Welcome ratings lift for embattled 2UE. Not much change in the Sydney radio market in Survey Five except that the
embattled 2UE saw a welcome lift in its overall share to 8.0 from 7.7 with the
Mike Carlton-Peter Fitzsimmons breakfast pairing rising strongly to 9.4 from
7.9. 2UE has been through stringent cost cutting and personnel losses (the
manager left for the Nine Network after “boning” at least nine staff one Friday
afternoon). This will help stave off the rumours that the on-air presenters, some of
whom (like Laws) are paid millions, are facing pay cuts. Alan Jones remains on top of breakfast despite his share dropping to
16.1 from 17.1. His station, 2GB remains No.1 with a 13.7 share (13.3). The ABC’s 702 was third (behind 2GB and Triple M) with an 8.7 share (8.5)
with breakfast host, Adam Spencer second behind Jones with 10.4 (10.3). John Laws edged higher to 8.0 from 7.7 ahead of Virginia Trioli on ABC 702 (7.8 from 7.4). The losers included the DMG stations Nova (kids and young adults) down to
6.4 from 7.1 and Vega (who cares) down to 1.9 from 2.0. Triple M had the biggest gain, up to 9.2 from 7.9, which will please
Austereo. Triple M saw increases across all timeslots.

Dumping Yasmin clears the way for strong
Idoldebut. It’s
now clear why the Ten Network had to yank Yasmin’s
Getting Married
over the weekend.

Besides
reacting to the program’s ratings fade last week, Ten knew that to keep it in place this week would
have hurt Idol badly. Idol‘s
Sunday evening audience of 1.346 million was around 16% down on last
year’s debut, but last night’s audience of 1.587 million was not only
the largest for any program on the night, but up around 80,000 on the
second program of the 2005 season. Sunday night’s audience started low
but finished with a 1.67 million average in the last half hour, which
was the highest national audience for that period. Last night, Idol‘s last half hour averaged 1.9 million viewers and peaked at 8.32pm with 2.02 million. Leaving
Yasmin in the 7pm timeslot would have made building
that sort of momentum much harder last night (Futurama averaged 892,000, so there
were almost 400,000 extra viewers available for Idol at 7.30pm). And
after last year when Idol underperformed against audience guarantees by Ten, that would have been akin to an early kiss of
death. Ten was
forced to give last year’s Idol sponsors “make good” ads, which are ads
essentially screened free to make up the difference between the guaranteed
audience and the actual audience figure.Glenn Dyer

Online advertising growth rolls on. New Audit Bureau of
Verification Services figures released yesterday show that online
advertising continues its extraordinary growth, increasing by 59.4% to
$778m in the last financial year. Meanwhile the industry is forecasting
that more money will be spent on internet advertising than on
television by 2021. Industry analyst Darryl Nelson of Frost and
Sullivan said that online ad revenues would exceed magazines this year,
radio next year and newspapers by 2016 before overtaking television.
The worry for journalists is that this expenditure won’t be a respecter
of the old church and state divisions between editorial and
advertising. The marketing industry is full of talk about the need to
“keep pace with the sophisticated online citizen” which is
advertising-speak for blurring the lines between content and
commercials. Advertising agencies will be writing and commissioning
their own content to try and overcome cynicism about conventional
advertising. – Margaret Simons

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Monday night and Seven wins from Nine, Australian Idol does it for Ten
and it’s smiles all round at Grundy’s the producers and at Ultimo where Ten
hides out in Sydney. Idol was the most watched program with 1.587
million from Seven’s Grey’s Anatomy with 1.573 million, Nine’s A
Current Affair
1.522 million, Seven News, 1.511 million, Nine News,
1.506 million, Home and Away (Seven at 7pm), 1.480 million,
Temptation, its 7pm sparring partner on Nine, 1.461 million and Nine’s
7.30 program, What’s Good For You with 1.302 million (and Siggie
Thornton looks great. There must be a special soft focus filter on some
of the cameras which shoot her. Or is it all Nature’s Own work?) Tenth
was the fresh episode of Cold Case at 8.30 pm with 1.280 million (it’s
losing some of its oomph the longer it stays at 8.30pm). Seven’s The
Great Outdoors
was 11th with 1.107 million, Criminal Minds (Seven, 9.30
pm) averaged 1.078 million and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.069 million.

The Losers:Bert’s Family Feud averaged 677,000 last night, behind Deal or No Deal
with 958,000 on Seven: not that it helped Seven: the News beat Nine
narrowly and ACA towelled Naomi on TT by a convincing margin. Seven
would be concerned by the 1.078 million who tuned in to watch Criminal
Minds
after Grey’s Anatomy. More than 1.3 million watched Criminal
Minds
on Sunday night so to shed 300,000 is not promising; to shed half
a million from the program before last night would be disturbing. Seven
could rationalise the numbers by saying “it did beat Nine and Ten in
the timeslot”. Yes it did, but it would need a lift. Nine premieres
Twisted Two in the 9.30 timeslot next Monday night.

News & CA: Seven
News
again won nationally by just 5,000 viewers, the margin in Perth
was a very handy 97,000. Nine won Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, Seven
won Melbourne where it seems to have again picked up strength. It was
Monday night so the Nine strength is now sort of normal. A Current
Affair
had its biggest win over Today Tonight for months and months:
ACA won nationally by 175,000 viewers. It won Sydney, Melbourne and
Brisbane. Adelaide was a draw with TT and TT won Perth as usual. The
7pm ABC News averaged 1.069 million, Ten News averaged 982,000. Four
Corners
averaged 792,000, Media Watch, 790,000 and Andrew Denton’s
Enough Rope, 889,000.

The Stats: Seven won the night with
28.3% (30.9%) from Nine on 26.9% (27.7%), Ten on 22.4% (19.4%), the ABC
with 16.1% (16.0%) and SBS with 6.2% (5.9%). Seven won all markets
except Adelaide where Ten had a victory on the back of the strong
effort by Idol.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine leads the
week 29.1% to 28.5% and tonight it will pitch its Dancing on Ice effort
up against Border Security, Medical Emergency and All Saints on Seven.
Ten is specialising in The Simpsons tonight, at 6pm, 7.30pm and from
8.30pm to 9.30pm. The Wedge is on, will Bogan TV be next to follow
Yasmin? Rove Live will battle hard at 9.30 pm. Futurama at 7pm instead of
Yasmin did one thing: with 892,000 viewers, it added nearly 400,000
viewers to Ten’s audience at that time compared to the 510,000 who
braved Yasmin last Friday night. And that in turn helped Australian
Idol
.

Peter Fray

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey.

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%