Telstra Gets the Free Ads on the ABC. The ABC has abandoned its policy of not promoting commercial interests with its decision to run unpaid advertisements for the Telstra controlled websites of the Australian Football League and the National Rugby League. Radio broadcasts of both football codes are now liberally sprinkled with details of how to listen to listen to ABC descriptions not being broadcast in your state. Big Pond’s afl.com.au and nrl.com.au are the destinations football devotees are sent. Telstra must be delighted at the extra traffic it gains when two games are played at the same time or if you happen to be an Aussie rules follower in Sydney or a rugby league fanatic in Melbourne without any ABC radio coverage in your state. — Richard Farmer Journalists stand up for Kessing, finally. Regular readers will have followed the tale of Allan Kessing, the former customs official who has spent a chunk of his superannuation defending himself from the federal government after being accused of leaking an important but hitherto ignored report on airport security to The Australian. With notable exceptions journalists and media organisations have been slow to publicise his case or defend Kessing, although they are (rightly) quick to squeal when journalists are in the gun for refusing to reveal their sources in courts of law. But now the journalists’ union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance has launched an appeal with funds to go towards paying Kessing’s legal fees. For more information click here. — Margaret Simons
 Nine throws money at itself — and it works. A win to the Nine Network last week, only its second of the ratings year and a result of spending a lot of money to try and snatch momentum from the Seven Network. Nine won thanks to the third State of Origin Rugby League match on Wednesday night (more than 1.8 million), the debut of the new marine drama Sea Patrol on Thursday night (more than 1.9 million) and a repeat of the Harry Potter And the Chamber of Secrets movie on Saturday night which averaged more than a million people for more almost three and a half hours from 7.30pm. In fact the Harry Potter movie was the difference between a win and expensive embarrassment for Nine after Seven’s AFL game on Friday night moved the network back into the lead. Nine’s convincing win Saturday night saw it back to win the week 29.3% (27.1%) to Seven’s 28.6% (29.0%), with Ten on 20.7% (21.7%), the ABC with 16.1% (17.0%) and SBS with 5.4% (5.2%). Nine won Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven won Melbourne (where the AFL is taking its toll on Nine, despite the belief by former CEO, Eddie McGuire that the Footy Show could hold back the Seven Network hordes) and Perth (Where WIN Corporation will have its work cut out trying to repair a decade of damage to the Nine brand by the former owners, Sunraysia TV). The week win means Nine won two of the three weeks when the high rating State of Origin was broadcast. — Glenn DyerThe beginning of the end. This week sees the finales of quite a few programs and the start of others. The most notable is the return of the Ten network’s Thank God You’re Here on Wednesday night at 7.30pm. With a fresh ep of House and another of Medium, Ten may have a chance of ruining the night for either Nine or Seven. On Wednesday, Seven’s Prison Break (On The Run) moves to 8.30pm for a 110 minute finale. Seven’s Brothers and Sisters finishes in two weeks. Nine has its changed line-up Tuesday night with Neighbours at War and CSI New York gone and The Nation moved to Wednesday nights to die at 10.30pm. Crime and Justice (aka The Code) ends at 7.30pm with an hour season finale. Seven finishes It takes Two from 7.30pm to around 9.30pm. Thursday sees Seven end How I met Your Mother at 7.30pm, the short run of the poor, That ’70s Show ends at 8pm and The Love rat’s Age of Love (aka The Poo’s Age of Love) airs at 8.30pm and gives Nine’s Sea Patrol a clear run. Friday night sees the ABC end the current series of Taggart and the first and only series of The Ghost Squad. Ten starts America’s Next Top Model at 9.30pm. — Glenn Dyer Last night’s TV ratings The Winners: Sunday night and a solid start to the week by Nine. 60 Minutes was tops with 1.682 million people, Seven News was second with 1.680 million and Nine News was third with 1.642 million. Grey’s Anatomy was next with 1.566 million. Seven’s 6.30pm Where Are They Now? averaged 1.397 million and Nine’s CSI was well down at 1.354 million (and well behind Grey’s on Seven). Backyard Blitz was 7th with 1.276 million. Seven’s Ugly Betty averaged 1.242 million at 7.30pm (and well behind 60 Minutes). The 7pm ABC News had a strong 1.237 million viewers in 9th. 10th was Nine’s CSI Miami with 1.198 million. The final ep of the ABC’s Robin Hood averaged 1.057 million (up on recent outings). The Big Brother Live Eviction was 12th with 1.052 million and not all that healthy. Big Brother at 6.30pm averaged 967,000, Seven’s 9.30 program, What About Brian averaged 977,000. Rove averaged 816,000 after the eviction ep of BB. CSI Miami and 60 Minutes were the differences last night between Nine and Seven. Nine might be having a small worry about the recent weakness in CSIThe Losers: Losers? Those repeats of Real Stories from last year on Ten after Rove. Not even re-labelling them Hamish and Andy’s Real Stories can breathe new life into them. They averaged 595,000 viewers last night. From memory they died as the season went on last year (like The Wedge did and it returns with a new series soon!). News & CA: Seven News again won nationally but narrowly. Nine won Sydney and Adelaide, Seven won Melbourne, Brisbane (where the NRL hasn’t been as effective as it has been in Sydney on Sunday afternoons) and Seven won Perth. Ten News At Five averaged a solid 924,000 for the half hour. World News Australia on SBS averaged 214,000 at 6.30pm. In the morning chat battle, Weekend Sunrise on Seven averaged 442,000, Landline at Noon on the ABC, 296,000, Sunday on Nine, 239,000, Offsiders on the ABC at 10.30am, 158,000, Insiders on the ABC at 9am averaged 148,000. Inside Business at 10am, 125,000. The Stats: Nine won with a share of 32.3% (29.2% last Sunday) from Seven with 28.0% (28.6%), Ten was well back in third with 17.5% (19.9%), the ABC was on 15.8% (16.5%) and SBS is on 6.4% (5.7%). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven won Perth. It was the same result in regional areas with WIN/NBN getting a 36.2% share, Prime/7Qld, 25.9%, The ABC was third with 16.0%, Southern Cross (Ten) was 4th with 15.2% and SBS was on 6.7%. Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine and Seven will be going at each other again this week after Nine’s second win of the year. Seven should win because Nine doesn’t have a solid Wednesday night winner like The State Of Origin last week. Seven though does have the final of It Takes Two tomorrow night and then All Saints, which has been the difference between winning and losing recently. Although Nine won last week, Seven did win the 25 to 54 age group, 18 to 49 and all viewers under 55 last week. Nine won because its programs (except Harry Potter) skewed heavily to the over 55s, especially Sea Patrol. That’s something no-one at Nine is shouting. McLeod’s Daughter’s return this week will help Nine on Wednesday nights, but the return of Thank God You’re Here on Ten at 7.30pm will take viewers from Seven on Wednesday night. Tonight it’s Lad-TV with Top Gear on SBS. Seven has Border Security, Surf Patrol and Desperate Housewives. Ten doesn’t have much at all, Nine has the one-off special on genius kids and then Eddie the Genius fronting a kids special edition of 1 vs 100. How good were Gary Sweet and Aaron Pedersen on The Circuit on SBS last night? How bad was the final episode of Robin Hood? Talk about a hastily tied together final few minutes to enable a new series to be made. Not the sharpest bunch of blades in a wood is our Rob and his mates! Maid Marian was really tiresome last night.

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