There’s
no doubting the attraction of Harry Potter: in books in the cinema and on our TV
screens, especially to the Nine Network and its owners, PBL.

The
Nine Network likes him because he’s enabled it to finish the week with a
flourish and a win, and of course, end this most difficult of ratings years win
a victory.

It was
a year when Nine’s audience share fell to its lowest level, but last night it
was the Nine of old, winning the final night of ratings easily and the final
week.

PBL likes Harry
because the third movie in the series opens in Australia on
Thursday and will be the last chance for the company to halt the slide in the
value of its 50% in the struggling Hoyts cinema
chain.

Hoyts is doing it tough, like the
rest of the cinema business as DVDs, the internet and a shortage of genuinely
interesting movies keep patrons away.

The M rating on
the latest movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, will curtail some people
from going with their young children, which is not going to help Hoyts and its competitors.

But at Nine, the previous movie in the series, Harry Potter and
the Chamber of Secrets
attracted 1.474 million viewers for its free to
air premiere in Australia on Saturday
night.

That
wasn’t all that many more for the repeat of the first Harry Potter movie the
Saturday night before (1.393 million for the Philosopher’s
Stone
).

But
whatever, it certainly helped Nine which won the night
with a 38.5% share to 25.4% for Seven, 18.2% for Ten, 13.5% for the ABC and 4.5%
for SBS.

Nine
won everywhere on the night, even Perth.

Over
the week Nine won with a share of 31.2% to 26.6% for
Seven, 22.9% for Ten, 14.1% for the ABC and 5.1% for SBS.

Nine
won four of the five major metro markets: it was second to Seven in Perth.

Besides
Harry Potter, Nine News did well with the lead-in of the second day of the third
test against the Windies from Adelaide. It finally pushed
Nine News past Seven in Sydney as well.

Funniest Home Videos lost its end of season finale
timeslot at 6.30 to 7.30 pm timeslot to the Seven
network’s Airbus special, a program as tacky as the This is Your Life Qantas
special next Thursday on Nine.