Universal study puts TFI in naff TV category

TFI Friday, the flagship Channel 4 youth series, is regarded as ’naff TV’, according to new qualitative research carried out for Universal McCann.

TFI Friday, the flagship Channel 4 youth series, is regarded as

’naff TV’, according to new qualitative research carried out for

Universal McCann.



The verdict comes as the late showing of the Chris Evans-fronted

programme recorded its lowest ever ratings, 17 per cent down on

1996.



Universal McCann’s Cognito research revealed that consumer groups

segmented TFI Friday alongside ’naff’ shows such as Blind Date and

Noel’s House Party, which they deemed as passive, ’get your ironing

done’ viewing.



The disenchantment that the qualitative groups felt with Chris Evans is

evident from comments such as ’the show has just become a vehicle for

his ego’ and it’s ’the same old stuff he was doing two years ago’.



At the same time, qualitative statements - such as ’my dad watches it’ -

are reflected by a rise in the audience’s age: while 63 per cent of

viewers were aged 16 to 34 years in 1996, only 58 per cent now fall into

the same category.



Fiona Smedley, joint managing director of Universal McCann, said that

although TFI Friday is still a strong part of Channel 4’s youth

schedule, its popularity is waning. ’In the same way that Blind Date

went from ’must see’ to ’naff’, TFI has gone through that curve. But

shows move through the pattern much faster than they used to,’ she

commented.



Ratings also indicate a competitive threat from BBC2, where The Simpsons

is drawing viewers from Channel 4. During the early evening TFI Friday

show, BBC2 has more than doubled its 16- to 34-year-old share of viewing

year on year to 37 per cent, while Channel 4’s share dropped from 26 per

cent to 17 per cent (BARB).



Universal McCann handles media planning and buying for BSkyB.



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