Another view of the figures: While Nine won the 6pm to
midnight battle, which is the nightly TV ratings battle zone according
to figures from Oztam, there’s always another way of looking at it: the
period 6pm to 10.30pm, which is regarded by some as the heart of prime
time. And
while the three commercial networks do watch what the ABC and SBS are
doing, they are more interested in each other because all three are
competing for the ad revenue pie. This is called the “commercial
share”. And according to figures from Ten, the national commercial
share between 6pm and 10.30pm paints a different picture:

16-39 25-54 Total
People
Ten 42.1% 37.9% 34.0%
Nine 25.9% 30.8% 32.9%
Seven 32.1% 31.3% 33.1%

That’s
right, between 6pm and 10.30pm Ten won the battle of
the commercial networks. – Glenn Dyer

Media Watch‘s man behind the mic cleared: The running battle over an ABC
broadcaster’s right to provide voice-over material for Media Watch has finally
been settled in the Industrial Relations Commission, with the Commission ruling
that ABC newsreader John Greaves was not
compromising the station, or his role, when he read out comments on the show. Back in July 2005 – two days after Greaves
read out a statement on Media Watch attributed to
ABC News Current Affairs director John
Cameron in a piece critical of the ABC –
Greaves was warned by Cameron that he may be breaking
ABC guidelines, and could be guilty of
misconduct. The Commission said he clearly wasn’t, and that Cameron’s
sensitivity was strange. “I have been puzzled by the basis of the conflict of interest identified
by Mr Cameron since commencement of this matter and I continue to be puzzled”,
noted AIRC Senior Deputy President Drake. The MEAA today sent out a press release happily reporting
the positive ruling, which will no doubt free up a raft of
ABC presenters to lend their vocal chords to
Media Watch for years to come. – Michael Newhouse.

Glenn Dyer’s TV
ratings

The Winners Nine, a narrow winner from Ten and Seven, an unusual
finishing order during the week. But the return of the AFL Footy Show helped
Nine have a big win in Melbourne and that was the difference nationally. Seven
did OK, although Prison Break (1.270 million) is settling. Ten’s strength meant
Seven was hurt in the battle to match Nine. It was an even night’s viewing with
13 programs watched by a million or more viewers. Today Tonight was the most
watched at 6.30pm (Naomi’s lurve life attracting a few extra viewers perhaps?)
TT averaged 1.564 million (Nine’s ACA, 1.108 million), just ahead of Ten’s House
with 1.521 million. Seven News was next with 1.374 million (Nine News averaged
1.210 million). McLeod’s Daughters dominated at 7.30 pm with 1.349 million.
Seven’s Beyond Tomorrow with 1.080 million is losing oomph. Ten’s The Biggest
Loser
won the 7 pm battle with 1.294 million viewers from Home and Away with
1.288 million. The double episode of Ten’s Jamie’s Great Italian Escape
averaged 1.265 million from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm, pushing Beyond Tomorrow to
third. Nine News and NCIS (Ten with 1.182 million, brought up the Top Ten.
Spicks and Specks was the ABC’s best performer at 8.30pm with 1.004 million
viewers, a rise on recent levels (pre-games).
The Losers Losers? On such an even night’s viewing, hard to say.
Even Family Feud with Bert Newton gathered more viewers to average 490,000 at
5.30 pm. But Deal or No Deal (860,000) and Ten News at Five (872,000) did
better. Temptation eased to 909,000 in the face of TBL and Home and Away up
against it. The ABC News also beat Temptation so it was fourth place again for
the second time this week
News & CA Seven News and TT won: No matter how well the AFL Footy
Show
did and McLeod’s the 90 minutes from 5.30pm to 7pm (and to 7.30pm given
Temptation‘s current weakness) is the heart of Nine’s problems. So Wednesday
night Seven news wins Sydney, Melbourne, lost Brisbane, won Adelaide and Perth.
TT, with Dame Naomi’s love life on the front pages, beat ACA by more than
450,000 viewers. TT won everywhere but worrying for Nine was the turn-off from
the news as ACA went to air. Nine loyalists will like the night’s result, but
that’s to gloss over the problems between 6 pm and 7 pm! The 7.30 report with
785,000 was dominated by an aggressive interview between Kerry O’Brien and the
Prime Minister over the AWB bribes inquiry.
The Stats Nine with 27.6%, Ten with 27.0%, Seven with 26.3%, the
ABC with 15.1% and SBS with 4.1%. Nine won Sydney narrowly, Melbourne by a fair
bit, lost Brisbane and Adelaide to Ten and lost Perth to Seven. Nine finished
third in Perth. Nine still leads the week and will
win.
Glenn Dyer’s comments An absent Eddie McGuire did the job for his network
last night and the AFL tonight and the AFL and NRL tomorrow night should do the
job again, although the AFL vs. Lost tonight will be a fascinating contest. The
NRL Footy Show returns tonight after the Games. We are starting to settle down
to the long Autumn-Winter-Spring of footie. And a good thing too I hear millions
of desperates mutter. Last night was a viewers’ paradise, viewers of all
networks had a good selection of programs to watch and it was reflected in the
narrow win for Nine. But it was based on Melbourne, losing Brisbane, Adelaide
and Perth. Without the Eddie retrospective and then the AFL Footy Show it would
have meant Seven and Ten fighting for a night’s win. The strength of McLeod’s is
being undermined by the continued weakness between 5.30pm and 7pm. Seven News
and TT have big margins, even on the East Coast (Brisbane remains a good news
story for Nine News). There’s a danger that Nine will do hand stands over this
win and ignore the continuing dangers in its schedule. With Ten’s half year
result showing no let up in the revenue weakness for the industry, it’s warning
for Nine that its overall result is weaker than last year while Seven and Ten’s
isn’t. The revenue will follow the ratings results because the market is “soft
and short”, in ad industry jargon.

Peter Fray

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