Low rating for German final

by Oliver Rau 80 views

Only 5.6 million Germans watched yesterday's national final Countdown Grand Prix, which equals an audience share of 18,1%. That is dramatically less than last year, when nearly twice as much people saw the contest.

Since 1998, as a massive media campaign surrounded the partipicance of Guildo Horn and raised national interest, the organizing German broadcaster NDR is used to high viewing rates for the national final. In 2000, when TV host Stefan Raab participated and won, 10 million Germans saw the show, an audience share of 43,5%, which is massive in a country with over 30 TV channels available.

After a small backdrop in 2001, when 8 million viewers (36,7%) saw Michelle won, it was back to nearly 10 millions (38,2%) spectators last year, making the Countdown Grand Prix 2002 one of the most watched TV shows of the year.

This year, the final got one of the poorest ratings of the evening, way behind a quiz show on RTL and a thriller on ZDF. Even the Ostseehalle in Kiel, where the event took place, was not sold out like in previous years. It was obvious that the final of Deutschland sucht den Superstar, the German Pop Idols this saturday took a lot of interest away from the Eurovision preselection. Following many comments in the media and on the fan pages, the absence of well-known artists in the national final and the very low media coverage of the event in the last week let the Countdown Grand Prix look uninteresting to many.

Dieter Bohlen, who performed (together with Thomas Anders as Modern Talking) as interval act yesterday, promoting his recent hit single TV makes a Superstar, made a harsh comment today: “The Grand Prix desperately needs a complete lifting. It is characteristic if someone who has not had a hit in 15 years wins with a number that sounds like from 1952!”, he told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Other media reactions affirmed that the Countdown Grand Prix seems to be back on his way to be seen as an obscure, dated show. “There is a high risk that the younger audience will turn away from the Grand Prix now”, an AP article stated today.