Channel Eddie at it again. Australia’s
self-styled, almost semi-official soccer broadcaster, the Nine Network, won’t
stop at any lengths to blow its own trumpet. Take
the promotions for Ray Martin’s
story on 60 Minutes
this Sunday, described in the voiceover as a “scoop”. Part of the
scoop involves talking to Harry Kewell, who has been a Nine sports
“personality” since 1998 and is paid a reported $400,000 a year for the
odd exclusive. Some scoop and it will have as much relevance to the
result as the following two hours and twenty minutes of the Footy Shows live from Munich. Will the broadcast
actually be live? Meanwhile the Today show took an adventurous gamble this
morning. Nine dropped the coverage of the US Open Golf to Fox Sports but ran a crazy mixture of golf
coverage, World Cup soccer coverage and anything else that would fit into a
sporting theme as it went to air from 4am with some golf and then Today proper started at 6am. There
were crosses to recorded highlights of the golf and crosses to co-host Karl Stefanovic in
Germany. It made
for a split personality for the program but at least it was more interesting
than hours of boring golf that has helped drive tens of thousands of Today
viewers to Seven’s Sunrise. Nine
should just bail out of golf coverage all together – it isn’t fair to Today or those trying to
save it at the moment. – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Thursday night and Nine got up and snatched a late win, thanks to the
strength of the AFL and NRL Footy Shows post 9.30pm while Seven ran
episodes of the animated cartoons, Family Guy and American Dad between
9.30pm and 11.25pm. It killed off Seven’s chances of winning the night.
Did Seven program this way because it knew Nine would be in a winning
position in the week with the State of Origin victory under its belt
the night before? Seven started the night strongly: Today Tonight was
the most watched program with 1.549 million people followed by Seven
News with 1.541 million. Lost (Seven, 8.30pm) was third with 1.466
million and Nine’s Getaway was 4th with 1.433 million. Nine’s Missing
Persons Unit
was next with 1.423 million, Nine News was next with 1.324
million and Seven’s Home and Away was 7th with 1.258 million, just
ahead of Nine’s Temptation with 1.224 million. A Current Affair was 9th
with a low 1.191 million and Seven’s 7.30 pm program, Las Vegas, was
10th with 1.171 million. At eleven was Nine’s Hello/Goodbye (9pm) with
1.148 million, Ten’s Medium was next with 1.137 million, Big Brother
was next with 1.067 million and the Two Footy Shows were next with a
combined 1.056 million. The 7.30 pm ABC News averaged 1.017 million,
just in front of the 7.30 Report with 1.016 million in a very good
audience figure for a Thursday night. So 16 programs with a million or
more viewers and not one really took control of the night. But 423,000
average in Melbourne for the Footy Show from 9.30pm does help boost
ratings, while 270,000 average in Sydney wasn’t too bad either.

The Losers: Seven?
For showing the four episodes of the moderately funny animated series
(which owe a lot to South Park and The Simpsons) for not much result?
Seven probably threw the night away. It had done so well from 6pm to
7.30pm and then from 8.30pm to 9.30pm: and it then fell off the
cliff. It seems to have been a deliberate ploy. Bert’s Family Feud
averaged 668,000 which was OK for that show but Deal or No Deal
averaged 983,000 and Ten News at Five, 893,000. So it was third again
for Bert.

News & CA: Seven News again won
nationally and in every market but Brisbane and had good wins in Sydney
and Melbourne while Nine was strong in Brisbane as usual. Today
Tonight won everywhere. While Seven News and TT had strong wins in
Perth, it was a night where both were good across the country. Nine
won’t like ACA‘s lurch down to 1.191 million. That put it more than
350,000 viewers behind TT. The ABC 7pm News and 7.30 Report both had
very a solid night last night: it was as though viewers suddenly realised
Kerry O’Brien was still on air. More than a million viewers seemed
quite surprised that it was true and stayed glued to their sets. At the
other end of the day, no joy for Nine’s Today in its battle with Seven’s
Sunrise between 6am and 9am.

The Stats: Nine won with
a share of 29.1% (30.0% last week) to Seven with 28.5% (32.4%), Ten was
third with 21.3% (20.8%), the ABC was next with 12.4%(11.9%) and SBS
with 8.6% (4.9%: the impact of the World Cup) Nine won Sydney, Melbourne
and Adelaide, Seven won Brisbane and Perth. The Footy Show influence
wasn’t as pronounced in Brisbane and Perth. Nine has won the week

Glenn Dyer’s comments:
After doing so well a week earlier, Seven might be a little
disappointed: the two Footy Shows were strong in Sydney and Melbourne,
in particular from 9.30pm onwards. Seven says the two programs,
American Dad and Family Guy are being trialled: they won the 16 to 39
age group for the timeslot and finished second (very distant) to the
Footy Shows. And there’s the programmer’s dilemma: do you want to win
all the time, or do you also have to continually try and ease new
programs into the viewers’ minds to get them to accept the new
offerings down the track? It’s a juggling act. Seven does it well most
times, Nine blunders, Ten is an occasional seeder of viewer appetites.
Tonight it’s the NRL and AFL matches on Nine: last week, unattractive
matches helped Seven win the night. Seven has the second Rugby Test
tomorrow night from Melbourne. Will it outrate the first match on
Sunday night?

Peter Fray

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