The Seven West Media Ltd (ASX: SWM) share price is heading for the top of the podium. With most of Australia in or recently out of lockdown, ratings for the Tokyo Olympics are through the roof.
By the close of trade, shares in the diversified media company were selling for 49.5 cents each – up 5.32%. The ASX All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is 1.19% higher for context.
Let’s take a closer look at today’s news.
And the winner is…Channel 7!
A recent article in industry publication TV Tonight says Network 7 has captured a 50% market share during the first weeks of the Olympics. In fact, compared to the last Olympics in 2016, Seven’s audience is up across the 5 major metro markets by a whopping 59%.
It’s not just Olympic events that are doing well for Seven. Audience figures for the evening quiz show ‘The Chase’, is averaging 742,000. Breakfast news show ‘Sunrise’ is dominating during weekdays and on weekends too.
The Australian reports the glow of the Olympics is spilling over into Seven’s digital platforms. A recent article says streaming figures for the quadrennial event are the “largest in Australia’s history”.
Seven West Media chief digital officer, Gereurd Roberts, said
If we compare this to the previous biggest day in Australian streaming history, that was in July (State of Origin, game three) and that was 86 million minutes and we delivered 363 million minutes last Sunday (July 25).
The biggest day for the Rio Olympics was 36 million minutes.
It’s absolutely surpassed everyone’s expectations from a 7plus and a streaming perspective, after just a week.
These astronomical figures may be piquing the interest of investors judging by the rise in the Seven West share price.
So why are ratings (and the Seven West share price) up?
There are two factors that go some way in possibly explaining why Seven’s audience figures are surpassing even the last Olympics.
The first is lockdown.
Most of the country is either in, or has recently come out of, stay-at-home orders. The largest metro market, Sydney, is in the middle of a 9-week lockdown that may be extended even further. With people at home avoiding coronavirus and with nothing else to do, the Olympics are a very enticing proposition.
Roberts concedes as much to The Australian.
Clearly what’s happened in terms of lockdowns … absolutely that’s something that’s helped with numbers and viewership and that makes this Olympics even more important to deliver.
The second reason? Australia is winning a lot of gold medals.
Currently, Australia is coming fourth on the Olympics medal tally with 14 gold, 3 silver, and 14 bronze medallions. 5 years ago, Australia finished tenth in the rankings with only 8 gold, 11 silver, and 10 bronze. Viewers may want to bask in the radiance of Australia’s winning ways.
Seven West share price snapshot
Over the past 12 months, the Seven West share price has increased 395%. Year-to-date it is up 37.5%.
The 52-week high is 59 cents per share and the low is 9.9 cents a share.
Seven West Media has a market capitalisation of around $723 million.