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.
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.
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?