Gordon sues for peace in Nine affliation stoush. So who won the battle of wits between the Nine Network’s owners, PBL Media, and its regional and metro affiliate, WIN Corporation? The WIN PR outlet known as The Australian‘s finance pages declared WIN and the Gordon family the winners over the weekend:

The owner of WIN Television, Bruce Gordon, has claimed victory in his protracted, often bitter battle with the private equity owners of the Nine Network over what the regional television operator pays for its programs, describing WIN as becoming “the arms and legs of Nine”.

WIN and Nine’s owner, PBL Media, finally confirmed yesterday that the two had struck a new five-year deal to supply the “super-regional” network with TV programs.

In a victory for the 78-year-old Mr Gordon, PBL Media was unable to extract the 40 per cent of WIN’s gross advertising revenue it had been seeking in negotiations since the start of the year.

It is understood under the terms of the new deal WIN will start paying 33 per cent of its gross advertising revenue to Nine, rising by 0.5 per cent a year to 35 per cent by the fifth year. This compares with the 32.5 per cent WIN was previously paying across its network for programming.

But the Sydney Morning Herald was less accommodating — “Hostilities end as WIN shows the white flag”:

The WIN Corp owner, Bruce Gordon, has lost his seven-month tug of war with PBL Media, signing an agreement that will increase the fees the regional television broadcaster has to pay for Nine Network’s programs. But he managed to fend off a hefty rate increase.

Well, it’s true that Gordon isn’t paying the 40%-plus that PBL Media originally wanted, but he didn’t get the 29% he wanted either.

And the “white flag” quip is accurate because Gordon has done everything he could to put pressure on Nine, but in the end PBL Media got what it wanted all along, more revenue from its biggest affiliate. —  Glenn Dyer

AFL dominates finals ratings battle. It was the AFL first and daylight second in the footy finals’ TV battle over the weekend. The AFL went national and Seven and Ten’s telecasts easily beat Nine’s NRL broadcasts in Sydney and Brisbane. Friday night’s match between Port Adelaide and the Eagles averaged 1.271 million viewers, with 536,000 in Melbourne, 265,000 in Adelaide and 356,000 in Perth. The NRL semi between Parramatta and the Auckland Warriors averaged 790,000 with 486,000 in Sydney and 246,000 in Brisbane. The rest of the country saw it after midnight. Saturday afternoon’s AFL thriller between Hawthorn and Adelaide averaged 943,000 with 326,000 in Melbourne and 259,000 in Adelaide. Collingwood’s Saturday night win over Sydney saw 1.036 million people watch with 521,000 in Melbourne and just 146,000 in Sydney. With the Swans out, the AFL will now struggle to attract solid audiences in Sydney and the Grand Final could under shoot Ten’s expectations. Saturday night’s second NRL semi averaged 826,000 for the NQ Cowboys/Canterbury game with 474,000 in Sydney and 306,000 in Brisbane. The third NRL semi between Manly and South Sydney averaged 708,000 with 502,000 watching in Sydney and 206,000 in Brisbane. It wasn’t broadcast elsewhere in Australia. And yesterday’s match between Geelong and the Kangaroos produced a lopsided outcome and 906,000 viewers, with 452,000 in Melbourne. The equally lopsided NRL semi between the Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos had 815,000, with 367,000 in Sydney, 269,000 in Brisbane and 150,000 in Melbourne where the game was live. The biggest audience on any market was in Melbourne for Friday night’s non-Melbourne game between Port and West Coast. Manly had the biggest NRL audience but that was due more to their opponents, South Sydney, than the Sea Eagles. — Glenn Dyer

Footy finals video special. Veteran commentator Dennis Cometti was in fine form when Ben Cousins broke down during the Eagle loss on Friday night — watch it here. And there were some upset Brisbane Broncos fans in Melbourne last night as Seven reporter Ben Davis discovered — watch it here

Situation normal: Seven wins another week. Another week, another win for Seven despite Nine winning four nights last week. Seven won with 28.9% (27.4%) from Nine with 27.2% (26.4%), Ten on 22.1% (23.3%), the ABC with 16.7% (16.2%) and SBS with 5.1% (6.8%). All but one of the programs in the top national top 20 were local (the odd one out was Midsomer Murders on the ABC). In fact of the top 50 programs, only 10 were foreign, emphasising how much Australians like local product. Nine won Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Seven won Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Friday’s win was huge: 37.1% to 26.4% for Nine as the first AFL final easily beat the first NRL semi-final. Nine won Sydney; Seven won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. — Glenn Dyer 

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Viewers re-discovering Kath & Kim last night and its audience lifted back above 2 million to 2.045 million. Seven News was second, boosted by the AFL in Melbourne, with 1.694 million, ahead of Nine News, which was boosted by the NRL, especially in Sydney. Idol was next for Ten with 1.544 million, followed by My Name Is Earl (1.421 million), 60 Minutes (1.389 million), Australia’s Best Backyards (1.361 million), Hot Property (1.338 million), Backyard Blitz (1.324 million), the 7pm ABC News (1.141 million) and Rove (1.042 million).

The Losers: Nothing really. It was a fairly even night. The ABC lost 600,000 viewers with the switch from Midsomer Murders to the fiction of Thomas Hardy (Under the Greenwood Tree), next Sunday might be better but Nine brings back CSI for the old crime addicts. Nine’s 8.30pm movie, Runaway Jury, had 956,000: OK but not great. Ten’s America’s Next Top Model continues to drag. The models might appeal to the young female viewers Ten wants for Idol, but it is a pap program, so typical for what passes for entertainment on Pay TV these days.

News & CA: Seven News won nationally and in every market but Sydney. Brisbane was close but Seven was boosted by its newsreader, Sharyn Ghidella. Seven won last night with 338,000 to 334,000 for Nine. Ten News averaged 635,000. SBS News had 209,000 at 6.30pm. In the morning Weekend Sunrise had 454,000; Insiders, 202,000; Offsiders, 177,000; Inside Business, 163,000 and Sunday (shifted to 8am due to the tennis), 170,000. Landline on the ABC at noon, 169,000 (and weak since host, Sally Sara, left to do a scholarship in the US). Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 60,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a share of 28.3% (25.2%), from Nine with 27.3% (25.6%), Ten with 24.4% (21.4%), the ABC with 15.6% (21.0%) and SBS with 4.4% (6.8%). Nine won Sydney and Brisbane, Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth (a real AFL/NRL divide). In regional areas a win to Nine with 30.6% for WIN/NBN, with Prime/7Qld on 26.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.4%, the ABC with 14.6% and SBS with 5.6%. Nine won Sydney strongly because of the NRL boost in the early evening. Nine News (584,000) was more popular than K&K, 493,000. The irony is that the Melbourne Storm helped Nine win in Sydney, and to think Nine has been loath to show Storm games live in Melbourne on Friday nights. Sunday arvos are OK!

Glenn Dyer’s comments: There were a few lessons from TV yesterday. The first was that Nine’s Sunday program is not competitive at 8am up against Seven’s Weekend Sunrise, even if they flick Ross Greenwood and put in Ray Martin. Sunday has always started at 9am and that is the best time for it. It adds viewers in the last hour when Sunrise disappears. The US Open only averaged 121,000 and Sunday is far more important anyway. Offsiders was pretty interesting yesterday (but it needs a female sports writer each week for perspective). Last night the best part of Kath and Kim was the two hander at the end as the credits flicked over (that’s a great way to stop Seven from compressing the credits and putting in a promo of another program). Seven basically won the week last night. Seven wins tonight with Border Security, The Force and City Homicide. Nine has I Caught. Ten has Idol and nothing else. The ABC doesn’t have much either. Andrew Denton though could be worth watching at 9.35pm, as well as Australian Story at 8pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports