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Seven Network stands behind struggling 'Home And Away'

AAP logoAAP 9/07/2015 Darren Cartwright
'Home and Away' has struggled to find an audience in 2015. © AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy 'Home and Away' has struggled to find an audience in 2015.

Home And Away's still has a bright future despite shedding more than a 140,000 viewers per episode this year, says the Seven Network.

The long-running soapie has been in a serious ratings decline in 2015, to the point where it's now missing the overnight ratings top 10 more often than ever before.

So far this year, Home And Away's ratings are down more than 14 per cent compared to the first six months of 2014, which translates to about 140,000 fewer viewers per episode.

On Monday it was an unhealthy 16th on OzTAM's overnight ratings with just 750,000 viewers.

It was beaten in its timeslot (7-7.30pm) by the Nine Network's A Current Affair (1.026 million viewers), ABC News (928,000) and Network Ten's chatfest The Project (779,000).

However, a Seven spokeswoman told AAP that the series is performing exceptionally well on digital platforms and the overnight ratings were not the only measure of success.

"The Home and Away overall audience numbers coming from the multi-platform screenings are thrilling," the spokeswoman said.

"Home and Away is an industry leader, igniting digital and social audiences across all forms of media.

"The Home and Away brand continues to drive business development across all divisions of the Network. The sun continues to shine brightly in Summer Bay."

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Not helping Home And Away's cause is that Seven News is lagging well behind its main rival Nine News in Melbourne and Sydney.

But to solely blame the News for the soapie's ratings demise would be misleading and Seven has been contacted for comment as to why Home And Away is slipping.

Maybe one reason is the viewing habits of Gen Y, which the show is predominantly aimed, have changed dramatically in recent times thanks to the launch of streaming services, Netflix, Stan and Presto.

The exact age demographic that Home And Away, which started in 1988, targets are the same people who do not subscribe to appointment viewing.

They prefer to watch shows when they want and don't want to be dictated to by the commercial networks.

Seven though remains upbeat about the show's future given it's popularity on social media websites, the number of viewers catching up on episodes and that it's still the most popular Australian TV drama.

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