Ryan Bridge v Breakfast: Who's winning the TV ratings war?

Can host Ryan Bridge save the AM Show? Photo: Supplied
Can host Ryan Bridge save the AM Show? Photo: Supplied
Since Duncan Garner left The AM Show in August, the morning news show has seen a major shake-up.

But how is the newly chaired AM Show, hosted by Ryan Bridge, playing out in the ratings war with TVNZ's Breakfast?

Despite big changes at the network, and even bigger ones promised, Breakfast is still coming out on top in New Zealand's morning television ratings wars.

Garner's departure was first announced on August 23, a week into the country's level 4 lockdown. He'd already been off-air for more than two weeks before the official announcement came, with Bridge already stepping in to cover for him.

Bridge was then announced as Garner's permanent replacement on the breakfast show as part of the channel's new-look AM. Discovery, which owns Three and the AM Show, has claimed the show has seen a 30 per cent increase in viewers since Bridge began hosting.

The average daily number of viewers for their key demographic aged 25-54 for the 16 weeks in 2021 prior to Bridge taking over was 21,000. Since he started hosting, the average number of viewers has increased to 28,100, Discovery revealed.

In the age 5 and up demographic, the average number of viewers rose from 49,600 to 62,300 in the same time frame.

In terms of audience reach, the show now reaches on average 163,572 Kiwis aged 25-54 and 351,196 aged 5 and up per week, according to Nielsen.

TVNZ's Breakfast is still ahead in terms of ratings. Photo: TVNZ
TVNZ's Breakfast is still ahead in terms of ratings. Photo: TVNZ
But data provided by TVNZ, which both TVNZ and Three use for advertising trading, showed an increase in Breakfast viewership as well - and let's not forget that the early weeks of the level 4 lockdown saw many more of us tuning in to morning television from home.

The week Garner left, the AM show's daily reach was 456,000 aged 5 and up and 205,900 aged 25-54.

Meanwhile, Breakfast reached 734,200 aged five and up in the same week and 293,700 aged 25 to 54.

But the AM Show's ratings declined in the 25 to 54-year-old demographic in the following weeks, reaching just 126,200 during the week of November 28 to December 4.

Breakfast's average weekly reach over the past six months was around 604,800 in the 5 and over category and 216,500 in the 25-54 category.

In comparison, the AM show reached around 360,000 in the 5+ and 165,900 in the 25-54.

There are some even bigger changes just around the corner for the morning show.

With veteran broadcaster Bernadine Oliver-Kerby and entertainer William Waiirua set to join Bridge and co-host Melissa Chan-Green on the new-look AM, time will tell if the AM show can close the ratings gap with their fresh 2022 lineup.





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