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