MTR has a long road ahead…

The Nielsen Company released the fourth survey results for 2010. Whilst much comment has been made elsewhere in the media regarding Ray Hadley overtaking Alan Jones in the Sydney radio ratings (cf. the Australian) the focus must be on Melbourne’s newest talk radio station MTR 1377.

FrostGlobal in April discussed the battle between talk heavyweight 3AW and the new entrant MTR 1377, led by former Fairfax Radio host Steve Price. To read click here. The new station was eager to take a slice of the Melbourne Radio Ad revenue market which posted a 7.55% growth in revenue figures last month, to total $17.18 million.

Before station launch 3AW’s Derryn Hinch said “3AW listerners are very loyal.” This was backed up by a Herald Sun website poll at the time which found 59.02% of people believed MTR could not beat 3AW. According to today’s survey results this was a correct assumption by Herald Sun readers.

MTR was comprehensively beaten by 3AW, in fact it was not really a competition at all! 3AW recorded a ratings share of 15.1%, an increase of 0.1% from last survey. Comparatively MTR recorded a ratings share of 1.7%, a fall of 0.1% against last survey. In MTR’s defence they were not included in the whole survey period and their program times cannot be directly compared to 3AW’s. According to Nielsen, MTR 1377 commenced broadcasting on April 19 replacing 3MP. All listening for Survey #4 reflects listening to 3MP from Mar 28 to Apr 18 and MTR from Apr 19 to Jun 12.

data source: Nielsen Radio Ratings Survey #4

In fact the biggest audience share for MTR was not from its high profile recruits of Steve Price or Steve Vizard but in fact its weekend schedule, which secured a 2% rating share. This is surprising considering the weekend schedule is mostly a relay of programs from MTR’s sister station 2GB in Sydney.

data source: Nielsen Radio Ratings Survey #4

Time will tell what improvement MTR will have off this low ratings base and whether the station can challenge 3AW over the coming months, years and decades. MTR must now dig into the trenches and battle for ratings and advertising revenue share in the Melbourne market.

No one expected MTR to topple 3AW in the first ratings survey. However, some may have predicted a better result for the station. The next survey should provide more clarity as to the initial success of the Pacific Star Network/Macquarie Radio JV.

As Steve Price wrote in the Herald Sun before the station launch “Quitting or losing aren’t things I contemplate and I wouldn’t be dragging my two children and wife out of Sydney if I didn’t think we could make a long-term success of this venture.” As Crikey’s Glenn Dyer pointed out today, Steve Price has his work cut out.

FrostGlobal will continue to monitor the progress of MTR 1377 over the coming months.

Have you listened to MTR since it launched from April 19? What did you think of the format compared to other Melbourne talk stations such as ABC 774 and 3AW 693?


  1. I switched over from the day they started back on April 19 as we were tired of switching between 3AW and GoldFM. Since doing so we have never listened to another station since. I know it might sound hard to believe and NO I don’t work for them, nor had I heard of all the people when they started the station. I was looking for something that was bearable for a full day.. and what a pleasant surprise we got!

    In this office are others all, except for me, are under 30, and love this station. The radio gets turned on around 7.30 am and on until around… 8.30 pm, so you can imagine that channel swapping could be expected, however, we don’t. It’s left on there all the time.

    MTR1377 gives discussion points in the office that didn’t exist before. I would not listen to 3AW any more as they annoyed me with how they treated listeners, which is why we would swap to GoldFM but that also was a bit too much to listen to day in day out. Before MTR there really was not choice to listen to any other talk back, hence the GoldFM swap.

    We used to listen to 3AW but I find them a bit too one eyed and quick to hang up or cut of people who don’t agree with them. That’s not talk back radio in it’s fullest sense and some of the people irrated us to the point we had to change during the day.

    MTR is topical, non patronising, and more than that – gives people the last word, even if they don’t like what’s being said, they stick to that principal and I respect them for doing that. Their presenters are very cool, smart and witty. A nice change.

    Sure it’s more conservative in it’s approach, but it’s won me over with their very talented journalists, each with their own opinion, not all I agree with, but it’s how they deliver the content and how they engage the listener that appeals to me. There is a diversity of talent I’ve not seen on other radio stations.

    I find it really hard to understand why MTR haven’t got more listeners than what the ratings are saying…honestly I do. I wish them well and sincerely hope they keep the ‘long term’ vision because the last three months of radio have been great.

    Good luck to MTR1377. I confess I like them enough to post a comment about them on a public site for all to see. Give them a go. I think you will find the quality and calibre of presenters far exceeds what 3AW has at the moment. Sorry 3AW – you may have ruled the roost, but there are some better players in town now.

    Nina Meiers


  3. Everyone at MTR are doing such a great job.
    One of the Staff where I work is now a listener to MTR 1377 she will give MTR 1377 a go.
    Last weekend while I was at Philip Street respite House in Heathmont I tod some staff members who work at Philip street to Listen to MTR 1377 and they are listening to MTR 1377.

  4. i have listened to MTR 1377 since April 19th and I would like to say that Surely people from Melbourne will see that it’s not where the tallent is from it is how they do their job.
    The Owners will sign many other people from other Melbourne Radio Stations and many more Listeners in Melbourne will come to MTR 1377 from those Melbourne Radio Stations as well as some Country Radio Stations and bring many regional Victorian listeners to Melbourne and they will tune into MTR 1377 instead of 3AW. I have also been promoting MTR 1377 on the Media Hunter Website to bring Staff Members, Listeners and Advertisers from 2HD in Newcastle in New South Wales to Melbourne to work at Listen to and advertise with MTR 1377.

  5. Nina
    Like you I wonder why AC Nielson just won’t add listeners like those where you work, those where I work and other MTR listeners like ourselves have bought to MTR 1377 .
    I was watching Media Report on Sky News Business Channel and I sa an interview with Jane Warner CEO of Comercial Radio Australia and she announced that The Radio Rating system will be reviewed.

  6. I just emailrd Steve Price to suggest to him that he signs everyone from six of the FM Radio Stations and 774 ABC Melbourne to MTR 1377 so as to allowing MTR 1377 to gain listeners and revenue fro the six FM Radio Stations and Listeners for 774 ABC Melbourne listeners.

  7. Today I emailed Steve Price and suggested to him that he signs everyone from The Ace Radio Network so as to allowing ther listeners and advertisers to relocate to Melbourne and listen to and advertise on MTR 1377.

  8. Stop The Press…
    MacQuarie Radio Network are talking about Buying The Fairfax Radio Assets including 3AW In Melbourne and 2UE In Sydney.
    The new blogg could well say Radio Merger MTR & 3AW are one…

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