Tale of two Footballs. The two footy shows did well for Nine
last night, averaging 1.021 million viewers nationally between 9.30 pm
and just after 11 pm. They helped Nine win both Sydney and Melbourne.
In Brisbane Nine was a close third, the NRL Footy Show giving
no help, it was a similar story in Perth, while in Adelaide the program
helped Nine to finish a tight second to Seven. Seven won the national
battle, principally due to a big win in Perth (which is normal on most
nights). The Footy Shows help Nine because of the size of the
audience in the late evening; more than a million people for 90 minutes
helps boost Nine’s share and to remain competitive for longer. The
northern version averaged an OK 293,000 in Sydney and a poor 103,000 in
Brisbane. The AFL show averaged a strong 423,000 in Melbourne, 109,000
in Adelaide and 93,000 in Perth (not particularly good figures and it
was well outside the top 10 watched programs in both markets). The NRL
program is inferior to the AFL version, even without Eddie McGuire, but
Eddie’s absence has destabilised and unbalanced the AFL program. The
NRL program is an ensemble show led by former Australian and Queensland
player Paul Vautin, a good talent now in his mid 40’s who is getting a
bit too old to be playing the winking “jack the lad” role. The show
looks and sounds like a studio-based production and nothing more. In
contrast, the AFL Footy Show is becoming more of a clone of Hey Hey Its Saturday
and a Saturday post game function at an AFL clubhouse. Without Eddie,
Sam Newman has quickly moved to dominate and fill the gap with his now
stale collection of leers, mug lair comments, sexist remarks and
innuendo. Everybody has to dance to Sam’s routine: he’s grabbed control
and everyone else is a supporting character, which is not a good look.
Last night, new host Gary Lyon was trying much harder to be the
straight Eddie type character, while his sidekick James Brayshaw was
playing the stunned ‘kid’ who still can’t get over the fact that he’s
with some of his footy idols. It doesn’t make for good TV, but
obviously Melbourne viewers don’t care. Glenn Dyer

Correction Corner. We were particularly taken with this, from today’s online edition of the august British journal The Spectator:

Lady Colin Campbell

In his “High Life”
column of 4 December 2004 (accidentally reproduced on this website as
part of his 11 December 2004 column) Taki wrote that the author Lady
Colin Campbell had once been a man who had persuaded her former husband
to marry her by passing herself off as a woman. We accept that Lady
Colin Campbell is a woman and had no need to pass herself off to her
former husband as something she was not. We apologise to Lady Colin
Campbell for the distress and embarrassment caused and have agreed to
pay her damages and legal costs.

Gerry Harvey talks up his own book. Sometimes you have to wonder about the 6.30 current affairs programs. The eccentricities of Seven’s Today Tonight and Nine’s A Current Affair are well known, but last night ACA aired yet another report on petrol prices that dipped into the surreal with the performance by billionaire retailer, Gerry Harvey
– “I say John Howard, just get these oil company bosses to come clean
and tell the Australian public why they change their price every 10
minutes, up and down. What is their marketing ploy and why do they do
it, because no one else knows that sort of thing.” Gerry wasn’t talking
sense, he was talking up his book: rampant self interest. It’s how he
became a millionaire and stays there. I bet you he won’t be as
available to reveal why his long time finance boss, John Skippen,
retired without explanation yesterday
(as tipped in Crikey midweek). “Mr Skippen remains an executive
employee of the company and Yoogalu Pty Ltd trading as Harvey Norman
with areas of responsibility involving Mergers and Acquisitions and
international expansion”. That’s a move that Gerry can’t blame on
petrol price rises. – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners Seven won as Lost again sagged and the NRL and AFL Footy Shows helped Nine beat Seven in Sydney and Melbourne. Ten’s The Biggest Loser
was the most watched program at 7 pm with 1.432 million. Thursday night
is a lower viewing night but it says something about the state of
viewers that the most program was so early on in the night. But it also
is a reflection of a fairly competitive evening later on. A total of 14
programs had a million or more viewers, which is always a good
indicator. Second was Today Tonight at 6.30 pm with 1.424 million, then Nine News with 1.382 million, Seven News with 1.337 million, Lost(Revelation), 1.331 million, A Current Affair, 1.294 million, Home and Away 1.202 million, Getaway (Nine, 1.177 million), Las Vegas on Seven, 1.176 million, Amazing Medical Stories, Nine at 8.30 pm, 1.097 million (a freak ). Seven’s Amazing Race at 9.30 pm averaged 1.004 million, but the AFL and NRL Footy Shows averaged 1.021 million, enough to help Nine to a close second.
The Losers Losers? Bert is still above half a million viewers at 563,000 while Seven’s Deal or No Deal averaged 844,000 last night, a lowish figure for the program. Temptation,
951,000 was weaker again last night. But never fear, Nine is whipping
out the old $5 note trick from Monday night giving viewers a chance to
win big money ($100,000 on offer) if numbers match. Bert’s fortunes
picked up with a $100,000 added to Family Feud. Will it last or will this bonus bingo nonsense fade away, as it has done before?
News & CA Seven News lost to Nine nationally and everywhere bare Perth. Nine’s winning margins elsewhere just enough to lift it home. ACA
though was weaker, but it did notch up a win in Sydney and a draw in
Brisbane. Will this change from Monday when normal ratings are resumed?
Nine News does seem to have a little more traction, especially in
Sydney. Is it a winter thing? Ten News At Five was again strong with over 900,000 viewers (911,000). The ABC News
at 7 pm averaged 978,000 (it has found it hard to get over a million
this week. Perhaps more people ware watching the commercials because
they are at home instead of arriving home from work and catching the ABC News). The 7.30 Report averaged 851,000.
The Stats Seven with 29.4%, Nine with 28.4%, Ten with 23.3%, the ABC with
13.1% and SBS with 5.7%. Nine won Sydney and Melbourne, Seven won
Brisbane and Adelaide and of course Perth and that was the night.
Glenn Dyer’s comments Seven won, despite Lost now back to just a ‘normal’ well
performing program. Its retreat from ‘locomotive’ program status has
been interesting. It’s now around 600,000 to 700,000 below last year.
1.33 million people is still more than OK and next week after the
holidays it will probably kick back over the 1.4 million mark. But the
contrast with Desperate Housewives, which is keeping its two
million plus audiences (we’ll see if that continues on Monday night
when it returns after Easter) is more a commentary on the diffuse
nature of Lost. It is hard to understand and stay with compared to the more basic (soapy) Housewives. Tonight it’s AFL and NRL for Nine, which is behind the week after last night. Seven has a 29.3% share and Nine 27.9%.