FTA v Pay TV ratings brawl continues. The Free To Air TV industry and the Pay TV mob are having another one of their arguments over viewing and ratings which seem to erupt after every major holiday break. The Pay TV industry claimed that last week: “For Week 14 covering 1-7 April, in Metro All Homes Total STV secured the strongest weekly share result ever with 25.0% share on a 5 City Metro basis, ahead of Seven with 21.4% share. Total STV was also the number one network in each of the 5 capital cities with a strong 29.3% share in Sydney.” And that brought this response from Free TV Australia:

The commercial television networks today added their support to the growing number of industry analysts and media commentators calling for greater transparency from Pay TV in the way it reports its ratings. “Advertisers deserve better than the smoke and mirrors act dished up by Pay TV,” says Julie Flynn, CEO of Free TV Australia. What matters most to an advertiser is: who saw my ad? Unless you’ve bought every spot on every pay TV channel, their aggregated share and weekly reach figures are meaningless. It’s no wonder they’re reluctant to follow the free to air networks in being measured by AC Nielsen AdEx; the majority of commercial spots on Pay TV would rate a zero.

The Pay TV claim is right, but it is once again a wrong-headed completely misleading comparison. On the same basis of the Pay TV claim of a 25.0% share in the five metro markets, FTA TV had a 75.0% share, while in Sydney Pay TV might have had a 29.3% share but FTA TV had a 70.7% share. But the FTA mob bring this sort of debate on by scheduling so many repeats or poor rating programs during the Easter break and associated school holidays. the answer would be to get rid of the Easter break in official ratings. Pay TV said on Monday night the Cronulla-St George NRL game was watched by almost 309,000 people from 7pm to 8.55pm. That would have put it 6th, behind SBS for most of that time, especially from 7.30pm onwards when Mythbusters averaged 644,000 until 8.30pm. Pay TV said 1.220 million people were watching its various platforms when the NRL game went to air, but didn’t break out other channels or programs. — Glenn Dyer

Seven wins Easter ratings. A win to Seven in the first week of Easter ratings, despite a big loss on the Sunday night. Seven won the week comfortably in the end, 28.7% (31.1% a week earlier) to 25.6% for Nine (unchanged), 23.4% for Ten (21.9%), 16.5% for the ABC (15.6%) and SBS on 5.8% (unchanged). Seven won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Sydney. Seven lost the Sunday night heavily with a share of 20.3% to 30.2% for Nine and 28.4% for Ten, but Seven built share during the week, while Nine and Ten both lost share. Seven won Thursday, Friday and Saturday (when Nine finished fourth after Ten and the ABC). — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Wins for Nine on the first two nights of the second week of Easter non-ratings. Schedules are still light on with only the odd heavy hitter back in action, such as tonight with Dancing With The Stars. On Sunday night there were just six programs with a million or more viewers. The most watched programs were Seven News with 1.368 million, Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent with 1.227 million, Nine News with 1.183 million, Nine’s repeat of CSI with 1.140 million, 60 Minutes with 1.125 million and The Biggest Loser with 1.088 million. Rove averaged 999,000 for Ten at 8.30pm. Last night there were a dozen programs with a million or more viewers. Seven News was tops with 1.533 million from Today Tonight with 1.530 million, Nine’s 1 vs 100 at 8.30pm with 1.439 million, the elimination ep of The Biggest Loser with 1.319 million at 7pm, Nine News with 1.296 million, A Current Affair with 1.238 million and the repeat of Bondi Rescue at 8pm (after TBL) with 1.226 million. Extreme Celebrity Surgery on Seven at 7.30pm had 1.167 million, then Home and Away averaged 1.167 million, the repeat of CSI New York had 1.067 million, Temptation averaged 1.037 million and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.021 million. Nine’s repeat of What’s Good For You at 7.30pm averaged 955,000 and was easily beaten by that celebrity surgery program on Seven! Australian Story on the ABC at 8pm averaged 807,000. Mythbusters on SBS had 644,000. Seven rested The Rich List and Desperate Housewives last night.
 
The Losers: We viewers all were to some extent. On Sunday night, Entertaining Friends With The AWW  (Nine, 7pm, 760,000) once again showed how not to do a cross-promotional program. Fresh on Nine weekdays is how it is done. The Garden Gurus only had 663,000 for Nine at 6.30pm on Sunday. Both were stopgap programs on Sunday evening. A oncer for the Gurus. Strange how lifestyle gardening programs are dead on commercial TV now. No real losers last night except for Seven’s movie, Japanese Story with 747,000 from 8.30pm: lost Seven the night.
 
News & CA: Sunday night, Seven News won by 175,000 viewers, winning Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Nine News won Sydney. Last night Seven News won by 237,000 viewers, lost Sydney again but won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Today Tonight (with Sam Armytage sitting in for Anna Coren and doing well) and by 292,000 viewers. TT won all five metro markets. Seven News in Sydney losing a lot to Nine in Sydney at the moment. The 7pm ABC News was strong as was The 7.30 Report with 825,000 people. Ten News averaged 704,000 on Sunday night and 973,000 on Monday night for the hour. Ten’s Late News/Sports Tonight averaged 343,000 last night. Four Corners averaged 745,000 and Media Watch, 628,000. A Difference Of Opinion on the ABC at 9.35pm averaged 406,000. Nightline on Nine averaged 323,000 last night. Sunrise averaged 348,000, Today, 227,000. Ten’s golf audience having an impact there. SBS News averaged 207,000 at 6.30pm.
 
The Stats: Nine won both nights. Sunday it won with a share of 28.6% (30.2%) from Seven with 26.7% (20.3%), Ten with 23.0% (28.4%), the ABC with 17.2% (16.8%) and SBS with 4.4% (4.3%). Monday night Nine won again with 29.1% (25.0%) from Seven with 26.2% (31.7%), ten with 22.4% (21.1%), the ABC with 14.3% (14.5%) and SBS on 8.1% (7.1%). Nine leads the week 28.9% to 26.4% for Seven. In regional areas WIN/NBN won Sunday night with 31.9% from Prime/7Qld with 25.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.9%, the ABC with 15.1% and SBS with 5.4%. Monday night another win to WIN/NBN for Nine with 31.3% from Prime/7Qld with 25.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.7%, the ABC with 14.2% and SBS with 9.0%. Nine’s The Catch-Up remains banned by WIN in regional areas.
 
Glenn Dyer’s comment: Foxtel’s Monday night NRL game averaged 308,907 people from 7pm to 8.55 pm when 1.220 million were watching Pay TV and its many channels. The ABC went all commercial Sunday and “rested” Insiders, Inside Business and Offsiders from 9am to 11am. Which was obviously some sort of cost saving, or was it the live broadcast of the US Masters Golf on Ten? There was plenty of business news around (the Wesfarmers bid for Coles), there was plenty of sport and there was a bit of politics. Enough to sustain three programs (Offsiders could have been an hour, such was the amount of sport). Nine’s Sunday remained on air and viewing was low, but it was on air. The US Masters on Ten averaged 161,000 on Sunday morning; Sunday had 183,000. Seven’s Weekend Sunrise averaged 401,000. The golf averaged 153,000 on Monday morning with Stuart Appleby briefly in contention. Tonight its a proper ep of Dancing With The Stars on Seven at 7.30pm, followed by fresh eps of All Saints and Crossing Jordan. Seven to win and pull closer to Nine. Nine has shifted I Shouldn’t be Alive from 7.30pm where it started last week to 9.35pm tonight. After just one week. It isn’t that good, has been to air on Pay TV and is screaming out for local stories! Ten has TBL for 90 minutes (resting The Simpsons) and a repeat of NCIS. The ABC, well, check your guides and wake up!

Peter Fray

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