Aussies turn to comic cat videos for comfort

UK LOL compilation show beats all others, bar the news

Internet cat videos really are conquering the world, or at the very least have started doing so in Australia, a nation now stripped of all sporting prowess, where the UK's Channel 5 production Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud has topped the nation's free-to-air TV ratings.

First screened in the UK in January 2015, the show is billed as a “compilation of the most hilarious and outrageous cat-themed videos on the internet”.

Channel 7, the Australian station that aired the show, was ridiculed for the desperate last-minute decision that cats should replace a reality show that tanked almost instantly. "Restaurant Revolution" died so fast its posters can still be seen at bus stops.

Rival stations feeling smug at having knocked off a rival's expensively produced show had the smiles wiped from their faces when the ratings landed.

They showed that the cats had pulled in 917,000 viewers across Australia's five most populous cities, where those 917,000 people decided that having YouTube curated for them was their best evening entertainment option, other than the news.

Total audience was probably closer to the 1.1 million mark, once viewers beyond the big cities are added to the total, or about one in 22 Australians.

That's great news for Channel 7, but probably bad news for the rest of us: who'll bother investing in the next Game of Thrones or House of Cards when the secret to high ratings is recycled cat vids? ®

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