It's often been compared to a comedy or soap - but it seems ‘States TV’ isn’t going to rival Coronation Street or EastEnders in terms of viewing figures.
Indeed, chances are that if it were a prime-time show, its drop in viewing figures would probably see it being axed, or at least moved to the late night slot.
An Express Freedom of Information request shows overall ‘views’ for the fortnightly programme have dropped from 1,111 when it started in September 2016 to just 400 last month. That’s a drop of more than 250%.
But, as is often the case, the figures need to be interpreted more thoroughly to get a better indication of what’s really happening.
The total views combines those who watched the sitting live and those who have since watched the ‘catch-up’ or archive service - so you might expect earlier shows to have higher figures since viewers may have gone back to watch it on a number of occasions to check something. Some evidence for this can be seen in the data. 669 people have accessed the archived sitting of 26 September 2016, whilst only 120 viewers have accessed the archived sitting of 14 February 2017.
The highest number of live views in a day – 829 - was for the second sitting since the service began – 27 September 2016. It’s possible that’s because it was still a novelty or that people had only just found out about it, or conceivably because viewers were keen to find out more about amendments to the Draft Medium Term Financial Plan.
To further complicate the process of comparing figures, or possibly in future to aid a more nuanced view, after the first six sittings, the views have been split into morning and afternoon statistics. This shows the most poorly watched session was the afternoon of 16 November - 54 - when the States were discussing the Draft Criminal Justice Young Offenders Law.
Again, though, that’s not the full story. Whilst 111 tuned in for the sitting of the morning of 30 November 2016, the sitting was in two halves. In the first half, only 49 people tuned in for the special sitting to mark the departure of the Lieutenant Governor. Again, it’s possible that’s because people didn’t know about the sitting or, alternatively, that they weren’t interested.
The most ‘watched again’ session with 200 views was the morning sitting of 17 January when the States sitting was dominated by questions.
The contract to live stream the States is for five years and costs around £17,000 a year.
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