Eddie’s Millionaire card trumped by everyone

Eddie McGuire is normally not stumped for words, but he’s played this
hand badly. You would have thought a bloke with his media savvy would
have squeezed the first winner of the million dollar prize on Who Wants to be A Millionaire?
(tonight at 8.30 pm) for all it’s worth. Instead, he’s been scooped by
radio, newspapers and Crikey to varying degrees in the past month, with
the latest article by Ross Warneke in The Age this morning.

The
way in which this great event for Eddie and Nine has been allowed to
leak into the public arena, deflating the impact of the Nine publicity
machine, is also a sign of just how much clout the Packer-owned Network
has lost this year.

It seems to suggest there’s no-one in Nine
publicity or management at GTV 9 who could have enforced a black-out or
argued strongly with rival media to try and protect Millionaire‘s
winner and the associated publicity and ratings boost. This at a time
when Eddie needs a ratings boost after seeing his audience bled by the
Seven Network mega hit Desperate Housewives in the 8.30pm timeslot on Mondays.

So far this year Millionaire has
averaged 1.289 million viewers in that 8.30pm time slot. Respectable,
but down on the 1.505 million in 2004 (when signs of viewer tiredness
emerged, especially late in the year) and the peak since the program
started of 1.690 million in 2002.

Despite what Nine might think, this is a PR nightmare.

Nine wins week 34

Seven
had led the week by half a point up until prime time on Saturday but another poor
night cost it the week, as Nine snuck home on the back of Funniest Home Videos and the News,
plus strong figures for the first Tri-Nations
Rugby League Test in
Sydney and Brisbane.

Nine
won Saturday night 36.0% to 22.1%, followed by
18.6% for Ten, the same for the ABC and 4.7% for SBS. That saw Nine win the week with a share of 29.2% to 28.0% for
Seven, 21.5% for Ten, 16.0% for the ABC and 5.4% for SBS. Nine won Sydney,
Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide but
lost Perth to
Seven.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Nine won but Seven had its best Sunday night for months thanks
to its version of celebrating 50 years of TV and Ten’s Idol had another good Sunday
night. Nine News was the most watched with 1.661
million, then 60 Minutes (1.529 million), Idol (1.484 million), the return of Celebrity Makeover on Nine (1.421 million), then Seven
News (1.411 million). Nine’s new ep of CSI was watched by 1.352 million, but its
new series, The Closer, faded badly with an average audience of
937,000. Seven’s half program, the “Naughtiest Bits” of 50 years of TV was watched by 1.331 million for 20 minutes.
The longer program (from 7.30pm to 9.30pm), Five Decades of Laughs and
Legends
was watched by 1.263 million.
The Losers

Hmmm, Australia’s Brainiest Kid continues to fade on
Ten, down to 887,000 and looking weak. Law and Order: Criminal Intent also struggled at
9pm with 948,000. That was a new episode and viewers aren’t as gripped as they once were.

News & CA Sunday night and it was Nine News as usual. ABC News had a high 1.206 million and Seven News also did well.
Earlier, Sunday had a high 375,000 viewers (gloomy weather in Sydney
helps) and Business Sunday had its highest audience for some months,
averaging 206,000. Seven’s Weekend Sunrise was watched by an average 308,000.
But audiences for The Insiders fell to only 107,000 from 9am to 9.45am and
that saw Inside Business (9.45am to 10.15am) watched by 97,000. Meet the Press
was watched by 73,000 people.
The Stats Nine won 29.4% to 26.2% for Seven, 23.2% for Ten, 17.1%
for the ABC and 4.0% for the SBS. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide
and Seven won Perth.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments
The Test cricket easily accounted for the Moto GP and the last
F1 GP, both on Ten. The cricket was watched by an average 800,000
people on Nine, while the bikes averaged 334,000 and the F1, 498,000.
Tonight
interest will be on Eddie’s Millionaire winner and how well it does. And how will the verdict episode of Idol go? Well down on last night
looks to be the answer judging by its performance in recent
weeks.