LNL Podcast spike.
This email from Phillip Adams arrived at Crikey this morning:
Late Night Live got 50,000 pod downloads this week – up from 30,000 a few weeks ago. That’s more than all the other RN programs put together (!) and far more than any program on any other ABC network which makes us the top poddie program in (and from) Australia. The figures have management reeling. And to think they’ve been trying to kill us off for fifteen years.

Seven singing its way through Sunday night. In another attempt by the Seven Network to fix up its worst night of the week, its new Dancing With The Stars clone, It Takes Two, kicks off in a two hour opening special from 6.30pm this Sunday. Good breeding and productive parents can often mean the offspring has a great start to life, but in commercial TV, that’s never a reason to bank on the success of any new program. Seven has struggled for at least three years to find a solution to its underperformance on Sunday nights. Movies were tried and didn’t work, comedy (Let Loose Live) briefly in May-June 2005, came and went in a couple of weeks. They just didn’t cut the mustard. Seven has meandered on with movies and other odd programs, but most Sunday evenings belong to Nine, which gives them a strong start to the week. Seven has had some success with the odd special, but for the most part it’s been a benefit for Nine with 60 Minutes, CSI and then Ten with Big Brother, Idol and The Biggest Loser. The only way for Seven to do well on Sunday nights will be to find some serious programming for the 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm timeslots, which Nine now dominates with 60 Minutes and CSI (but that is going to run out sometime in late July). Ten does well with programs like Big Brother (and hopes to with the new series of Australian Idol later this year). But apart from the success of Where Are They Now at 6.30 pm, Seven has no real hits to grab viewers after around 7.30 pm. It Takes Two is down to run two hours for the first episode. But it won’t say if it will stay at two hours, like its ‘mentor’ Dancing With The Stars. Dancing With The Stars is sourced from the BBC but produced here by Granada. It Takes Two will be produced here by Seven and BBC World. Granada has been left out by the Beeb which is upset at Granada’s links to ITV in the UK with a Dancing clone called Torvill and Dean’s Dancing on Ice. It’s coming to Nine soon. Even if It Takes Two does good numbers, Seven is only replacing the ratings for the now finished Where Are They with viewers for the new program. It needs to find new viewers from 7.30 onwards, and then from 8.30 pm onwards. Nine’s Backyard Blitz might find it a bit tougher to attract viewers on a Sunday night once It Takes Two starts (that’s if it clicks). – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Thursday night and SBS did well with the soccer, but didn’t get the big cigar. That went to Seven. It was the commercial network least affected by the live broadcast of the Australia-Greece soccer ‘friendly’ from the MCG on SBS. It was third on the most watched list with 1.525 million viewers. First and second went to Seven News and Today Tonight which averaged 1.555 million each to finish first and second respectively (the numbers are rounded up or down). Nine News was 4th with 1.272 million, the Seven’s Lost with 1.224 million, ACA was 6th with 1.171 million. The Amazing Race was 7th for Seven with 1.144 million, Home and Away averaged 1.120 million, Missing Persons Unit (Nine,1.111 million) and Medium was 10th for Ten with 1.092 million. Then came Getaway with 1.086 million, Big Brother with 1.056 million, The Footy Shows with 1.045 million, Las Vegas on Seven with 1.030 million, Temptation for Nine with 1.021 million and Law and Order on Ten with 1.012 million. So despite the soccer draining viewers from all networks, there still were 16 shows with a million or more viewers. That’s a pretty competitive night’s viewing, especially for a Thursday night.

The Losers:Bert’s Family Feud averaged 631,000 but did nothing for Nine News. Deal or No Deal was 300,000 ahead at 931,000. Ten News at Five split them averaging 832,000 for the hour from 5 pm. Hello/Goodbye on Nine averaged 930,000. That was when the soccer was on, so it’s a bit hard to say, but it has been de-coupling from Missing Persons Unit.

News & CA: After their best week for months, Nine News and A Current Affairs reverted to type last night. Seven News again won nationally and in every market Today Tonight won as well. Nine’s strength in Sydney and Melbourne (not to mention Brisbane) faded. Seven News won by 270,000 or so viewers (and it wasn’t all Perth) and TT beat ACA by more than 370,000 (and not all Perth). As to why, who knows: the vagaries of people meters or just viewer tiredness with Nine earlier in the week? ABC News averaged 888,000 and The 7.30 Report 724,000 (against the first half hour of the soccer). Seven’s Sunrise jumped above half a million (508,000), doubling Today‘s 252,000. Early Sunrise had a similar margin over Today Early. Nine might have had a cheeky go at Seven Sunrise‘s David Koch in a promo for Nine News in the Miners Special on Sunday night but the TV industry is talking about the item on Rove Live on Ten Tuesday night that mentioned the Nine ad and then spoofed a Seven reply which showed a giggling set of Today hosts in Jessica Rowe and Karl Stefanovic. Very, very cruel.

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The Stats: Nine has won the week already so the result was anticlimactic. But it was a bit of a surprise. Seven snuck home 26.9% (30.3% a week earlier) to 24.9% for Nine (30.8% a week earlier). Ten was on 20.3% (22.4%), the ABC on 9.1% (11.1%) and the soccer pushed SBS to 19.2 % (5.4%). Nine won Sydney and Melbourne : SBS finished third in both markets ahead of Ten. Seven won Brisbane, Ten won Adelaide and Seven won Perth by a mile, 38.5% to 21.4% for Ten, 20.3% for Nine and 9.3% for SBS. (The soccer started at 5.30 pm local time). That’s why Seven won nationally: that huge win in Perth gave it the edge, despite Nine winning the more important markets of Sydney and Melbourne. Nine is sunk on many nights, one way or another by the poorly performing Perth affiliate.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A good night for viewers. Tonight more sport with the AFL and NRL. Collingwood is playing tonight so Nine should win (Seven won last Friday night despite the footy on Nine). The World Cup will be good for SBS but won’t affect the ratings battle between Ten, Nine and Seven. The soccer peaked at 2.27 million people at 9.25 pm which is just before the finish. No wonder Hello/Goodbye was weak, as were Lost, the Footy Shows, Medium and Law and Order. The West Wing on the ABC at 8.30 pm averaged just 328,000 people for 90 minutes. That’s poor. Kath & Kim at 10 pm didn’t make the top 50 for the ABC.

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Peter Fray
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