Final debate attracts 1 million viewers

Last night’s 1 NEWS Vote 17 Final Leaders Debate reached 1 million viewers.

Over 40% of New Zealand’s TV viewing audience watched Jacinda Ardern and Bill English lock horns in the final primetime Election debate, moderated by Mike Hosking.

TVNZ has seen record levels of online engagement this Election. There were 127,000 debate streams across a range of TVNZ’s online channels including 1 NEWS NOW, RE:, YouTube and Periscope. 1 NEWS’ interactive online Vote Compass tool is a big hit with 430,000 participants taking part, exceeding 2014 numbers by 100,000.

John Gillespie, TVNZ’s Head of News and Current Affairs says: “The Election appears to be on a bit of a knife-edge and it showed in last night’s intense debate. We’ve seen a huge response as so many viewers turn to 1 NEWS on all platforms. The interest isn’t abating and it feels like the Election could be anyone’s. Saturday’s going to be a massive news day – and we’re looking forward bringing New Zealanders comprehensive coverage as the results come in.”

1 NEWS Vote 17 Final Leaders Debate
Average Daily Reach  1,046,000 (AP5+)
Average Audience  643,000 (AP5+)
Share: 41.8% (AP5+)

Average Daily Reach 387,000 (25-54)
Average Audience  213,000 (25-54)
Share: 34% (25-54)

Source: Nielsen TAM Overnights

The strong audience numbers have eclipsed last Election’s final debate, which reached 819,000 viewers, and had a 602,900 average audience AP5+.

NZSL interpreted Vote 17 Final Leaders Debate will be available OnDemand tomorrow, 22 September, on

1 NEWS Vote 17 Election Night Special: 23 September from 7pm on TVNZ 1 &
The Election night special will be fronted by Seven Sharp’s Mike Hosking with Breakfast’s Hilary Barry, 1 NEWS at Six’s Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie, 1 NEWS political editor Corin Dann and Sunday’s Jehan Casinader. Election night will give viewers their first look at 1 NEWS’ new augmented reality studio set up.

Tagata Pasifika, Q + A & Marae specials: Sunday 24 September from 7.30am on TVNZ 1 &
As the nation wakes up the morning after the Election, Tagata Pasifika, Q + A and Marae will bring viewers up to speed on overnight developments and feature live studio interviews with key players from across the political spectrum.


Making sense of TV ratings:

  • Reach counts everyone who watched the programme for at least one minute – it’s the measure that captures the full scale of the audience.
  • Average audience captures the average audience who watched every minute of the programme.
    Share gives an insight into the audiences’ TV preferences.
  • 5+: numbers capture the total audience watching.
  • 25-54:   the number of viewers aged 25-54 watching. It’s quoted here because 25-54 is TVNZ 1’s target commercial demographic.
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