures quoted above are 4 regionals: Qld, Victoria, Southern & Northern NSW.
            They exclude regional WA and SA and looks like Tasmania as well.

            TV ratings are statistical estimations based on a sample.

            The NRL and AFL games mentioned vary in importance and interest.
            eg: Bulldogs v Sydney will rate well below Collingwood v Geelong in Melbourne. As a snapshot of ratings on a given night in a given market it is next to useless.

            They also vary between live and delay.

      • Roar Guru

        September 14th 2010 @ 8:14am
        Mister Football said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:14am | ! Report

        Pablo is quite rightly referring to the silly headline “NRL obliterates rival codes in TV war”, and the article goes on to quote Sydney ratings only: shock, horror, League is huge in Sydney – who would ever have believed it?!

        Pablo also makes the point that the ratings numbers are incomplete. To get to the Swans vs Bulldogs ratings, two separate numbers had to be added, yet the Union test wasn’t afforded the same respect, with only one of two numbers included.

        Quite simply: shoddy and jingoistic journalism (to what end, I’m not sure).

        • September 14th 2010 @ 11:01am
          Brian said | September 14th 2010 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          umm its a Sydney newspaper. Why would they quote anything other than Sydney ratings?

          • September 14th 2010 @ 12:07pm
            Mister Football said | September 14th 2010 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

            Yes – but the fact that League wins the ratings hands down in Sydney is hardly an Earth-shattering discovery!

            Equally, it is ignoring the substantial number of Sydney-siders watching the BC on Fox.

            Either way, it’s a silly headline and a silly article.

            If the its sister paper starting making the same song and dance about the AFL getting the biggest ratings in Melbourne, we’d rightly be saying: come off it you guys – big deal.

          • September 14th 2010 @ 10:15pm
            JamesP said | September 14th 2010 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

            umm Brian, can you imagine the Herald Sun with this headline “AFL wins ratings in Melbourne”

            Umm No

      • September 14th 2010 @ 8:06pm
        Ted Skinner said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:06pm | ! Report


        That Sydney v Carlton game was played last Sunday week.

        The RL Test in May rated 1,813,000 Australia-wide & the Titans v Warriors rated 203, 000 in NZ.

        Do you know what theTigers v Roosters game ratings peaked at. I heard 695,000.

        BTW the glaring error in the article is assuming all the Pay TV numbers were Sydney viewers. It may have been 60,000 to 80,000. Its still a shallacking anyay you look at it.

        I wonder what the AFL game would have rated if Sydney wasn’t involved?

    • September 14th 2010 @ 5:46am
      The Special One said | September 14th 2010 @ 5:46am | ! Report

      Why do more people watch the rugby on foxtel rather than 7?

      • Roar Guru

        September 14th 2010 @ 8:24am
        AndyRoo said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:24am | ! Report

        Fox has less adds pushed into the broadcast and then there are the Seven commentators……..

        • September 14th 2010 @ 8:38am
          sheek said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:38am | ! Report

          And then there are the foxtel commentators – can’t win either way…..!

      • Roar Guru

        September 14th 2010 @ 8:26am
        mds1970 said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        So they don’t get constantly bombarded with ad breaks. I was watching the AFL on Saturday night on One HD, but if it had been on Fox as well I would have watched Fox for the same reason.

      • September 14th 2010 @ 11:27am
        al said | September 14th 2010 @ 11:27am | ! Report

        The foxtel coverage is actually live as opposed to the channel 7 coverage which ends up about 5 minutes behind at the end of the match.

    • September 14th 2010 @ 7:52am
      Crosscoder said | September 14th 2010 @ 7:52am | ! Report

      When we get headlines from the Terror stating rl in danger of losing their stars to ru,when SBW ,Lote etc moved
      it’s all in order.When we get the GWS will strike deep into the heartland of rl,it’s Ok .When the News mob,gives front page coverage to a rl player,tipsy in the Cronulla mall,that is legit.
      Heaven forbid the same media mob showing Tv ratings (and bear in mind the NRL ones only go live into 2 cities repeat 2 cities and are on delay in the others at much later hours) ,they are to be condemned.The semis were not shown at the same time on Fox,so the panthers and the other semi figures would have been larger again,if that had been the case.Dare i say Fox TV ratings for rl,dominates Pay Tv sport.

      And of course we stay away from regional numbers for rl Tv ratings.How bleeding convenient for the Terror and the whingers .The paper was discussing Sydney viewers,but sure why not throw in regionals for old times sake.
      It augurs well for the next round of the rl Tv contracts,which appears to have unsettled some of the opposition tribes.
      .Pass me a kleenex.
      Actually a reminder to the author of this thread,all the semis and finals are/will be live on the channel 9 station ,not owned by Fox News..
      I noted a survey in the SMH asking who would be watching the Bledisloe and the figure came up about 60%.Does that mean we now throw that media group, into the same News Ltd basket of reliability LOL.

      As extreme13 has observed ,you can go to a multitude of sites bagging rl(this one included),but please dont let the statistical facts offend.News has done their fair share of ripping into rl for headline sakes,and which does immense damage to the game.
      Supporters of rl have become used to taking hits for various reasons,when the shoe is on the other foot,shock, horror.

      • Roar Guru

        September 14th 2010 @ 8:23am
        Redb said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:23am | ! Report


        As we so often reminded NSW and QLD have 55% of the population. AFL and NRL are pretty close given AFL has only 45% of the population as its heartland.

      • Roar Guru

        September 14th 2010 @ 2:45pm
        Bay35Pablo said | September 14th 2010 @ 2:45pm | ! Report


        “Actually a reminder to the author of this thread,all the semis and finals are/will be live on the channel 9 station ,not owned by Fox News..”

        I am well aware of this. Did you really want me to get into the details in my article, so you could complain we already knew that?

        They have regular season games, and they are the big cash cow drawing people to subscribe. You get my point, move on ….

        The point you missed is this wasn’t a hit out at league, which quite clearly got good numbers (in Sydney). I am a league fan, even if not as much as I am a union fan, and support the Tigers. It was a hit out at the media and especially News who I detest more and more ….

        • September 14th 2010 @ 3:23pm
          Willy said | September 14th 2010 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

          “I am a league fan, even if not as much as I am a union fan, and support the Tigers.”

          Me too.

          F*cking tough night’s work on Saturday…

    • September 14th 2010 @ 7:53am
      macavity said | September 14th 2010 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      If anything, the DT has a bias against RL. They are continuously putting the boot in.

      If you want irrefutable proof that they are anti-RL….. they continue to employ Bourbon Beccy Willson, apparently as an RL journalist.

      game, set, match.

    • September 14th 2010 @ 8:08am
      Paul J said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      The Daily Telegraph is a tabloid. Why read it at all?

      Read the SMH or The Australian instead.

      • September 14th 2010 @ 8:44am
        JF said | September 14th 2010 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Exactly. Great thing about media outlets – their is always a choice. Don’t like trashy tabloid news? Don’t buy it, buy a broadsheet, watch the ABC or Sky News. This is nothing new from the News Ltd tabloids, there are countless incidents of sensational inter-code headlines having a shot at rugby. This paper is aimed at the same folk who have kept the Footy Show on TV for so many years and make ACA a ratings winner. Just like these awful programs, I would not pay any attention to News Ltd tabloids.

      • Roar Pro

        September 14th 2010 @ 11:03am
        Hutchoman said | September 14th 2010 @ 11:03am | ! Report

        SMH = left wing propaganda rag. No thanks.

        • September 14th 2010 @ 12:55pm
          skull said | September 14th 2010 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

          News Ltd = Right Wing propaganda rag and wrecker of Rugby League (Super League anyone?). No thanks

      • September 15th 2010 @ 12:06am
        Tortion said | September 15th 2010 @ 12:06am | ! Report

        I head overseas for reasonable news sources. Wouldn’t trust any of the Australian rags.

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