World Cup figures:
The final figures are in for the
Australia-Italy World Cup soccer match Tuesday morning and an average
2.988 million people watched across the country from 1am to 2am. That
was SBS’s second biggest audience ever after the prime-time Cup
qualifier from Melbourne last November. The ratings for the Italy game
were split between Monday and today because the two hours straddled the
2am end of ratings each day. The first hour in from 1am to 2am averaged
2.212 million across the five major metro markets and the second hour
averaged 2.048 million. A further 569,000 on average watched the first
hour in regional areas. The second hour averaged 2.048 million in the
major regional areas and the regional audience jumped to well over
700,000. Overall, the regional audience over the two hours averaged
708,000. The Sydney audience averaged 871,000 across the two hours
(911,000 in the second hour), Melbourne averaged 616,000 (647,000 in
the second hour), Brisbane 268,000 (274,000 in the second hour),
Adelaide 229,000 (216000). Perth’s average was 293,000 for the full
match (and recorded yesterday as it finished at 2am Perth time after
starting at midnight.

Network Ten looks ahead: Network
Ten says its second half will be its “best ever”. Well,
after its first half performance, it had better be better than that to top the
network’s ratings rebound from the depths of X-Factor and a faded Australian
last year. Financially there’s also a lot riding on the back half
of the year and how Ten keeps its first half momentum
going. Thanks
to taking risks (because it had nothing) and punting on new programs like the
half hour nightly version of The Biggest Loser, Friday Night Games, Bondi Rescue and Thank God You’re Here (and to some extent The Wedge), Ten lifted its share in
its key 16 to 39 demographic. But
more importantly it lifted its share in the broader 25 to 54 age group where the
overwhelming majority of the money spent on commercial TV is concentrated each
year. Ten’s
share in this demographic is now closer to Nine’s than Nine is to Seven. Seven
still leads from Nine, but ten has closed the gap to
within sight of Nine’s commercial share. Last
week Seven had a 34.3% share in this demographic, up from 31.1% in the same week
of 2005, Nine’s share was 33.4%, down from 39.9% a year earlier and Ten’s was up
to 32.2% from 29.9% a year earlier.Thank
God You’re Here
will be the headline program returning for
Ten and it will be interesting to see whether Ten can
extract a premium for what has been the most successful new program of
2006. As well
there’s the new series Rene’s
Getting Married
: a sort
of reality program based on a woman “getting” a man to the altar. Jamie’s Kitchen
was promised last year in the 2006 launch and should
do very well.The Con Test sounds interesting: a bluffers
version of a game show with a million bucks up for grabs. Can Eddie McGuire play
or be the host?Tripping Over is a
miniseries that will hopefully become a longer form series next year. Honey We’re Killing The Kids is a BBC fat person’s show. There’s
alsoIdol and a program called
Jericho (“The Biggest US drama event for years”!) Then
there’s the David Tench talk program coming from Andrew Denton’s
production company, the AFL in its finals glory. and the usual cast of Rove et

Last night’s TV ratings:

The Winners: Tuesdays are
generally Seven’s these days because of either Dancing With The Stars or Border
and Medical Emergency and so it was last night. Border Security was the
most watched program with 2.163 million viewers from 7.30 pm to 8pm.
The second most watched program though was the second hour of the World Cup
soccer game, Australia-Italy from 2am
to 3am which averaged 2.048
million. That didn’t count in the ratings battle because it was out of prime
time, so the second most watched program in prime time and the third most
watched in the day was Medical Emergency which averaged 1.775 million people.
Next was Seven’s Today Tonight with 1.616 million and Seven News with 1.575
million. All Saints was sixth with 1.463 million and Home and Away was seventh with
1.434 million. So Seven had the first six prime time programs last night. Nine
News was eighth with 1.423 million, a solid figure and A Current Affair was next
with 1.307 million (a turnoff of more than 100,000). Ten’s All New Simpsons was tenth with 1.271 million and Temptation was 11th with 1.258 million. Nine’s
repeat of CSI at 8.30 pm averaged
1.253 million (why do they watch a show they’ve seen before?). That was good
enough for 12th. Next was a fresh episode of CSI New York with 1.226 million.
Ten’s Big Brother was next with 1.147 million and The Wedge averaged 1.094
million and seems to have settled into a gentle groove. Nine’s desperate repeat
of Hey Hey Its Saturday By Request (Daryl Somers) averaged 1.087 million for
16th, The ABC’s The Bill lathered its way
past a mill to average 1.035 million, Ten News at Five averaged 1.027 million
and Seven’s Deal or No Deal averaged 1.005 million. So did you count them? 19
programs averaging a million or more people and leaving out the soccer, 18
programs averaging a million viewers or more from 5pm. That’s what you call a pretty good night and very competitive.

The Losers: So any losers on such
a competitive night? Well, Bert’s Family Feud did 738,000 so it’s sort of doing
well: it’s just that the Ten News and Deal or No Deal are doing so much better.
Ten’s The Wedge seems to have settled around the million mark. Will Ten extend
it to another season? That would be a real gamble, or gambol! Rove fell to
average 768,000. Hmmmm.

News & CA: Seven News and Today
again won nationally, but big wins in Perth
came in handy. Seven News won Brisbane,
Adelaide and Perth
where the margin was a massive 169,000. The national margin was 152,000!. Nine
won the big two, Sydney and Melbourne. Today Tonight again won every market.
The Perth margin was 139,000, the
national margin was 309,000. The 7pm
ABC News averaged 987,000 and the 7.30
, 756,000.

The Stats: Seven won (It’s
Tuesday night after all) with a share of 31.7% (30.7% a week earlier) to 26.1%
for Nine (26.0%), 20.7% for Ten (22.5%), 15.0% for the ABC
(14.3%) and 6.5% for SBS(6.5%). Seven won
all five metro markets and now leads the week for Nine, 28.6% to 28.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Again a competitive
night despite the strength of Border Patrol. Viewers looked wide and, well
watched TV. Nine’s attempt to convince viewers that it was the celebrity
network for the 7.30 pm celebrity timeslot didn’t crash but it certainly didn’t
work. Only a million or so viewers, beaten by more than a million by Seven’s
programs from 7.30 to 8pm and
700,000 from 8pm. Torvill and Dean
will be pushing it to make a significant and sustained dent in that sort of
ratings position. Ice skating is not part of the Australian culture: we don’t
have long icy winters or prominent ice dancers who become national darlings.
Still, it’s a rip-off of Dancing With The Stars and the first episode is
apparently live, so anything could happen. Tonight it’s Ten with House, Big
and NCIS up against the gels of McLeod’s, Without a Trace and Comedy
on Nine. Seven has Beyond Tomorrow.Prison Break and poor old Jack on 24
still trying to beat the clock. Viewers should beat him over the head with
their channel changers and tell him to begone. Unfortunately he’s back tomorrow,
the poor fellow.The ABC has Spicks and
and Absolute Power, which should be required viewing at Nine Network
these days

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey