Covering Bali

In my round-up of Sunday programs yesterday, and how they handled the Bali coverage, I forgot to mention Meet The Press on Ten which had the Federal Opposition leader, Kim Beazley on
Sunday morning, as well as coverage of the Bali
bombings.

But
like the ABC, its efforts went unnoticed by viewers. Its audience
averaged 83,000 from 8.30am to 9am, which is around what the program normally
gets. It was swamped by the higher numbers watching Business Sunday and Weekend
Sunrise
. But it
was on the spot and live.

Ray’s theory doesn’t wash
On the
Sunday night profile interview program on ABC local radio in May, A Current Affair host Ray Martin justified the lack of
interviews with politicians like Prime Minister John Howard in the following
terms:

“I can bring on the Prime
Minister as Kerry O’Brien had him on Monday night and I can see 100,000 people
turn off in Sydney in the space at the moment he comes on.
Not just John Howard, but Paul Keating beforehand. So the fact of the matter is
that maybe Australians are not as interested in Australian politics as you and I
are. That is The 7.30 Report.”

Well, on
Monday night there was no Ray Martin, he was replaced by Tracy Grimshaw. But
around 6.40pm, up popped Prime Minister John Howard, talking about the latest
bombings in Bali, and guess what, no turn-off.
Viewing
levels hardly budged while the PM was on. Nothing remotely like 100,000 people
turned off. In
fact, in Sydney, ACA beat its tormentor, Seven’s Today
Tonight
by 44,000, but lost in Melbourne by 31,000. The
issue was important in the Bali bombing reactions: so perhaps there’s a message in there
for ACA and TT.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners
Seven. No post NRL grand final glow for Nine, as Home and
Away
, Today Tonight and Seven News, not to mention Grey’s Anatomy, did the job for Seven. Nine battled all night as did Ten. There was some impact from
school holidays with viewing levels down a touch, although not for Home and Away, which was No.1 with 1.567 million (260,000 or so ahead of Temptation).
The Losers

Nine’s failed series, The Alice, was last in the 7.30pm slot
in its final outing in prime time, a measure of how badly a good idea was
ruined by a network that is still uncertain about drama, despite years of
trying. It was beaten by Australian Idol, The Great Outdoors, Mythbusters and the 7.30 Report. Seven’s 24, now fading as the clock runs down, was well beaten by a repeat of Nine’s Cold Case.

News & CA Seven News and Today Tonight won nationally, due mainly to their usual big margins in Perth. Elsewhere it was much closer. Seven News
won Sydney, while Nine won Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Today
Tonight
was beaten by A Current Affair in Sydney and Brisbane, but won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The ABC 7pm News had an average 1.073 million
viewers, while Four Corners and Media Watch had
average-sized audiences, 753,000 and 758,000 respectively. The absence of Enough
Rope
puts a dent in the ABC’s late night performance on
Monday nights now.
The Stats Seven, 28.3% to Nine with 26.6%, Ten with 22.1%, the ABC
with 14.8% and SBS with 8.2%. Seven and Nine drew in Sydney, Nine won Melbourne by
0.5%, Seven won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments
Footy’s gone for the year and cricket starts Wednesday for
Nine but tonight will be Seven’s with Dancing With The Stars.

Peter Fray

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