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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Content Survey Live 2021: Back in the Saddle Again.

Welcome to the beginning, of the biggest event in our site’s history. They said, it couldn’t be done.
Veritas on KW, presents the launch of the 2021 edition of Content. Survey. Live.

The second edition of Content Survey Live: is a two week carnival, now under our "Veritas on KW"  brand on Twitter (i.e. give us a follow and make sure your friends and/or enemies do too), coming up in six weeks time. The following layout of the event is as follows.

-The second edition of Content Survey Live begins, on a very poignant date for a certain Brisbane television station. August 16, 2021: eight days after the end of the Tokyo Olympics.

-The first week of Content Survey Live 2021, will consist of the return of the five city 10 News First survey from 2020. You will find out in this post the order in whose city will get the various slots, including, most critically: the last slot of the week (which may or may not necessarily be a judge of quality: as Melbourne ended up with the last slot in 2020: and ended up coming second overall, as well as taking home top marks out of the whole country in two of the four categories on offer.)

These comparisons, will be out anytime after 9:30am the next day, as we will again post the ratings for the market surveyed.

-The second week of Content Survey Live 2021 will consist of a five day live comparison of two different versions of the same product. This is a comparison, between a one hour news bulletin, and a severely edited 1 hour news bulletin to fit into a half hour gap.

The second week, will be revisiting the old foe from the Kuttsy’s Pitch era of content surveying: Seven News in Brisbane, with a twist that only technology can deliver: as I so boldly announced at the end of the initial Content Survey Live… that I now live in a regional area: and consequently, get 35 mins of news cut to fit fifteen minutes, so the comparison would be from a stream of BTQ’s entire hour up to the start of sport, and a taped version of the “directors cut” that is shown outside the south east corner. This comparison will indeed be even tighter, as I am aiming to have the Seven pieces out, on the same night, or very early in the morning the next day (because ratings data will not be required).

The reason why Seven is being looked at: with the second big regional affiliation switch behind us (albeit with major cuts to local news at both WIN and Southern Cross) Seven is now the only broadcaster producing local news divided by submarket (e.g. Wide Bay, CQ etc.) in regional Queensland: it is only fitting to put the spotlight on what Queensland will be watching afterward.

And now, let's reveal what you all came here for!

The Ground Rules and Rankings:

Our focus, in Content Survey Live (particularly in it's first week, will be monitoring Ten’s five capital city news services (a benefit of technological change, now allowing us to watch interstate bulletins on delay), in order of their ratings position within the network (with each market covered once) over a week, using the same criteria we used in the “Great Local News Study” from Kuttsy's Pitch XI in August, 2019.

-Locally sourced stories: that is stories reported by local journos. Really big local market stories with national impacts, also fit here. Voiced over local stories are counted separately.
-Live crosses: stuff that is used to embellish a story.
-Weather is not counted.
-Sport is not counted if it’s done by obviously freelance journos, or voiced over pieces: you gotta have dedicated reporters there, with their mug on air reporting a sports story for it to count.

And finally: Ten Brisbane will have it’s Gold Coast content tracked again during it’s night: especially important, as last year we literally got on the night TVQ's news was surveyed a bulletin where no GC content aired at all.

How we decided the placings for the survey and ultimately: which cities will be run on which days, have come from a two week ratings tracking study, from the 21st of June to the 2nd of July, which will be compared, with data we have from 2020 taken pre-centralization.

In addition, we have watched TVQ's news between June 30 and July 2, to try and notice any significant changes to how stories are reported on from outside the SE corner on TVQ's news after the WIN/SCA affiliation changes.

Note: significant ratings changes occurred in several markets between week one and two due to the second half of the tracking study occurring during a government mandated lockdown period for 3/5 markets.

The rankings and dates of survey are as follows:

16/8/2021 (1): Brisbane: UP 15% on 2020*
17/8/2021 (2): Sydney: UP 14% on 2020*
18/8/2021 (3): Perth: DOWN 7% on 2020*
19/8/2021 (4): Melbourne: DOWN 28% on 2020**
20/8/2021 (5): Adelaide: DOWN 44% on 2020

* 2021 tracking study results for Sydney/Brisbane were heavily impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns in the second week: Perth also locked down for COVID-19 during the same time period: but had less impact ratings-wise than in the eastern capitals.
** 2020 tracking study results for Melbourne were taken as the significant 2020 VIC COVID-19 lockdown began.

TVQ news findings 30/6-2/7:

30/6: The last day of WIN as a 10 affiliate outside SEQ: with a very sloppily produced piece by 10 themselves in Townsville, concerning lockdown (inc. file vision of Magnetic Island, the worst Skype call quality ever broadcast, from a Magnetic Island local: in lieu of getting a boat and actually shooting a interview. 17min local window at 5pm, local weather at 5:55, with combined Sydney/Brisbane forecast at 6:25.

1/7: First day of SCA taking 10 in QLD (excluding the Gold Coast), and 10 gave the people behind the Townsville piece the previous night the night off, yet a Sydney COVID piece is V/O'd in Queensland.
17min local window at 5pm, local weather at 5:55, combined Sydney/Brisbane forecast at 6:25.

2/7: 17min local window at 5, inc. "live" cross from Townsville. Only three journos working to cover a state of 5.25 million people (where quite a few in regional QLD now get on 10: noodle updates from Hobart)... And, that's before we get to the local weather at 5:55, and combined Sydney/Brisbane forecast at 6:25.

One thing that was missing on all three nights: story variety specific to QLD that wasn't COVID-related and not shared by Sydney viewers: something the real competition at 7/9 threw at all comers, when the masses tuned in at 6pm.

A very pitiful effort by 10.

There is actually a comparison video of Friday 2/7's bulletin. This video effectively shows the state of the current TVQ news bulletin, a Sydney news bulletin with token Brisbane news and weather, where only one major QLD story outside the south-east corner can be covered at a time.

 Comparison video, for Brisbane/Sydney 10 News First bulletin 2/7/2021: (from MackayTV2 on Youtube)

So, join us here, on Kuttsywood's Couch on Tuesday August 17, where two weeks of content survey goodness begins with a hard look at Brisbane's 10 News First bulletin (or should we call it: 10 News First Sydney: Brisbane Edition): airing on Monday, August 16.

Let the countdown begin.

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