Australia v Croatia ratings. Another
big audience for the Australia-Croatia game in the early hours of last Friday
morning, but once again Melbourne viewers have
refused to watch the Socceroos in the same numbers as
their supposedly more fickle Sydney counterparts. Oztam figures showed that a total
of 2.771 million people watched the game across Australia on
average from 5am to 7am, a staggering 91% or so of the
audience in metro areas alone. The
audience split was 2.023 million in the five major metro markets and a further
748,000 in regional areas. The
peak was a combined 3.73 million people: 2.73 million in the city at 6.49 am and
a further 1.1 million in regional areas. SBS
said all told 4.032 million watched the match for a minimum of five minutes or
more in all areas: 3.08 million in metro areas and 1.24 million in regional
Australia. But while Sydney viewers
continued to strongly support the Socceroos with
943,000 watching the game on average (that’s as many as watched the Swans in
Sydney win last year’s epic AFL Grand Final),
Melbourne
viewers piked it. Some
507,000 people watched this deciding game for Australia, less than the
number that watched the Australia-Japan game – so much for the Melburnians’ boast to be the biggest supporters of sport
in this country. In
Sydney the audience share was 93.9%,
Melbourne 91.1%, 85.3% in
Brisbane (where 279,000 people watched), 90.7% in Adelaide
where 168,000 watched on average and 126,000 in Perth (89.1%) where it was two hours
earlier. Meanwhile, a Roy Morgan survey says: “More than
six-and-a-half million Australians (39% of Australians aged 14 and over – 44% of
men and 34% of women) watched the SBS’s live broadcast
of the historic Socceroos’ 2-2 draw against Croatia on
Friday morning.“ The 5am
East Coast starting time meant that many people were able to watch the game
prior to work, therefore the number was up on the 4.596 million that watched the
Australia v
Brazil
match (June 19, 2am), but more than half-a-million
fewer than the 7.115 million Australians who watched the Australia v
Japan
game (June 11, 11pm). The clear
majority of viewers (6.157 million) watched the match at home, 87,000 at a
friends’ house, and 98,000 at a public venue (hotel, public place), while
167,000 watched it somewhere else. Respondents
surveyed on Friday and Saturday (June 23/24, 2006) were
asked: “Did you watch the
Australia versus
Croatia match on Friday
morning?”
Glenn Dyer

Nine’s Wimbledon er-ction. It’s up and ready to go; its
shelves and fridges stocked with the best food and wine money can buy,
the invitations organised and vetted – it’s a mighty marquee of
impressive size at Wimbledon for the
PBL group, paid for by Nine. It is an annual event: Nine and PBL
executives decamp for London for the tennis. It was great when the Test cricket
coincided with the tennis in June and July. The visit used to be a
homage to his holiness “The Shareholder”, Kerry Packer, when living and
gambling and playing polo in London in the 80s and 90s was not beyond
him. He lived at the Savoy in London and staff, from producers to
CEOs, sports reporters, minions minor and major, were chatted to,
bought a drink, bollocked, and made to feel part of the inner circle.
But in recent years, as his holiness’s health declined and he couldn’t
travel as much, the Mighty Marquee became a bit of a perk for all
concerned: advertising greats and other important clients were added to
the list, as well as the heavies from ITN and the
BBC and folk from Britain’s burgeoning independent TV and film
production houses. This year, Nine Melbourne boss Paul Waldren will be
there, gladhanding advertising clients and the like. PBL CEO John
Alexander will also be attending now that he’s (almost) kingpin – he still ranks after James Packer and his
mother, Ros, if she attends. All the ickiness of the 100 job
losses at PBL and changes at ACP, is left behind him in London. And the
cost? Well, wiser heads around Nine say the cost of the Mighty Marquee
will be greater than the cost to Nine of the entire two week coverage
of Wimbledon. And how long will Nine have the
tennis? Well it’s a moot point – reducing the coverage or sharing it with
Fox Sports is being investigated, but the finals on the last weekend
(and I suppose the semis on the two days prior) are the key for
ratings. Perhaps Fox Sports will do what one of its owners, PBL wants
it to do. So will the Mighty Marquee stay if the tennis leaves Nine? – Glenn Dyer

Why Ten pulled Big Brother AO. The Ten
Network’s decision to pull the tacky Big Brother Adults Only
program was in direct response to the opportunistic posturing of
conservative federal government backbenchers, Trish Draper and Paul
Neville. Unlike the smutty Uncut version, this year’s AO version
was heavily edited and monitored by Ten, so much so that the number of
complaints received by the network is supposed to have been fewer than
ten. But sensing another opportunity after moaning last year, the two
pollies
raised questions about the program in Canberra last week in the
Coalition partyroom. Neville
and Draper, who have been critical of Big Brother in the past, suggested that
ACMA, the federal regulator of TV, should be given powers to preview programs
such as Big BrotherAO. Ten said in a statement
on Friday that its decision to end Big BrotherAdults
Only
was made because “questions continue
to be raised as to whether the show should be on
air. We did not see that
situation changing, regardless of how we treated the program, and that
uncertainty was putting unfair pressure on our
team.” Ten only has itself to blame. After the kerfuffle
of last year’s uncut version, to go down the Adults Only route was inviting
trouble, especially with the network copping a minor monstering from the old Australian Broadcasting Authority
(ABA). Sure, the
program did increase Ten’s share of its target 16 to 39 group. But what’s
more important, a few smutty bits from Big Brother and trying to use as much of
the expensive vision as possible, or the TV licence
and the absence of any regulatory intervention? It’s a
no-brainer. – Glenn Dyer

Seven wins despite soccer boon.

The week was
dominated by SBS and its huge audiences for two soccer games, but in the end last
week was won by Seven in a solid performance from a
repeating Nine, with Ten a goodish third. The big
audiences on SBS for the Australian games against Brazil and Croatia were out of
prime time but still dwarfed those for the Rugby league State of Origin the week
before, the weekly AFL and NRL games, and the two Rugby Tests on
Seven. What made last week interesting, apart from the World Cup, was the
fact that Seven again stole Friday night from Nine despite the latter
having the NRL and AFL games that night. What did it for Seven was Nine’s programming of tired old Frasier
repeats back to back at 7.30pm: it averaged 880,000, down on what
Supernanny and Backyard Blitz had been getting in that slot and 513,000
behind Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens. Perhaps
for that reason, the Nine NRL and AFL games didn’t rate as highly as they have
been doing: the football averaged just 920,000: solid, but around 100,000 or
more down on normal. The
football must have been pretty unattractive for it to only add 40,000 extra
viewers than Frasier over the two and a half hours! Seven
won the week 27.7% (25.8% the week before) to 26.8% for Nine (28.5%), with Ten
on 23.0% (20.2%), the ABC on 15.3%(15.1%) and SBS on
7.3% (10.4%). Seven
won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth; Nine won Melbourne and Ten won
Adelaide. Saturday night Seven showed the
Rugby Union test between Australia and Ireland and Ten
showed the AFL game between the Swans and The Eddiewood. No
wobbling for Eddie’s mob, they had a good win, but not on the square screen in
Sydney: just
123,000 watched even though the Swans were playing. In
Melbourne the
audience averaged 419,000 and powered Ten to a win on
the night in that market. But
Sydney saw 313,000 on average watch
Australia win well in the
Rugby test: The AFL averaged 734,000 nationally, the Rugby 726,000, so no real domination. Nine
snuck the night from Seven but it wasn’t enough to
overhaul its rival which won the week. – Glenn Dyer


Last night’s TV ratings:

The winners: A slick win to Nine last night thanks to CSI, 60
Minutes
and a repeat of 20 to 1 at 6.30pm.
They built on the chart topping performance of Nine News nationally. Just nine
programs had an audience of a million or more people – Nine News was tops with
1.662 million, then 60 Minutes with 1.638 million, Seven News with 1.625
million, the repeat of 20 to 1 with 1.582 million, CSI with 1.424 million, and
the Big BrotherLive Eviction was 6th with 1.401 million. Seven’s It Takes Two
was 7th with 1.358 million, the Big Brother Eviction special ( 6.30 pm) was next with 1.136 million and Law and Order
Criminal Intent
was 9th with 1.067 million.

The losers: Losers? Rusty Crowe in Master and Commander – a
high profile movie, actor and a dud. Only 904,000 tuned in for the movie, and there were
times you could have expected more than double that for such a bankable star. But it’s
been around and around and movies just don’t cut it with FTA viewers any
more.

News & Current Affairs: Nine News won everywhere (even in Sydney where the News started around 2 minutes late as the
NRL game ran over. Seven beat Nine to air with its live stuff of the Nic and
Keef wedding). Ten News at Five with Steve Liebmann reading averaged 866,000,
the ABC News averaged 937,000 at 7pm
while Weekend Sunrise again topped the morning chat show figures with 369,000.
Sunday rose above 300,000 to average 311,000 for Nine: Sportsworld averaged
337,000 (Nine’s Sunday Footy Show at 11am,
359,000). The ABC’s Landline averaged 228,000. My Business on Seven at 11am
averaged 210,000, Business Sunday at 8am
returned after the golf last week and averaged 168,000 (66,000 more than the
golf!). Nine’s Business Success averaged 110,000 at 7.30am while the ABC
trio The Insiders (90,000) Offsiders, 79,000 and Inside Business, 77,000, were
all down noticeable from previous weeks (especially Insiders). Ten’s Meet The
Press
was also off, averaging just 45,000 at 8am.


The Stats:
Nine won with a share of 32.3% (27.4% a week
earlier), from Seven with 25.4% (24.7%), Ten on 21.5% (24.4%), the ABC
with 14.6% (15.8%) and SBS with 6.1% (7.8%). Nine had a clean sweep in all
markets.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A solid rebound by Nine after being beaten last
week. All the old favourites, including a repeat of 20 to 1 did the job.
Viewers might complain about repeats but they watch assiduously in the case of
CSI on Tuesday night, 20 to 1 last night and Law and Order on Ten every now and
then. Tonight it’s another head to head between Nine and Seven: Seven will be
matching Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy against What’s Good For
You
, Cold Case and Close To Home. Ten is aiming at the 16 to 39s tonight
with Big Brother and Supernatural. The AO version of Big Brother has gone.

Peter Fray

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