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Viewer turnout for 1 NEWS Leaders Debate beats 2014


More than a million New Zealanders watched the first live Leaders Debate between Bill English and Jacinda Ardern last night on TVNZ 1 and streamed online – up on 2014 audience numbers.

Last night was the first time voters got to see the leaders of the country’s biggest parties going head-to-head in an hour long primetime debate.

The first 1 NEWS Vote 17 Leaders Debate reached 1.1 million TV viewers and was watched by an average audience of 783,000 (AP5+).  Nearly half of New Zealand’s TV viewing audience were locked on the programme (48.8% share).

There were a total of 144,000 streams across TVNZ’s online channels. The debate was available on TVNZ.co.nz’s live stream and OnDemand, 1 NEWS NOW, RE: and TVNZ’s YouTube channel, as well as Facebook Live.

John Gillespie, TVNZ’s Head of News and Current Affairs says: “Last night was a big TV moment. In the country’s living rooms, pubs and bars, people were riveted by the debate.  It was a massive news day in so many ways with our latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll coming shortly before the debate, adding to the drama of the night.

“The debate was a galvanising event for so many New Zealanders. The keen interest and engagement in the political process is great to see.  It’s important to us to be able to bring it to so many people.”

The debate was moderated by Mike Hosking. “Mike did an outstanding job,” says John Gillespie.  “We look forward to next Friday’s debate.”

On 8 September at 7pm on TVNZ 1, 1 NEWS’ 90 minute Multi-Party debate brings together the potential coalition partners of the major parties.

1 NEWS’ Vote Compass tool has now been used 225,000 times. Vote Compass gives voters a clear picture of how their views line up with the policies of the political parties.

1 NEWS Vote 17 Leaders Debate
Average Daily Reach 1,131,000 (AP5+)
Average Audience 783,700 (AP5+)
Share: 48.8% (AP5+)

Average Daily Reach 393,200 (25-54)
Average Audience 259,500 (25-54)
Share: 36.9% (25-54) 

Vote 2014 Leaders Debate
Average Daily Reach 1,049,600 (AP5+)
Average Audience 631,300 (AP5+)
Share: 36.2% (AP5+)

Average Daily Reach 403,900 (25-54)
Average Audience 217,200 (25-54)
Share: 27.7% (25-54)


TV: Nielsen TAM, overnights
Online: Adobe Analytics, Facebook Insights and YouTube Analytics

Making sense of TV ratings:
• Reach counts everyone who watched the programme for at least one minute – it’s the measure that captures the full scale of the audience.
• Average audience captures the average audience who watched every minute of a programme.
• Share gives an insight into the audiences’ TV preferences.
• 5+: numbers capture the total audience watching.
• 25-54:   the number of viewers aged 25-54 watching. It’s quoted here because 25-54 is TVNZ 1’s target commercial demographic.