February 02, 2011

Sky Atlantic - just TOO exclusive?!!

Interesting couple of facts here: on Feb 1 this blog had a record number of visitors, the majority reaching here by Googling "Virgin Media Sky Atlantic". Over 5000 visitors yesterday alone, more than double the usual traffic and the highest in VMHD's three years. So there's definitely interest in us getting Sky Atlantic - I'm not going to apologise for the continuing coverage on it.
Maybe less impressive are the actual viewing figures for the opening night of the Sky Exclusive. For all the advertising millions spent, posters and column inches devoted to the launch, first night was very much a damp squib, even the debut of Boardwalk Empire barely matching a CSI:NY repeat on Five USA. Here's The Guardian's take on the debut:
With a price tag of $18m, the Martin Scorsese prohibition-set drama is reportedly the most expensive pilot ever made. It was also one of the most hyped. Kicking off Sky's HBO-packed brand new channel, Sky Atlantic – you may have read about it – it debuted with 438,000 viewers between 9pm and 10.30pm.
The Steve Buscemi drama was followed by another US show, Blue Bloods, a cop drama starring the actor once upon a time known as Magnum PI, Tom Selleck, which began with 225,000 viewers at 10.30pm.
Boardwalk Empire just snuck into the top 20 non-terrestrial programmes, ahead of ITV2's The Vampire Diaries, with 431,000 viewers and tied with CSI:NY on Five USA, which also had 438,000 viewers.
The most popular digital show, can you guess what it was yet? – was BBC3's EastEnders, with 767,000 viewers at 10pm.
Bear in mind that the new channel is only available in the homes of Sky's 10 million subscribers – where as the likes of BBC3, ITV2 and Five USA are in more than 90% of the 26 million or so UK TV homes.
Sky Atlantic kicked off with an introductory hour showcasing some of the channel's content, Let the Stories Begin, which averaged 147,000 viewers between 8pm and 9pm.
Maybe it's just too damned exclusive to get the audiences to justify the investment? At least we can hope that those very low audience numbers will give Mr Berkett's negotiators a better hand when negotiating with Sky over Atlantic carriage on cable.


Andy said...

Well for those of us who missed it (not through choice) and want to avoid the moral jungle of downloading, Boardwalk Empire will be on Sky 3 on 13 Feb at 9.00pm. Just don't forget to set those Tivo boxes!

Nialli said...

True, but only the first two episodes as part of Sky's "free weekend pass" to try to lure Freeview's audience to pay TV. Full listings for this taster: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=47544933

baw said...

trust me

those first 2 episodes will kill off any interest in it for the masses.

The pilot simply doesn't justify the hype.

it was OK, but slow meandering and actually really pretty dull.

may be a grower but that remains to be seen.

Andy said...

Didn't realise it was just 2 episodes.........that stinks.