Not watching Matildas. What was the best sporting performance from an Australian or Australian team this week? Our cricket team’s efforts at the Twenty20 World Cup? Err, no. Cadel Evans move up to second place in the Tour of Spain? Not bad, but the answer is our women’s soccer team, who made the quarter finals of the Women’s World Cup last night. Just 282,000 watched on SBS (at least it was broadcast) vs 920,000 who tuned in for the Twenty20 game on Nine. Sports groups and many female sportswriters complain frequently about the lack of coverage for women’s sport. This morning’s newspaper coverage was disappointing — in Sydney only the Daily Telegraph did the Matildas justice by putting a picture and headline across the top of the back page. Production deadlines obviously restricted the SMH — it had the story on page three of the sports section — but it should have given the result some prominence, just like the Tele. And if you think that this was a one-off in Sydney, look at this comparison from Media Monitors of media mentions of the Matildas and the AFL… The media will have to lift their game, but if they manage to beat the brilliant Brazilian team, then… — Glenn Dyer

AFL

1,766

9,735

6,452

5,848

23,801

Matildas

138

566

573

209

1,486

Summer Heights slip-up. Instead of fretting about what Media Watch might say about some mate of the board, ABC management should be casting their eyes over Summer Heights High to make sure there are no more repeats of silly mistakes like this:

The ABC will make a public apology to the Catt family after Chris Lilley’s hit show Summer Heights High poked fun at the ecstasy death of a blonde teenage student named “Annabel” on Wednesday night.

Peter and Alison Catt, the parents of Elanora Heights dance teacher Annabel who died from an ecstasy overdose in February, were forced to leave their living room room in disgust when the show was aired…

“All filming of Summer Heights High finished on February 7 this year – 11 days prior to the tragic death of Annabel Catt on February 18,” ABC-TV director Kim Dalton said.

A change of name and a different pic wouldn’t have altered the force of the episode’s message and even though production ceased before Ms Catt’s death, I wonder if anyone thought to check before the ep aired on Wednesday night. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
 A quiet night won by Seven almost by default. Today Tonight was the most watched program with 1.530 million viewers with A Current Affair not on Nine due to the cricket. Seven News was next with 1.368 million, followed by Home And Away (1.323 million), Nine News (1.156 million) and Seven’s two hours of Ghost Whisperer (1.139 million). The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.126 million and Ten’s two and a half hours of So You Think You Can Dance had 1.001 million from 7.30pm. The Twenty20 cricket averaged 920,000 for Nine from 6.30pm.

The Losers: Just eight programs with a million or more viewers, so obviously viewers were not impressed with the wall to wall sport on Nine last night, or the ghost whispering and dancing. You might say viewers were the losers last night. Thursday nights are a bit of a viewer desert, even with Sea Patrol listing away on Nine.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. Today Tonight was by itself. Ten News averaged 778,000 and the Late News/Sports Tonight averaged 359,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 898,000; Lateline, 290,000; Lateline Business, 153,000. SBS News, 168,000 at 6.30pm; 181,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise, 411,000; 7am Today, 279,000.

The Stats: Seven won with 28.6% (27.9%) from Nine with 26.6% (28.5%), Ten with 22.6% (23.9%), the ABC with 16.6% (14.8%) and SBS with 5.6% (4.8%). Around the country, Seven won everywhere bar Melbourne where the Footy Show did its bit, as did the cricket (332,000 the biggest audience in the country). Nine was weak in Sydney and Brisbane because the NRL Footy Show and the cricket didn’t rate strongly. Seven leads the week, 29.3% to 25.6% for Nine and 23.6% for Ten. Seven will win tonight because of the AFL final, Nine will win tomorrow night because of the NRL final. In regional areas Prime/7Qld won with 29.3%, from WIN/NBN for Nine with 25.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 23.0%, the ABC with 16.3% and SBS with 6.0%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: At least Nine tried something different in showing the one-sided Australia vs Sri Lanka match last night, but it cost the network the night. Nine lost several hundred thousand viewers in each of the timeslots from 6.30pm to 9pm as A Current Affair, Temptation, Getaway and Sea Patrol were pre-empted. That the Footy Shows did better than the cricket should be a message to Nine. The 446,000 which watched the AFL show in Melbourne (and helped Nine to a big win there) was the largest audience in the country last night. The NRL Show in Sydney averaged 226,000 and finished 10th. In Brisbane the NRL show averaged a poor 119,000 and finished 19th. Tonight is Seven’s last AFL game for the season and it is, of course, a great game to finish on. We could have the AFL and NRL premiers both based in Melbourne after next weekend.

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports

Peter Fray

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