Next week the Ten Television network could very snatch a rare ratings win, as Terry Television explains.

Eviction, audition and crime could very well power the Ten
Network to a ratings win nationally and in the key Sydney market next
week.
Certainly victory in Sydney looks assured because of the sheer
quantity of high-rating product that Ten will be broadcasting. Florid
American writers would call this a “Perfect Storm” type situation. Me,
I’d just rather call it Perfect Match revisited.

Certainly
Ten’s successes next week will hurt the still struggling Seven network,
and the industry leader, Kerry Packer’s Nine Network, looks like having
to be content with second place. So what’s the basis for this big call?

Big Brother times two. Australian Idol times two, Law and Order times two. These will outweigh Nine’s final episode of The Block, the return of Renovation Rescue, plus CSI and Without a Trace.

So Sunday night sees the final episode of The Block for an hour and a half, but also the penultimate episode of Big Brother also over an hour and a half, followed by new episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent and NCIS, both very good performers on Sunday night.

The performance of Seven’s The World Around Us part two of a special on Greece and the performance of the ABC will be watched.
But with The Block
not above two million people this year in any episode, recording a
week-winning share as the final did last year with more than three
million viewers, is highly unlikely. Nine counters with 60 Minutes and the repeat of The Wedding Planner. No go Willoughby!

Monday will see Big Brother: Final Eviction over 90 minutes, followed by Queer Eye and then a Law and Order repeat. Ten again.
Tuesday and Wednesday will see the audition episodes of Australian Idol doing well, but Nine will fight back with CSI in double episodes on Tuesday, McLeod’s Daughters and CSI Miami.

Nine could win, But Seven’s revamped Blue Heelers and All Saints
on Tuesday and Wednesday will bear watching, especially Heelers which
zoomed in its first national broadcast of a revamped look this week.

Thursday could very well be another Ten win with the Double episodes of Law and Order Special Victims Unit.
That’s what happened last Thursday night. Friday night could be Nine’s
because of the football, but Ten could also do well enough because of
its AFL broadcasts and the fact that the ABC and Seven do well on
Saturday nights.

The Bill attracts good numbers. But on
the last day of July, Australia plays the Springboks in Perth, with the
Seven telecast starting at 7.30 pm. That should help Seven and the ABC
fight it out, denying the night to both Ten and Nine.

And, of
course the Seven News and Today Tonight will continue to harry Nine
nationally, and beat them in Sydney most nights, as they have done this
week, pushing the share of the ratings leader down that little bit more
and allowing Ten to inch a little further ahead.
It could very well
be the first time Ten has won the outright ratings nationally for
sometime. Some have told Terry that it could be the first time since
the halcyon days of the late 80’s when Perfect Match ruled and the Ten news rated extra well.

What
Ten will do however, is to continue to win its key targeted
demographics. The 16-34 and the 25-54 groups. The former is the
demographic group of greatest interest to Ten and its advertisers,
hence the style of programming like Big Brother and Australian Idol.

But
it’s likely next week could see the release of the half year report
from KPMG on the size and share of the TV advertising market. Nine will
win with its market share up to around 40%. Ten is thought to have
moved past Seven to around 31% and Seven will be stuck around 30%.

Certainly Ten boss John McAlpine made no secret that’s what he expected in an interview in last Monday’s Australian Financial Review.
For
Seven, which will be buffeted in the week, the Olympics lie ahead and a
hoped for boost, as well as the launch of a range of new programs, and
the moving of its Sydney news and current affairs operations to the CBD
site in Martin Place.

In terms of the year next week will not
matter all that much. Nine has won the year. But as this week has
shown, its crown is slightly askew nationally and has reached a
worrying angle in Sydney.

It’s holding on because of the strong
performances in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. That’s keeping Nine in
the game, especially Brisbane and Melbourne, where the Seven News and Today Tonight are struggling to repeat their Sydney successes.

The irony is that both cities are considered the boonies by Nine people in Sydney. This year they should be thankful.

Peter Fray

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