Nine pushes the product placement envelope with Jetstar. The Packer Empire has no shame whatsoever. In the press release announcing some of Nine’s 2007 programs was this gem: “In the tradition of Airline and Airport, the Nine Network’s new series Jetstar goes behind the scenes of Australia’s newest international carrier as they deal with every type of Australian under the stressful conditions of airline travel.” And guess who is a director of Qantas? James Packer. And guess who is a director of PBL, Geoff Dixon, the CEO of Qantas. And guess who does the in-flight magazines for Qantas? ACP Magazines, part of the about to be created PBL Media. And who does the in-flight news for the Qantas airlines? The Nine Network. Shameless product placement of the worst kind; instead of paying for in program advertising like Virgin Blue, Jetstar will not get a program totally devoted to it as it begins its major overseas push. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Well the highlight last night came roughly around 10.20pm or so on SBS during the broadcast of the Walkley Awards for journalism. There was Stephen Mayne on stage presenting an award and there was a penguin masquerading as News Ltd political reporter, Glenn Milne. Hello, I said to myself, is this the George Miller film, Happy Feet, as the penguin shuffled across stage and back again, wrestling with another penguin and then a person resembling an Orca. No, it looked like Worldwide Wrestling, but hang on I thought, that’s somewhere on Foxtel. Only 146,000 people watched according to the early Oztam figures, which was a pity, it stood out on a night of fairly bland programming when the most watched program was My Name Is Earl on Seven at 8pm with 1.298 million people. Seven’s Bones was next with 1.225 million. Seven News was third with 1.224 million, Today Tonight was next with 1.195 million, then A Current Affair with 1.194 million. the final RPA averaged 1.184 million, Nine News averaged 1.183 million, Home and Away, 1.171 million, Temptation with 1.087 million, Look Who’s Talking (Nine, 8.30 pm) with 1.086 million, Getaway with 1.061 million and Seven’s 7.30pm program, How I Met Your Mother, 1.026 million. Seven’s The Amazing Race averaged 824,000.

The Losers: Jericho on Ten at 8.30pm, 675,000 (the end of the world type stories don’t really cut it here); the Jamie Oliver programs from 7.30pm (House Special, 706,000 and a repeat of his story, 747,000 from 8pm. He looked very young in that in places); Numb3rs which replaced David Tench from 9.30 pm, 733,000. Bert’s Family Feud did well with 577,000, Seven’s Deal Or No Deal, a lowish 728,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally by 41,000 and by 93,000 in Perth. Seven won Adelaide and Perth Nine News won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It was a similar situation for Today Tonight: it won nationally by just 1,000 (rounded out) and in Perth by 75,000. ACA won Sydney, Melbourne, TT won Adelaide and Perth. The two shared a win in Brisbane. The 7pm ABC News averaged 811,00, The 7.30 Report, 761,000. The Ten News At Five, 838,000. Sunrise averaged 456,000, Today cracked the 300,000 mark for the first time in months, averaging 302,000.

The Stats: Nine won narrowly, 31.1% (31.3% a week earlier) from Seven with 31.0% (29.1%), Ten with 18.9% (18.6%), the ABC with 12.3% (16.3%) and SBS with 6.6% (4.4%). Nine leads 32.1% to 26.6%. Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide, Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. In regional areas Nine won with WIN/NBN averaging 32.0% from Prime/7Qld with 31.3%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.2%, the ABC with 11.6% and SBS with 6.9%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven came back well and will think it was unlucky: the difference was the half hour from 9.30 pm to 10.30 pm where RPA did well in its final ep for the year. It averaged 1.18 million, The Amazing Race on Seven from 9.30 pm, 824,000. That was the difference on the night. Tonight and Saturday are the last nights of official ratings. The second Test is on. Nine should do well, thanks to the cricket.

Peter Fray

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