Nine makes up ground. Signs
of real traction for Nine News and A Current Affair last night, thanks to the Beaconsfield mining rescue
and Richard Carleton’s death. Seven
News (1.652 million) beat Nine (1.591 million) nationally but lost in Sydney,
Melbourne and Brisbane, depending on a big win in Perth to lift it over the
line. A
Current Affair
though (1.610 million viewers) beat Today Tonight on Seven by
100,000 viewers (1.510 million) with big wins in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Not even a big win Perth could lift Today Tonight
home. It was
the first time ACA had beaten TT since the coverage went national a week ago
last night and both programs started being anchored from Beaconsfield. Earlier
in the day Seven’s Sunrise averaged 544,000, one of its largest ever audiences,
while Today Show on Nine also showed traction with its audience leaping to
average 368,000 as viewers tuned in to see if the miners were being
released. No such
luck and it was probably why the audiences in the early evening were up by
100,000 to 200,000 because people wanted updates on progress after being at
work. Audiences for Seven and Nine (and the ABC) will be high
for this morning’s live broadcasts and Ten will also be a beneficiary as its
under-watched early news went live with host Bill Woods anchoring and proved to
network sceptics that it does need an early morning presence. Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV
ratings

THE WINNERS: A win to Nine last night as early evening audiences for
the news and current affairs programs swelled as people sought updates on what
was happening at Beaconsfield. Cold Case on Nine at 8.30 pm (1.674 million) was
again the most watched program. It’s been freed from the limited thinking of
Nine’s programmers and is now giving the Network a surprise boost on Monday
nights. Seven news was second with 1.652 million,
Desperate Housewives was third with 1.611 million, A Current Affair was next
with 1.610 million. 20 to 1 was 5th with 1.596 million, Nine News was next with
1.591 million, Big Brother’s Live Nomination was 8th with 1.330 million,
Temptation was 9th with 1.3 million and Home and Away was 10th with 1.299
million. Then came the 7 pm Big Brother with 1.236 million, Ten News at Five
with 1.081 million, The Great Outdoors with 1.081 million, ABC News with 1.069
million, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton with 1.043 million, Deal orNo Deal with
1.031 million, the 7.30 Report with 1.031 million and Australian Story was 18th
with 1.028 million. That’s right, 18 programs with a million or more viewers,
thanks mostly to the Beaconsfield rescue story.

THE LOSERS: Seven’s Commander in Chief, 950,000 and Nine’s
Hotel Babylon with 746,000: both fading, easily beaten by Denton’s program at
9.35. Good Aussie talk beats US and Brit soap. Bert’s Family Feud back up to
640,000 helped nine News. But Seven would have been a bit disappointed at its
news performance, especially with Deal getting over a million viewers. It
did boost Seven News, but not enough in Sydney and Melbourne. There was a much
bigger turn on to Nine.

NEWS & CA: Seven News again won nationally but only won in
Adelaide (a tie with Nine actually) and Perth, and lost on the East Coast, and in
every market but Brisbane. Today Tonight won Adelaide and Perth but lost on the
East Coast to go down nationally to A Current Affair. Reflecting the
attraction of the Beaconsfield story, the ABC’s 7.30 Report had its biggest
audience in months with 1.031 million, after the 7pm News averaged 1.069
million. Ten News at Five with more than a million viewers also reflected the
Beaconsfield story interest. the big question in TV land is whether the surge in
audiences for Nine News and ACA sticks and helps them, or with the story over,
viewer numbers ease and Seven moves back in front? The ABC’s Four Corners also
did well with 915,000 viewers watching the good report on the Spivvy Westpoint
property group’s collapse and ASIC’s ham-fisted regulation. Media Watch averaged
973,000 because of the turn-on for Enough Rope.

THE STATS: Nine won with a share of 29.9% (28.6% last week) to Seven
with 26.8% (28.5%), Ten was third with 21.6% (22,0%), the ABC with 15.9% (17.3%)
and SBS with 4.5% (5.0%). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.
Seven won Perth.

GLENN DYER’S COMMENTS: A very even night, well won by Nine, thanks to the
early evening boost to the News and ACA (ACA in Melbourne had the highest
audience in the country last night with 559,000 viewers, followed by Cold Case
in Melbourne with 516,000, Nine News in Melbourne with 514,000 and 20 to One on
Nine in Melbourne with 509,000. Tonight it’s the Grand Final of the current
series of Dancing With The Stars. Will Seven’s staff continue winning with
weather bloke Grant Denyer beating boxer Kostya Tsyzu? Seven will also reveal a
new series called Singing With The Stars. It’s likely to appear on Sunday
evenings. Is this the week that the ratings battle starts moving more in Nine’s
favour? Seven still has more programs in the top 20 and sold to advertisers at a
premium. It might be TV but the real business is revenue and profits, and that’s
where Seven is doing a lot better than
Nine.

Peter Fray

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