Opening ceremony kills in Melbourne.
Good
numbers but not a killer outing, except in Melbourne: which is how the rest of
Australia has viewed the 2006 Commonwealth Games all along.

The
opening ceremony averaged 3.475 million people from 8.30pm to around
10.45pm; the countdown program averaged 2.278 million from 7.30 to 8.30pm,
about what Dancing With the Stars averaged (a touch more actually) on Tuesday. The use
of Michael Leunig inspired cartoon ideas (the boy and
the duck?) as part of the central theme was too Melbourne for most of the viewers. Not many
people in Brisbane and Adelaide or
London, Mumbai or the western suburbs
of Sydney, would
have understood what that was about. You
could say that much of the opening ceremony was designed for readers of The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald where Leunig cartoons are popular.

The
Nine commentary team wasn’t objectionable. Ray Martin gushed, but was
restrained, Liz Hayes was her breathless self, a bit like her 60 Minutes pieces
to camera but Nicole Livingstone stood out. She is
improving rapidly: she’s a great caller of the swimming, especially with her
technical knowledge, and she did well last night. Nine
should have considered using her more prominently than just on the swimming:
she’d make a better host than either Gary Lyon or James Brayshaw on the morning shift. For
Nine and its multi-million dollar plunge back into Games broadcasting, it wasn’t
a bad result, but not as national as it would have liked. The
highest share was in Melbourne with 65.5%, the
lowest in Perth with 32.1% (because the broadcast
actually started at 4.30pm). In
Sydney the Games
opening audience averaged 888,000. Melbourne’s audience was 1.5
million. Brisbane, 531,000. Adelaide, 316,000. And Perth, 237,000.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Well, Wednesday night and the Commonwealth Games opening
dominated events, as expected, so what else happened? Any winners elsewhere?
Well, yes, Nine took a pounding in the early evening, thanks in part to the
early start of the live Games coverage in Brisbane and Adelaide (Perth didn’t
really matter, the performance of the Nine News and A Current Affair there did
not help Nine at all). With ACA pre-empted in Brisbane and Perth, Today Tonight
did well with 1.463 million, Seven News with 1.358 million, narrowly ahead of
Nine News with 1.348 million, the closest finish on a week night for some weeks.
The Biggest Loser on Seven with 1.215 million beat Home and Away on Seven with
1.173 million. A repeat of House on Ten attracted 1.029 million. The ABC’s New
Inventors
(652,000), Spicks and Specks (707,000), Little Britain (765,000) and
The Glass House (669,000) were all affected but, along with Ten, provided a
viewing alternative to the Games opening.
The Losers Losers? Well, Bert’s Family Feud picked up to 520,000,
but Deal or No Deal was ahead with 798,000, down a touch on recent levels.
Temptation with 961,000 was a bomb, given the Games-related competition and
heavy promotion. It desperately needs some sort of tarting up over the Games
break. Strangely, while ACA at 6.30pm was pre-empted in Brisbane and Perth ,
Temptation wasn’t .
News & CA Nine News came close, because of a boost in Perth, due
to the Games. But in all honesty it should have done better with all the buzz
about the Games. Seven News won in Sydney and the two news broadcasts tied in
Melbourne with 420,000 viewers each. Nine News was a big winner in Brisbane ,
but lost Adelaide. Today Tonight beat ACA in Sydney and Melbourne. The ABC 7pm
News averaged 795,000 viewers, the 7.30 Report 606,000, hurt by the start of
Nine’s Games coverage.
The Stats Nine with 51.6%, Ten with 17.4%, Seven with 16.9%, the
ABC with 10.7% and SBS with 3.3%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments As expected Nine won, Seven ran dead by dropping
Prison Break (and Lost tonight) and ran third behind Ten which also ran a little
dead with a repeat of House, no Jamie Oliver or Bondi Rescue. These nights do
not count, except in bragging rights for Nine; of course if Seven manages to
fluke a win, it suddenly becomes big news, doesn’t it? Watching Nine’s morning
coverage Thursday, you can see why its a hick from the sticks
. Melbourne-orientated coverage. Gary Lyon and James Bradshaw are going to be the
new hosting team for the AFL Footy Show,
that’s why Nine has them fronting the morning coverage. Gary Lyon
sounds like he’s had one to many shirtfronts, Brayshaw looks like he
should have ducked that last ball in first class cricket. Put their
rough as guts approach next to Ray Martin and Nicole Livingstone last
night and there is no comparison. The smoothness and professionalism of
Ray Warren in the delayed coverage of the swimming heats (why did we
have to have to hear from Delta Goodrem about her singing last night
while the swimming heats were on?) also reflected badly on Lyon and
Brayshaw. Nine will miss Eddie McGuire, who, for all his sins as a
Collingwood tragic, knew how to use his voice, knew something about
sport and could sell anything.

Peter Fray

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