MEDIA: MEDIA WATCH; The Big Breakfast

Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast is no longer as big as it once was. The programme was a success from the day it launched, largely due to carrot- topped presenter Chris Evans and the in-yer-face style that contrasted with previous breakfast TV formats.

Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast is no longer as big as it once was. The

programme was a success from the day it launched, largely due to carrot-

topped presenter Chris Evans and the in-yer-face style that contrasted

with previous breakfast TV formats.



But Evans is gone (competing through Radio 1’s Breakfast Show) and The

Big Breakfast has seen a steady decline in its audience since 1994.

Channel 4 is currently looking at ways to revamp the show.



The channel’s finest hour was in the first quarter of 1994 when 8.6

million people were regular viewers each week. The show achieved a peak

viewing figure of 1.7 million (see chart).



These figures contrast to those for the first quarter of 1996, with a

6.8 million weekly reach and a 1.1 million viewing figure. ITV’s GMTV

has an average weekly reach of 12.6 million.



The Big Breakfast and its contribution to Channel 4’s commercial impact

delivery cannot be overlooked. In the first quarter of 1994 the

programme accounted for around 14% of Channel 4’s total 16-to-24

commercial impact delivery. For the same three months in 1996 this fell

to 11%. GMTV’s delivery in the same period is just 4% of total ITV.



A future threat to GMTV and The Big Breakfast is Channel 5, launching in

1997. Both will have to guard their audiences and their advertising.



The top brands advertising on breakfast TV in the first quarter of this

year were the expected mix of nappy, cereal and children’s FMCG. On

Channel 4, Huggies Flexi Fit took the top spot with a spend of pounds

127,989. On GMTV, Pampers Premiums spent the most, with pounds 429,827.



Information provided by Young & Rubicam



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