ICC Super Series rates well:

Just over 18,000 people turned up in the so-called
sporting capital of Australia to see the cream of world cricket easily
beaten by Australia at Docklands last night. The crowd was limited by
the game being televised live against the gate in Melbourne for the
first time – part of the new deal between Nine and Cricket Australia
designed to allow the Network to charge advertisers more for the
Melbourne market by broadcasting all games played in the city.

So in terms of the TV audience, how did it go? Not bad. An average
audience of 1.481 million for the evening session, with 481,000
watching in Melbourne. Sydney wasn’t so hot, just 416,000 people on
average. The first session, which saw the Australians bat modestly, was
watched by an average 729,000 people, including 206,000 in Sydney and
239,000 in Melbourne.

So in terms of building a TV audience for the game
and its principal sponsor, Johnnie Walker, it worked, with a good
audience here and a broadcast into cricketing countries like India, Pakistan, Britain and South
Africa.

Last night’s TV
ratings:

The Winners

Well, a narrow win to Nine over Seven, thanks to the cricket, but
it didn’t do well enough in Sydney where Seven won surprisingly well. House, the Ten medical program, was
the best performed program with 1.623 million viewers. Home and Away at 7pm was the second most
watched program with 1.542 million as kids and tweenies forced older viewers to
wait until 7.30pm to switch to the cricket. Australian Princess
debuted for Ten with 1.11 million people and with House helped the Network
win the 18 to 39 demographic and attract female viewers. Forensic Investigators had its
biggest audience so far this season with 1.221 million people.
The Losers

No real losers: Beyond Tomorrow with 1.352 million was
strong for Seven despite the cricket, Blue Heelers continued to struggle with 1.114 million. The ABC saw the return of Kath and Kim
in repeat with 980,000 people, while 973,000 watched Spicks and Specks. And the debut
of Merrick and Rosso on Ten gathered a solid 859,000. That wasn’t bad for the
Nine Network cast-offs.

News & CA

The cricket helped boost Nine News to a win over Seven
nationally, but Today Tonight beat A Current Affair. In Sydney, Seven News won easily: 371,000 to
335,000 people and Today Tonight was a bigger winner in Sydney, 419,000 to 330,000.
The Stats

Nine won 29.4% to 29.1% for Seven, Ten on 22.9%, the ABC
on 13.9% and SBS on 4.7%. Seven won Sydney; 30.3% to 27.8%, Nine won Melbourne;
30.7% to 27.7%. Nine also won Brisbane and Adelaide, while Seven won Perth.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments

Well, cricket certainly worked for Nine, but they will be puzzling over
the performance in Sydney where once again viewing levels (compared to
Melbourne) were down sharply. It might be the weather, pay TV or
lifestyle, but advertisers who are paying big bucks in Sydney are being
taken for a ride compared to what they pay in Melbourne. Tonight no
football shows so it’s plain, vanilla programming. Will medicine and
food on Nine beat drama with a touch of fantasy on Seven?

Peter Fray

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