BA audience survey reveals
much about elections, less about radio and TV
Labours media has registered positive gains in the
Broadcasting Authoritys audience survey for 2003s second
Both Super One TV and Radio saw their ratings shoot up from the 2002
fourth quarter ratings, maintaining pole position in radio and snatching
TVMs throne in the noon-1900hrs slot with 21.9 per cent of the
TVM saw a general decrease all across the board in its ratings, where
mornings saw a decrease of 19.4 percentage points from 2002s 58.7
per cent. Tista Tkun Int naturally remains TVMs Sunday winner,
at a peak of 84,000 viewers. Fridays Xarabank garners 156,000
viewers, loftily looking down at Super One TVs Robin Hood with
But the survey has attracted a certain level of criticism this time
It had long been assumed that twice yearly audience share surveys have
ignored media subtleties such as the seasonal launch of new programme
schedules. Others have maintained the peak seasons for TV in the final
months of the year tend to be ignored by the BAs quantitative
The biggest complaint that has emanated was the period chosen for the
carrying out of the survey a week following Easter (21 to 28
April), fresh out of hurricane elections.
No wonder then that relatively small Smash Radio, orbiting within the
MLP universe, shot up modestly during Aprils final week. It was
equally unsurprising to see Radio 101 clinch third place, when in 2002s
fourth quarter it was languishing at fifth place below Bay
Radio and RTK.
Despite political overdrive, it was certainly unlikely to see the PNs
NET TV incurring losses in its morning, afternoon and evening schedules,
whilst Super One is now the most popular TV station between noon and
A general increase was however recorded for Mediaset channels (Italia
1, Rete 4, Canale 5) between noon and midnight, where they shot up by
a total of 11.4 percentage points, clinching the second favourite viewing
group between noon and 1900hrs after Super One TV. Political nausea
seems to have played its part.
In all, the surveys reveal more about what the Maltese watched throughout
the elections Labours media and state TV registered the
highest audiences, and when the Maltese had enough it was Italian TV
that calmed the nerves.
The results of the survey have brought under scrutiny the level of information
that can be offered by former Chief Justice Joseph Said Pullicinos
authority and established sociologist Mario Vassallo, who conducted
Pleas to have an ongoing survey have fallen short of the need for more
funding. Said Pullicino yesterday revealed how both surveys already
pose a relative strain on finances, which is why a form of daily, ongoing
form of monitoring seems to have been effectively ruled out.
TV and radio station directors feel the survey does not give accuracy
when it comes to proper evaluation. Some have argued this is what can
only be expected from a biannual quantitative survey effectively lacks.