The Winners: Day two of the Australian Open. The heat, the drama and of course Lleyton Hewitt coming back from two sets to love down made it a very happy night for Seven last night. Home and Away, Today Tonight and Seven News also were strong. Home and Away was tops with 1.518 million, Today Tonight was second with 1.424 million, Seven News next with 1.333 million. Nine News was fourth with 1.323 million, Seven’s tennis from 7.30pm averaged 1.145 million (the late, from 10.30pm to 12.30am averaged 676,000. The matches ran until 3.30am because of the heat delays). A Current Affair was sixth with 1.124 million people, the repeat of Two and A Half Men at 7.30pm averaged 1.099 million. Next was the 7pm ABC News with another strong showing with 1.080 million viewers and the fresh ep of the tiring sitcom, The New Adventures of Old Christine, at 8pm on Nine averaged 1.012 million.
The Losers: Nothing really because it’s summer. The tennis was strong and Nine guessed that and programmed accordingly. Arnie in Eraser, 969,000 viewers and tenth spot. On Ten it was Golden Globe night: lots of frocks, backs, boobs, bling and no real Aussie connection. 853,000 people on average watched from 8.30pm to 11.30pm. The red carpet precursor from 7.30pm to 8.30pm averaged 681,000. Hardly worth showing even for Ten on a summer’s night. Even the tired looking ODI between England and the Kiwis did OK, averaging 683,000 for the afternoon session and 434,000 for the first session from 10am. It beat the early matches on Seven’s tennis which averaged 432,000 from 11am to 6pm.
News & CA: Seven News won nationally by 10,000 viewers and by 85,000 in Perth. Whew! Seven won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Melbourne by a mile and Brisbane narrowly. Today Tonight blitzed the faltering A Current Affair by 300,000 viewers. TT won Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. ACA was again a big winner in Melbourne. ABC News was strong and The 7.30 Report was as well with 907,000 viewers and shrugged off the tennis on Seven. Ten News was also solid with 894,000. Ten’s Late News/Sports Tonight faded to 289,000 because it was pushed back to a 11.30pm start by the Golden Globes. Nine’s Nightline was on even later at 11.45pm and averaged 223,000. Both were beaten by Seven’s late tennis. In the morning 7am Today and 6am Sunrise averaged 230,000 viewers while 7am Sunrise averaged 442,000.
The Stats: Seven with 32.7% (24.0%) from Nine with 25.8% (45.6% last week with the 20/20 game). Ten was next with 21.0% (13.8%), the ABC was on 15.7% (12.6%) and SBS with 4.9% (4.1%). Nine’s lead has narrowed to 27.7% to 27.1% for Seven. Seven won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane Adelaide and Perth. In regional areas Prime/7Qld won with 33.2% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 29.2%. Southern Cross was next for Ten with 17.1%, then the ABC with 15.8% and SBS with 4.8%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: The tennis worked for Seven, or rather the Little Aussie bleeder, Our Lleyton. His match saw the audience peak at 1.46 million as he fought his way back. But the real story is the free kick Nine is allowing Seven at 7pm. Seven has returned Home And Away and it is generating lots of attention and high audiences from the first two eps. It has nothing to do with being wasted; it is all about setting the program back in the minds of the viewing demographic for the rest of the year. Seven showed in 2005 and in 2006 that it was very skilled at starting the ratings season early (it does fall late in the year though). But by running that boring King of Queens sitcom Nine is allowing Seven a free run at viewers. The problem is that Nine doesn’t have anything to use as a spoiler, which reflects on the management of the network from the top down (and that’s at PBL Media and not just Nine). Tonight? Well if you don’t like Australian Princesses, can’t count with Numb3rs, don’t like chasing Men in Trees, or don’t like living Close To Home, We Can Be Heroes (Again) or play Man Stroke Woman then it’s the tennis for you or an early start to the night’s nap.