Audience Measurement in Action

The 2014 State of Origin was the 34th time the annual best-of-three series between the Queensland and New South Wales Rugby teams was played. With the shock win by New South Wales, it was recorded as the highest rated game of Origin game 1 ever. With 4.058 million people tuning in to the game and a five-city share of 5.596 million viewers, the State of Origins’ dominance in the ratings took its toll on a number of shows. Network tens reality TV show Masterchef and quality drama Offspring didn’t even make the top ten.

Audience measurement is used to measure consumer patterns and media consumption. The business of selling audiences to advertisers and marketing agencies is big business, thus producers and advertisers are able to use the data collected in order to shape their markets. The NRL State of Origin dominates free to air television whenever there is a game on, therefore this gives advertisers a sometimes vital popularity boost. A lot of beer brands such as XXXX and VB are advertised as a large majority of viewers would be 18+ males who  love to have a beer whilst watching the football.

Though the numbers for the viewership of these State of Origin games are rather staggering, there are certain issues that need to be raised that question the validity of them. For instance, people usually gather together to watch television, sport being a major reason to be together. In one lounge room during a state of Origin match may be an entire family, a large group of friends etc but this only counts as one viewing as they are only watching it off the one television. Also, for those who may be at work or doing something productive during the match time and are unable to see it live, they will usually stream it or find another method to watch the game when they are able to. This means that again, the numbers that are documented will be false. These absences are quite substantial, even though there is not really any reasonable method to be able to count every single person that tunes in to a State of Origin game.



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