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Viceland UK struggling to find audience

Vice’s UK TV channel has got off to a slow start, with some nights during peak viewing time achieving a zero rating audience figure.

Viceland UK, which launched on September 19th exclusively on Sky, has only managed a peak audience of just under 14,000 during 9pm to 11pm in its first two weeks of broadcast. Some nights the slot, in which Viceland, achieved zero live viewers, according to an analysis of Barb data by Enders Analysis.

Enders says the channel’s best result attracting 16- to 34-year-olds, the market at which Vice is targeted, was fewer than 10,000 viewers one night during the first two weeks.

Tom Harrington, an analyst at Enders, said that Viceland UK represented a “lacklustre launch”, following a “similarly underwhelming” debut in the US earlier this year.

“It is surely early days, but despite strong content, the initial results were predictable, considering the challenges,” he said. “The response by Vice, that viewing figures are essentially immaterial to its plans, was expected, but deviated from earlier bullish sentiment.”

Enders said that the channel was always going to struggle due to factors including being so far down the TV electronic programme guide at slot 153 in the general and entertainment listings.

“Vice has paid for a home where browsing footfall is rapidly diminishing, surrounded by neighbours, which tellingly, create no original programming,” continued Harrington. “Added to this is a marketing budget which is seemingly unable to stretch to anything outside the already enraptured Vice-sphere.”

Responding to the research, a Vice spokesperson said: “Judging a new channel on its ratings when it’s just out of the blocks is extremely premature. Looking at Viceland in the US after six months, the average audience age dropped by nearly 20 years, its audience is growing week by week, and our programming is Emmy nominated. In the coming months we expect to mirror the same success here in the UK as well.”

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