Nine wins “All People” but still struggling in key demographics. It was
a close finish to last week – the Nine Network won the battle of the giants by
the barest of margins, just 0.1%, 27.8% to Seven’s 27.7%. Seven
executives know that a win would have been valuable in changing the perception
of Nine’s comeback: it has been doing well since the Commonwealth Games.

But not
as well as Nine programmer, Michael Healy, claimed
in the Sunday Telegraph
when he was quoted as saying: ”We’ll comfortably beat Seven”. “I would
like to think our scheduling is strong behind sporting coverage,” he
said “We are winning news and have some strong domestic and
international programs to come”. Hmm, is this the Nine that has seen
its share in all demographics slip, especially in the key 25 to 54 age
group where it is under pressure from Ten for second spot behind Seven?
In the key 25 to 54 group, Seven’s share last week was up 10%, with
Nine’s off 8%, but Ten’s was up a huge 20% (not surprising given the
strength of Wednesday nights with Thank God You’re Here and
House). And Healy’s claim to be winning in news is not borne out
by what happened last week: Seven News won nationally (1.527 million to
1.418 million people for Nine). Seven won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth;
Nine won Brisbane and Melbourne. The week’s numbers were Nine 27.8%
(31.6% a week earlier because of the first State of Origin and the
miners), Seven 27.7% (25.5%), Ten 25.1% (22.2%), ABC 14.6% (13.1%)
and SBS 4.8% (7.1%).
Glenn Dyer

Eddie goes to the World Cup. More
sport than we can poke the proverbial stick at this week with the World Cup
soccer starting on Friday night, the usual AFL and NRL and Australia v England Rugby World Cup replay being
telecast by Seven live next Sunday night. Sunday
evening is one of the two most important nights of the week for commercial TV, which make the broadcast an interesting
experiment. Meanwhile, news that Nine CEO Eddie McGuire will be
playing a part in the AFL/NRL Footy Show special from
Germany on 18 June. That’s
when the two footy shows are combining to broadcast live in the lead up to the
Australia v Brazil match in Munich a couple of hours later. There
have been rumours that Eddie’s eager to be a part of
the world’s biggest sporting event and they were confirmed by a Nine
spokesperson in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday. Glenn Dyer

ACP deputy “restructured” out. There
wasn’t enough room at ACP Magazines for one person who is the CEO and another
who had been effectively CEO for much of the past four years, even though he was
the deputy. So David
Gardiner, the deputy CEO is going by “mutual agreement” only a month after Ian
Law joined as CEO from West Australian newspapers. His departure wasn’t unexpected and a decision was reached late last
week. Even
while John Alexander was CEO of ACP Magazines, Gardiner was the day to day
operating chief, controlling budgets and making sure the financial side worked.
He had a strong financial background and older ACP
employees say that Kerry Packer used to speak to Gardiner on a regularly basis
about the financial details. ACP
Magazines said today that Gardiner would leave in July, after ten years with the
company: “Ian Law, incoming Chief Executive Officer of ACP
Magazines, said, ‘Mr Gardiner’s decision to leave the
company was by mutual agreement following a restructure of duties and
responsibilities.'” Basically he was restructured out of the job after
the arrival of Law who was
personally chosen by Alexander to replace him. Gardiner was passed over by Alexander for the job. Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: That rarest of
events for the Seven Network last night: a Sunday night win in the
ratings, thanks to the exiting Blue Heelers and its star, John Woods.
Nine’s limitations were badly exposed, though, as its decision to rest
CSI saw its share slump at 8.30pm, along with its overall share. CSI
goes a long way to keeping Nine in the game each week. Nine News was
tops with 1.672 million, from Seven News with 1.642 million, It Takes
Two
was third for Seven with 1.616 million. The finale of Blue Heelers
over two hours averaged 1.557 million, 60 Minutes 1.500 million, Big
Brother
(Eviction) 1.386 million, Backyard Blitz, 1.225 million, Big
Brother
(6.30pm, 1.159 million), Law and Order SVU (Ten, 1.117
million), Nine’s Sunday Football (4 pm, 1.103 million), Charlie’s Angels
movie Full Throttle, Nine, 1.100 million and the 7pm ABC news with
1.001 million.

The Losers: Not really, a cold day and
night in much of the east and southern states meant people were
watching TV. National audience was up and most of that went to free to
air. Nine’s Backyard Blitz wasn’t really a loser: its 1.225 million
viewers was up on last week’s 1.157 million but around 450,000 people
left Nine after the News finished at 6.30pm and when Blitz came on and
only 275,000 returned for 60 Minutes at 7.30pm which finished second
to It Takes Two. The last of the ABC’s Peking to Paris with 971,000.
That’s OK, not brilliant. The last part of the Answered by Fire
mini-series with 850,000 was 150,000 down on the average for the week
before. Again, OK, not brilliant: perhaps with Timor very much in the
news you might have expected more viewers. Perhaps the news was more
real than the fiction at 8.30pm!

News & CA:
Nine News won the night narrowly. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne and
Adelaide thanks to the solid lead-in of the NRL and AFL games from 4pm.
Seven News won Brisbane and it was the 122,000 margin in Perth that
lifted Seven to within 30,000 of Nine nationally. 60 Minutes will be
happier with the result last night. It beat It takes Two in Melbourne.
The 7pm ABC news averaged 1.001 million, solid numbers. Ten News
averaged 706,000. Earlier Seven’s Weekend Sunrise again won the battle
of the morning chat shows with 338,000 from Nine’s Sunday with 303,000.
Landline on the ABC at noon averaged 264,000, My Business on Seven (the
David Koch vehicle) 177,000, Business Sunday on Nine at 8am 143,000,
Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 118,000 Business Success on Nine at 7.30pm 85,000, Inside Business on the ABC at 10am, 78,000 and Meet The
Press
on Ten at 8am 60,000.

The Stats: Seven won with
30.6% (26.0% a week ago) from Nine, 25.3% (28.0%), Ten with 22.0%
(25.6%), the ABC with 14.0% (15.7%) and SBS with 8.0% (4.8). SBS was
higher because of the Australia-Holland friendly soccer game which
started at 10.30pm Sunday. It averaged 629,000 viewers. Seven won
Sydney where Nine was well behind: Seven had a 32.2% share, Nine, 22.9%
and Ten, 21.7. That’s a surprisingly strong win. It was closer in
Melbourne where Seven won, Seven also won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Glenn Dyer’s comments:
A solid win to Seven and after going down by 0.1% last week after
losing Sunday night, Seven is in a position to win the week. It Takes
Two
had good numbers again with 1.616 million, but it did fade, losing
134,000 viewers on average. At least the worst couple are now off, but
it is flat compared to the Dancing show. I would be surprised to see it
lose more viewers in the week ahead. Nine was surprisingly weak in
Sydney but looking at the numbers and the finale of Blue Heelers
averaged 531,000 viewers and was easily the most watched show in the
market. Nine News was tops in Melbourne, Seven News in Brisbane, Nine
News in Adelaide and Seven News in Perth. Nine’s Charlie’s Angels movie
was OK at 1.1 million, but is not a CSI viewer grabber. Tonight its
Desperate Housewives and how it fares. Is it building audience again
after a slump? A wet and cold night in Sydney will tell. Commander in
Chief
is sagging for Seven and will Siggie Thornton’s What’s Good For
You
be good for Nine tonight with all these winter chills? And Close to
Home
, will see viewers return at 9.30pm. For Ten its Big Brother.

Peter Fray

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