Is Kerri-Anne the next victim in the WIN/PBL Media brawl? The brawl over a costs and revenue sharing agreement between the Nine Network and its major regional affiliate, WIN Corporation, is on the verge of getting really ugly. Three weeks after “boning” The Catch Up from the 1pm weekday timeslot, WIN now threatening to drop Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s morning show from its line up. Mornings with Kerri-Anne goes to air 9am to 11am Monday to Friday and gives Nine up to $20 million a year in revenue. It’s the leader in mid-morning TV, although 9am with David and Kim on Ten (which replaced Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton) has been slowly narrowing the gap. While Nine is trying to force WIN (and NBN) to pay more in a new affiliation agreement, WIN wants Nine to start giving it a share of the advertorial revenues of KAK’s program. WIN is differentiating between the revenue from its own advertising sales for KAK and the advertorial material which makes up most of the two hour program, the revenue from which goes straight to Nine. The continuing dispute between the regional giant and Nine/PBL Media over a new affiliation agreement saw The Catch-Up flicked because it wasn’t popular and WIN felt it was being forced to pay for a program it had no control over. It was the first new program started by Nine that WIN could chop to send a message to Willoughby. WIN has been indicating that it is prepared to go it alone and program its network the way it wants. That’s a threat that Southern Cross Broadcasting used to get Nine to the table late last year to sign a new affiliation agreement for SBC’s Nine affiliate in Adelaide, NWS-9. — Glenn Dyer

Rove bounces back. A few questions were answered last night. Rove McManus’ comeback to TV and switch to Sunday nights has been worth it. After two weeks back on air in the 8.30pm slot he came up against a full on ratings battle between Seven and Nine and not only survived but more than held his own. Last night, in the face of new eps of Grey’s Anatomy and CSI he bounced back strongly from last week’s audience drop to average 1.209 million after The Biggest Loser had averaged 1.310 million and flattened Seven’s Ugly Betty at 7.30pm. The strong showings by TBL and Rove gave Ten its best Sunday night of the year, with it taking top slot in its target demographics of 16 to 39 and 18 to 49. Rove was the sixth most watched show in Melbourne with 437,000 and the 10th watched program in Sydney with 315,000. He bombed in Brisbane. — Glenn Dyer

Seven wins another non-ratings week. The Seven Network continued on its winning ways last week, scoring a narrow victory over the Nine Network in the second week of “non” official ratings over the Easter break. The official ratings battle was resumed last night. Seven won with a share of 28.6% (28.7%) from Nine with 27.3% (25.6%), Ten with 22.4% (23.4%), the ABC with 15.9% (16.5%) and SBS on 5.8% (unchanged). Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Sydney and Melbourne. Nine won Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights. Seven won Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Ten won Saturday thanks to its AFL coverage which averaged 800,000, with 301,000 watching in Melbourne (Seven finished third). On Friday night the AFL on Seven averaged 804,000, thanks to the 485,000 in Melbourne. Nine’s NRL game averaged 751,000 with 412,000 in Sydney. The second game at 9.30pm averaged 463,000. Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens was the most popular program nationally with 1.263 million viewers from 7.30pm. Seven News and Today Tonight won nationally but Nine News won the week in Sydney. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A rude shock for the Seven Network and its programmers this morning. Nine had its best night of the year so far and completely whacked Seven’s “Beautiful Sunday” line up. Of course it wasn’t all Seven’s fault. Ten’s The Biggest Loser and Rove stole younger viewers from Seven’s Ugly Betty at 7.30pm and Grey’s Anatomy at 8.30pm while the ABC’s Robin Hood series didn’t help either. CSI was the most watched program on the night with 1.512 million for Nine at 8.30pm. Then came Nine News with 1.486 million viewers and 60 Minutes also had its best outing finishing third with 1.466 million (the hype about the “wolfman” no doubt helped but did we learn anything?). Seven News was next with 1.401 million, followed by CSI Miami (1.331 million). Australia’s Got Talent had 1.322 million (Seven has commissioned a second series) and Grey’s Anatomy was weak with 1.318 million, The Biggest Loser weigh-in averaged 1.310 million. The ABC’s Robin Hood debuted with solid 1.298 million figures. Ugly Betty was knocked down to 10th with 1.218 million, Rove averaged 1.209 million. Nine’s new ep of 20 to 1 at 6.30 pm averaged 1.133 million and seems to be running out of puff, like Bert. And the 7pm ABC news averaged 1.002 million. Ten’s repeat of Thank God You’re Here averaged a strong 975,000 for Ten at 6.30pm

The Losers: Seven’s What About Brian at 9.30pm with 865,000, around 460,000 behind CSI Miami and both are only average examples of US TV drama. It’s probably why Nine had such a solid edge over Seven last night. Once again, Seven’s dodgy programs in the 9.30pm timeslots on a couple of are keeping Nine closer some nights than it should. The really dodgy Pussycat Dolls program on Ten at 9.30pm or thereabouts averaged 773,000. The Abduction Club on the ABC at 8.30pm: 692,000, down 600,000 viewers from Robin Hood. Next week the ABC will have to start abducting viewers to watch it. It was pap.

News & CA: Nine News won with assistance from the NRL in Sydney but not in Brisbane where Seven is still doing well. Seven News losses against Nine are becoming noticeable in Sydney. Seven News was very weak in Sydney with 299,000. Ten News averaged 952,000 and Seven’s Weekend Sunrise at 8am averaged 444,000. Landline on the ABC at noon averaged 264,000; Sunday on Nine at 9am, 192,000 (and Ross Greenwood need to improve his reading of story intros. James Talia did a more than OK yarn on the French Presidential poll but Greenwood’s read was flat and uninteresting). He should look at the way Barry Cassidy herds his cats on Insiders at 9am (139,000) and Offsiders at 10.30am 121,000. Insider Business at 10am averaged 103,000; Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 73,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 31.2% (28.6% a week ago) from Seven with 25.6% (26.7%) Ten in third with 23.0% (unchanged), the ABC with 16.3% (17.2%) and SBS with 4.0% (4.4%). Nine had a clean sweep, even winning Perth narrowly. In regional areas a win for WIN/NBN with 32.5% from Prime/7Qld with 25.7%, Southern Cross with 19.9% (for Ten), the ABC with 17.3% and SBS with 4.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: With Big Brother starting next Sunday night and The Biggest Loser ending on Thursday, Ten will have considerable success at Seven’s expense this week. It’s why Seven is ignoring Nine in the ratings “spin” battle and concentrating on Ten. But Seven probably also paid the price for resting one of the two programs during non-official ratings in Easter. Both appeal to less “rusted” on audiences than CSI and 60 Minutes and by resting them, allowed viewers to go and find something else to watch or do. Not helping was the ABC’s Robin Hood series which started at 7.30pm last night and also drained viewers with its 1.298 million people. God it’s tough in TV when your carefully laid plans are busted open by someone else’s programming moves! Tonight will Seven make up ground with the return of The Rich List and Desperate Housewives? They’re up against What’s Good For You and 1 vs. 100. Ten has Bondi Rescue and TBL and two hours from the Melbourne Comedy festival, which Rove should have been promoting furiously last night with his comedians!

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey