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Will dire ratings mean a new dawn for Today Tonight?

The continuing collapse in Today Tonight’s ratings, especially in Melbourne, is bringing closer the very taxing decision for the network of whether to replace host Matt White.

The Glenn Dyer breakdown: Nine edged Seven in a close night which saw Seven’s line-up fade a little at 7.30pm and 8pm. Beauty and The Geek Australia was the standout performer last night.

It perked up considerably, adding more than 310,000 viewers from last week to jump past the million viewer mark in metro markets (712,000 last week) with 1.026 million from 8.30 to 9.30pm. It had more than 1.5 million national viewers.

Despite the small loss to Nine on “All People”, Seven won the major demos thanks in part to the stronger performance by Beauty and The Geek Australia and the extra 300,000 or more viewers for the hour from 8.30pm.

Without that performance, Seven would have been a lot weaker last night. Poor bedazzled Brynne at 7.30pm another (smaller) fall in her ratings: last night’s 644,000 metro audience (945,000 nationally) was just under the 681,000 for the week before.

The final How I Met Your Mother of the new series did sort of OK at 8pm on Seven, averaging 715,000 metro viewers (and 1.025 million nationally). While that was ahead of Ten’s Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals, it was behind Big Brother Confidential on Nine with 783,000 metro viewers (but just ahead of BBC’s 1.023 million national viewers).

Catalyst on ABC1 at 8 pm with 751,000 viewers in metro markets and a very tasty 1.2 million nationally won the pm slot, with its content skewing heavily to people 55 years of age and over.

Ten did OK, the Jamie Oliver 15 Minute Meals from 7.30 to 8.30pm averaged 583,000 and 614,000 respectively at 7.30 and 8pm. Nationally it had 780,000 and 840,000 viewers.

Law and Order: SVU at 8.30pm averaged 681,000 metro and (938,000 national viewers, third nationally, 4th in metro markets). That behind Beauty and The Geek on Seven, Redfern Now (721,000 metro and 1.08 million national viewers) on ABC1 and AFP on Nine (702,000 metro and 914,000 nationally, which was fourth in the slot).

Redfern Now justified the pre-screening hype. Like The Slap in 2011, it’s a fine way to end the year. It did slightly better in Melbourne (211,000) than in Sydney (206,000) where it is set. It did best of all in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth where it beat AFP and Law and Order and was a clear second behind the lightweight Beauty and The Geek over on Seven.

Tonight: A week to the sound of willow on leather. Better Homes and Gardens on Seven. New Tricks on ABC1, The Living Room on Ten and Big Brother on Nine.

Saturday: Kingdom for the desperate on ABC1 after another desperado favourite: a repeat of Doc Martin. Inspector Morse labours on on 7TWO at 7.45pm. Movies on Seven and Nine, plus a hodge podge of wildlife and vet stuff on Ten. Boardwalk Empire on SBS ONE (the second of two episodes if the final). Don’t mention Sandy.

Sunday: Morning chats on ABC1, Ten, Nine and Seven. Landline at Noon. Sunday Night on Seven, Border Security and Bones. Nine has Big Brother (its final four nights of fun and trying to spark viewer interest), 60 Minutes and House Husbands (season final as well).

Ten has its super line up, will anyone notice anything apart from the excellent Modern Family? ABC1 has a telemovie on Dr Bertram Wainer and the Victorian abortion scandal from the late 1960s and early 1970s. It looks a bit like the old Homicide (William McInnes does look like Leonard Teal), but the subject is very serious. Wainer wrote a book called It Isn’t Nice, and the police corruption wasn’t. Looking back at other Victorian police corruption scandals, you’d be entitled to ask at times, what’s really changed.

Ratings comment: The continuing collapse in Today Tonight’s ratings, especially in Melbourne (which is a disaster zone for Seven News and much of the rest of the prime time schedule on many nights), is bringing closer the very taxing decision for the network of whether to replace TT host Matt White.

But TT is also a bit weaker in Sydney and Brisbane, while the gap in Perth (TT’s strongest market), has been narrowing a bit in favour of ACA for some of this year. Seven News lost Melbourne by 136,000 viewers last night, TT lost to ACA by 147,000.

The problem starts at 6pm, but TT isn’t winning over viewers. It is especially weak in regional markets as well where ACA is a clear winner. Seven’s problems in Melbourne are management generated: they hired Simon Pristel and then signed off on the changes he is making to the 6pm News. Will they wear the blame if change is forced on the network?

Seven’s other headache, the 6pm news in Sydney, seems to be steadying after losing the year to Nine weeks ago. Host Chris Bath is probably safer there than Matt White is at TT, but Seven really has to shake up Melbourne, before moving White.

Seven’s situation in Melbourne is becoming more threatening. We are now in that period of the year when TV networks are looking at the new year and can see how the ratings have gone. As we have seen with some recent changes at Nine, the looming expiration of contracts also help change happen among personnel. If Seven loses the V8 Supercars, will Matt White (who calls those races) also go with it, as he moved to Seven from Ten?

The top 10 national programs (metro & regional combined, including Tasmania and regional WA):

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.581 million.
  2. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.535 million.
  3. Nine News (6pm)  — 1.508 million.
  4. Beauty and The Geek (Seven) — 1.502 million.
  5. ABC News (7pm) — 1.410 million.
  6. 7.30 (ABC 1) — 1.380 million.
  7. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.299 million.
  8. Big Brother (Nine) — 1.217 million.
  9. Catalyst (ABC 1) — 1.212 million.
  10. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.116 million.

The Metro Winners: A week ago we only had one metro program with a million or more viewers, last night there were four.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.046 million.
  2. Nine  News (6pm) — 1.027 million.
  3. Beauty and The Geek Australia (Seven, 8.30 - 9.30 pm) —  1.026 million.
  4. A Current Affair (Nine, 6.30pm) — 1.017 million.

The Losers: Seven.Metro News & CA: Nine News won Melbourne heavily, lost the rest. ACA easily bested TT in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and won nationally by a mile or three.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.046 million.
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.027 million.
  3. A Current Affair (Nine, 6.30 pm) — 1.017 million.
  4. Today Tonight (Seven, 6.30pm) — 897,000.
  5. 7.30 (ABC 1, 7.30pm) — 878,000.
  6. Ten News  (5 pm) — 643,000.
  7. The Project (Ten, 6.30pm) — 490,000.
  8. The Project (Ten, 6pm) — 390,000.
  9. Ten Late News (10.30pm) — 225,000.
  10. Lateline (ABC 1, 10.25pm) — 203,000.
  11. SBS News (6.30pm) — 173,000.
  12. The Business (ABC1, 11pm, rpt) — 131,000.
  13. SBS Late News (SBS ONE, 10.30pm) — 77,000.
  14. The Drum (ABC1, 10pm, rpt) — 48,000.

In the morning: A better morning for Seven, with Sunrise widening its lead over Today and The Morning Show reversing Wednesday’s loss to Nine’s Mornings with a big winning margin.

  1. Sunrise (Seven, 7am) —  395,000.
  2. Today (Nine, 7am) — 333,000.
  3. The Morning Show (Seven, 9am) — 164,000.
  4. Mornings (Nine, 9am) — 110,000.
  5. News Breakfast (ABC1, 7am) — 52,000 + 37,000 on News 24.
  6. Breakfast (Ten, 7am) — 41,000

Metro FTA: Nine (three channels) won with a share of 28.7%, from Seven (three) on 26.1%, Ten (three) was third with 21.1%, the ABC (four) was fourth with 19.3% and SBS (two) was on 4.8%. Seven leads the week with 29.7% from Nine on 27.0%, the ABC is on 19.1% and Ten is close on 18.9%.

Main Channels: Nine won with 20.2% from Seven on 19.9%, Ten and ABC1 tied with 14.2% and SBS ONE was on 4.4%. Seven leads the week with 22.3% from Nine on 19.9%, ABC1 on 14.6% and Ten on 12.9%.

Metro Digital: GO won easily with a share of 5.5%, from Eleven on 4.0%, 7mate on 3.5%, Gem on 3.0%, ONE on 2.9%, ABC2 on 2.8%, 7TWO on 2.7%, News 24, 1.2%, ABC 3, 1.1% and SBS TWO, 0.4%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share last night of 27.6%. GO now leads the week with 4.2% from 7TWO on 3.8% and 7mate on 3.6%.

Metro including pay TV: Nine (three channels) won with a share of 23.5%, from Seven (three) on 21.4%, Ten (three) was third with 17.3%, the ABC (four) was fourth with 15.8% and SBS (two) was on 3.9%. The 15 FTA channels had a total viewing share last night of 84.1% with the five main channels share on 62.1% and the 10 digital channels’ share totalling 22.0%.

The 200 plus channels on Foxtel gave pay TV its highest share of the week so far with 15.9% in prime time last night.

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. TV1, LifeStyle, Fox 8 — 2.7%.
  2. A&E — 1.8%.
  3. Sky News — 1.7%.
  4. Fox Classics — 1.6%.
  5. Crime & Investigation, Disney, Nick Jr, LifeStyle Food — 1.4%.

The five most-watched programs on pay TV were:

  1. Grand Designs Australia (LifeStyle) — 123,000.
  2. The Simpsons (Fox 8 ) — 62,000.
  3. Selling Houses Australia (LifeStyle) — 62,000.
  4. Pawn Stars (A&E) — 58,000.
  5. Territory Cops (Crime & Investigation) — 56,000.

Regional: Prime/7Qld (three channels) won with a share of 29.6%, from WIN/NBN (three) on 27.1%, SC Ten (three) was third with 19.7%, the ABC (four) was fourth with 18.7% and SBS (two) was on 4.8%. The main channels were won by Prime/7Qld with 19.3% from WIN/NBN on 17.5%, ABC1 was on 13.8% and SC Ten was still in fourth on 11.8%.

The digitals were won by GO with 6.1%, from 7mate on 5.9% and 7TWO with 4.9%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share last bight of  33.3%. Prime/7Qld still leads the week with 33.4% from WIN/NBN on 26.1%, the ABC on 18.6% and Ten on 17.2%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets (including Tasmania and regional WA) were:

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 542,000.
  2. ACA — 518,000.
  3. 7.30 — 512,000.
  4. Nine News (6pm) — 480,000.
  5. Beauty and The Geek Australia — 474,000.

Major Metro Markets: Another mixed night, with Nine especially strong in Melbourne. Seven won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth overall. It tied Sydney in the main channels and won Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane overall and in the main channels. Ten was third in Melbourne and Adelaide (overall and the main channels).

In Sydney the ABC/ABC1 were third in both. In Brisbane, ABC1 was third in the main channels, and it was second in Perth with Nine third. Ten was second overall in Perth, but 4th in the main channels. GO won the digitals everywhere bar Perth which was won by a strong Eleven. Seven leads Nine and the ABC in Sydney, in Brisbane and Adelaide its Seven from Nine and Ten, and in Perth its Seven from the ABC in Nine. Nine leads in Melbourne.

(All shares on the basis of combined overnight 6pm to midnight All People)

Source: Oztam, TV Networks data

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    Edward James
    Posted Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Crikey. I have scrolled through most of the stats above. Can anyone tell me why anyone apart from people living in the past would pay for these strange surveys? I have several hard drives where I record in twelve hour blocks any channel I may want to watch later, while skipping through those dreadfully intrusive often obnoxious blocks of paid advertisements. Are advertisers absolutely nuts? Don’t they fast forward through their own increasingly intrusive ads? Fair dinkum! Or perhaps CRIKEY!!! if any of us can recall when it meant something very different? Edward James

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