Reality pips mine drama
IN A resource-rich area like Mackay, a TV movie about the 2006 Beaconsfield mine collapse ought to score high ratings.
And it did - but not as high as reality TV sensation The Voice.
Viewing statistics for the shows, which both aired on the WIN Network on Sunday night, show The Voice out rated Beaconsfield 25,699 viewers to 24,701 on average in the Mackay region.
At peak viewing points the gap closed slightly, with The Voice scoring a maximum 35,566 viewers while Beaconsfield recorded 34,937.
Ratings for The Voice mirrored the increase in popularity of reality TV performance shows, with the Seven Network's rival program, Australia's Got Talent, netting 1.227 million viewers Australia wide last Monday.
The Mackay ratings area includes the coalfield towns of Moranbah, Dysart and Middlemount.
WIN Network general manager for Queensland and New South Wales Andrew Vautier said it was difficult to determine if Mackay's proximity to major mining operations influenced how many people watched Beaconsfield.
"It's always a hard one to answer... but there was some synergy there," Mr Vautier said.
"Beaconsfield peaked at over 80% in Launceston, but that was expected in Tasmania."
Mr Vautier said WIN's viewing numbers for the Mackay region during the two shows were the highest for a Sunday night all year.
"It was extraordinary," he said.
Despite locally high ratings, Mackay's large resource based workforce may have actually limited the amount of people able to watch Beaconsfield.
Jeff Smith, who works in the mining industry, said he would have watched Beaconsfield if he had not been on nightshift.
"We'll just watch it when it comes out on video," Mr Smith said.
Mr Vautier said although Mackay's ratings for Beaconsfield were strong, they were fairly consistent with the rest of the country.
"In most areas we had well over 50%... in Mackay we had 57.1%, which is up there but not much more than average," Mr Vautier said.
"Across Queensland overall we had an average of 55%, southern New South Wales had 56% and Tasmania had 70.8%."
Ratings Source: Regional TAM & OZTAM, Overnight Data, Total People, Sunday 22/04/2012, Based on actual telecast times.