Only 0.4% separated first-placed Ten from third-placed Nine in last
week’s ratings (the first week of survey four), but that narrow margin
holds a lot of history.

Ten
won the week, which was its first official TV ratings weekly win in almost 12
years, thanks to the finale of The Biggest Loser, the start of Big Brother and
the continuing strong viewer interest in Thank God You’re Here on Wednesday
nights. The
last time Ten won a week was during the 1994 Commonwealth Games, which
Ten broadcast from Canada.

And Nine’s close third was
another piece of history – the first time the Network
had finished in that position since the Oztam ratings started five years
ago.

The
numbers: Ten won with a share of 27.3%, to 27.1 for Seven, with Nine third on
26.9%. Interestingly, Ten only won one
market, Adelaide. It was
a series of close placings elsewhere that contributed
to the narrow win. Perth proved
pivotal once again, with Seven winning the week 30.1% to 28.1% for Ten and just 22.7% for Nine. Ten
took the lead after a strong Thursday night with the TBL finale and held it
despite weak nights on Friday and Saturday, which were both won by Nine.

Nine
will be frustrated: it finished the week well, had a solid performance on other
nights, did well in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but still finished
third. Nine
will trumpet the fact that it “won the East Coast” and ignore the performance by
affiliates in Adelaide and Perth.

Seven
will be happier than Nine. It just got better numbers from many of its programs, especially in
Perth, while Dancing With The Stars was the decisive force on Tuesday
night and kept Seven in the hunt for the rest of the week.

Ten’s
week means a lot in terms of future ad revenues and Nine will be the one to feel
the hurt. But
this week it’s back to regular transmission. After two “stunt” events – the
launch of BB and the end of TBL – Ten faces a return to third place.

Peter Fray

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