The ABC gets wise.
West
Wing
is moving to a new timeslot from next Thursday: 9.20 pm, right after the
ABC program before it finishes. It will
be the sort of tight end/start that the commercial networks now use for programs
in prime time.
So why
is this important? Well,
West Wing had been going to air at 9.30pm but the ABC was unhappy at the way
the audiences were turning off from the 8.30pm program to West
Wing
. Before
the games the turn-off had been as high as 300,000 or so people. Last night it
was 100,000 people. So they
looked at what was going to air between 8.30pm, when the program before West Wing
ended, and the show’s 9.30pm start. Surprise, surprise, the ABC was
filling the gap with in-house promotions for forthcoming programs, the
network and for the ABC’s own commercial products, such as magazines.
All house ads really, commercials of one sort or another. Oops… did I
say advertisements. Yep, that’s what they are. So next week they are
out, gone and West Wing will start at 9.20 pm sharp, in an effort to hold the audience. The
Games on Nine meant the West Wing finished with an average 295,000 viewers last
night, its lowest so far. The ABC hopes another 100,000
or more will stay next week. We’ve have been warned recently that advertising on the
ABC could be dangerous. I wonder if viewers turning off are
going to bed, or switching to a commercial network? – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Nine: The Games (evening coverage 1.990 million) – Jana
Pittman, not to mention Australia’s womens basketballers, the ballet dancing discuss thrower
(what a great result for nab) and divers and weightifters (and boxers) did it
for the Nine Network Thursday night. Seven got a touch Lost (1.354 million) and
Ten and the ABC were waylaid. Nine’s games audience reversed the weakness seen
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, despite some flashy gold medal efforts.
Nine News was boosted (1.455 million), Seven News (1.241 million), but Today
Tonight
(1.417 million) still beat an enfeebled A Current Affair (1.125 million, but not on in Adelaide and going to air at odd times in Brisbane and
Perth). Viewers still watched Seven’s Las Vegas and the 1.128 million wasn’t far
from its series average. Ten’s The Biggest Loser still stayed above a
million (1.093 million) but Seven’s The Amazing Race at 9.30pm averaged 967,000 – well down on its opening a fortnight ago. Nine’s Nightline averaged a massive
1.090 million after coming straight after the end of the games and those late
medals. It’s certainly the biggest audience for Nightline in
years!
The Losers Losers? Hmmm. Seven ran a fresh ep of Lost. Only down
around 300,000 viewers from normal, so not really a loser. The impact of the Games made it too difficult to call.
News & CA The afternoon session of the Games averaged 771,00, Deal
or No Deal
on Seven at 5.30pm, 711,000, down around 100,000 or so on normal.
The Games was around 300,000 up from what Bert’s Family Feud normally
gets. So the boost finally pushed Nine News sharply higher with wins in Sydney
and Melbourne and Brisbane. A Current Affair won Sydney and Melbourne but was
hamstrung by the odd times elsewhere because of the live telecasts of the
evening session of the Games. Now the audience for Nightline will be accepted
gleefully by all who work on it. Bonuses like that don’t come along very often
when you normally air somewhere between 11pm and midnight. The ABC 7pm news
(766,000) and the 7.30 Report (617,000) were lower because of the Games and the
fact of a lower viewing Thursday evening. Ten news at 5pm averaged 789,000, not
a bad figure in the face of the Games on Nine and Deal or No
Deal
.
The Stats Nine with 44.4%%, the highest this week so far. Seven
with 26.1%, its highest share this week. Ten was third with 17.3% (not its
lowest), The ABC had 8.4% (its lowest for quite a while, months). SBS finished
with 3.8%. Nine won Perth, reversing its losses there this week. The ABC
provided much of Nine’s extra audience, Ten and SBS the
least..
Glenn Dyer’s comments Almost over. There’s footy tonight in NSW and Qld
and again on Sunday and the Games. The Closing ceremony Sunday night at 8.30pm
will ensure Nine wins that night, which it has been doing anyway, but by a bigger margin
this time. Then the battle is resumed in earnest Monday! The Games will just be
a pleasant memory for us all , people in Melbourne will switch on the footy and
forget the Games and those of us elsewhere, especially in the Olympic City, will
puzzle over the fuss that was made of
Melbourne.

Peter Fray

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