August 20

Royal ratings: The Age takes issue


“Flint ratings.

He used  to be Australia's media watchdog, but Professor David Flint isn't much of a tastemaster. The national convener of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy emailed supporters urging them to tune into Channel Eddie's The Queen's Castle last week. But while 1.61 million tuned into Channel Seven's Border Security and Ten's Australian Idol drew a national audience of 1.44 million, just 787,000 Lizzie-lovers watched Nine. Even SBS topped that with Top Gear. And more good news for whoever runs the network, with a Flint suggestion to broadcast Trooping the Colour. "After all," he writes, "German audiences had more than one opportunity to see this, and they live in a republic." Flint pointed out that royal programs rate "very well" and "are probably not expensive to acquire" before giving the Sydney station's phone number. You can watch the The Queen's Castle tonight. Or … not.”

So wrote Daniel Ziffer  in The Age Diary, on 20 August, 2007.  He downplays  the fact that the programme  was a repeat put on at very short notice. And as we noted here on 14 June, 2006, last year’s highest rating programme was of The Queen opening The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The ABC‘s one on the Queen’s portrait was one of their highest rating programmes : see this column, 14 June, 2006.  And the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla rated very well for a time most people were out or in bed: this column, 13 April 2005.

Harold Schmautz, who coordinates the work of the Melbourne based Monarchist Alliance, sent the following letter to The Age:

“Dear Sirs,

I take it from today's comment that you have doubts about David Flint's remarks about the huge success broadcasting "Trooping the Colour" has in Germany. Since 1977 ARD, the German equivalent of the ABC, has been broadcasting live the parade in honour of Her Majesty with great success . Do you think they'd do that if nobody was interested? It is even repeated twice, once just before midnight and the following day on Phönix, der Ereigniskanal (The Event Channel). If you know German, have a look yourself:

What a great pity we Australians have less opportunity to watch the Queen of Australia on TV than the citizens of the German republic. Here's last year's announcement:

But back to The Queen's Castle…only 750,000 viewers…..not bad for a repeat and for a programme available at most good DVD shops!  One wonders if you have ever watched either programme. The Queen's Castle is actually a very interesting documentary about how the royal house is run on a day to day basis. Pity then that the Australian edition  has been cut down from the BBC original! “


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