Dis' 'Musical' breaks Aussie rating records

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SYDNEY -- Disney's "High School Musical 2" broke broadcasting records in Australia on Saturday, airing to the highest number of viewers ever for a movie on pay TV here.

The Disney Channel Australia premiere had an average of audience of 313,976 viewers, and a 55.4% share of kids ages five to 15 years, also making it the highest-rated kids program to air on pay TV here. It was the top-rated program on pay TV last week and propelled Disney Channel to its highest-rated day ever with total viewers, according to OZTAM ratings figures released by Disney on Monday.

The figures represented a 134% increase over those earned by the first "High School Musical" broadcast on Disney Channel Australia in 2006.

Said Michael Cairns, managing director of Walt Disney Television International (Australia/New Zealand): "The sequel's fabulous ratings performance in Australia reflects just how much kids and families love the stories and characters of 'High School Musical.' The continued global success of 'High School Musical 2' is something we're extremely proud to be a part of."

Disney Channel in Australia is available to about 26% of Australia's 7 million TV homes.

The hit TV movie will get a free-to-air outing here in December on the Seven Network. "High School Musical" was one of the top-rated movies on TV overall last year when it aired to 1.23 million viewers on Seven.

"HSM2" also aired in the U.K., where it enjoyed four transmissions (two on Disney Channel and two on Disney Channel +1) resulting in a record breaking 1.74 million viewers tuning in, 1 million of whom were kids 4-15. The premiere pushed up Disney Channel U.K.'s audience day share to 19.8% -- its best-ever audience day share among kids across multichannel homes.
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