PN radio rebranding fails to inspire as station is eclipsed by Radju Marija in audience ratings

It went from Radio 101 to Net FM but the Nationalist Party radio station does not appear to have improved its audience ratings

Pierre Portelli was entrusted with the running the PN's media but the results so far have been lacklustre
Pierre Portelli was entrusted with the running the PN's media but the results so far have been lacklustre

  • Net FM had an audience share of 4.9% in March
  • Radju Marija had an audience share of 5.2%
  • One Radio had an audience share of 15.8%

A rebranding exercise of the Nationalist Party media does not appear to have yielded bigger audiences with its radio station being eclipsed by Radju Marija.

Net FM had an audience share of 4.9% in March this year, the Broadcasting Authority’s audience survey released today shows.

Radju Marija, a Christian radio run mostly by volunteers, captured an audience share of 5.2%, beating also the church-run RTK that only managed an audience share of 3.7%.

But Net FM’s fortunes have been on a steady decline since July last year when the BA survey found that the PN radio station had an audience share of 6.9%.

An analysis of the surveys carried out by the BA shows that in October 2017 Net FM, then still known as Radio 101, had an audience share of 7.2%.

October 2017 is significant because it was the first BA survey to coincide with the PN’s new leadership.

After Adrian Delia was elected PN leader in September 2017, his campaign ally Pierre Portelli was made chief of the party’s media.

Net FM’s fortunes dipped in February 2018, registering an audience share of 5.3%, which it partially recovered by July that year when the party media started to undergo its rebranding.

The BA survey of July 2018 found that Net FM had an audience share of 6.9% but from then onwards it has been a steady decline.

The PN media has always struggled to increase its audience levels but within the current turmoil facing the party, the latest numbers do not bode well.

Net TV lowest share since October 2017

The PN radio station also trails Radju Marija when the time spent by audiences listening to the station is taken into account.

The BA issues a separate set of statistics that calculates the average listenership based also on the time people spend on the respective stations.

According to the BA, Net FM had an average audience share of 7% in March. Radju Marija’s average share stood at 7.4% and RTK’s at 4.3%.

But it is not just the PN’s radio station that has experienced decline. The party’s television has also been registering dismal audiences.

The March survey released today shows Net TV with an audience share of 7.9%, its lowest result since October 2017.

The PN media came in for some stern criticism by the party’s youth wing in an analysis presented to Secretary General Clyde Puli last week.

PL’s One has audience loyalty

The situation is direr when one considers that the Labour Party’s media outlets are performing much stronger.

One TV had an audience share of 18.4% in March, more than double that of its political rival.

In radio, One had an audience share of 15.8%, placing second after 89.7 Bay, which topped the rankings with 23.8%.

However, the PL’s media outlets have the benefit of more loyal audiences.

The BA findings show that when time spent by audiences is taken into account, One Radio tops the rankings with a share of 24.9%, eclipsing 89.7 Bay.

TVM’s dominance continues

The national broadcaster, TVM had an audience share of 33.4% in March. This drops to 28% when taking into account the time spent by viewers on the station.

TVM2, the channel mostly dedicated to sports, had an audience share of 3.9%.

But while the national station dominates the television scene, its radio stations are individually less successful.

Radju Malta, the flagship radio station, had an audience share of 9.6%, while the music station Magic had a share of 4.9%. Radju Malta 2 trailed with 0.9%.

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