Seven sneaks in another weekly win. For the second week in a row the Seven Network has snuck home via a Friday or Saturday night win. The win means Seven has now won weeks two and three of the official 2008 ratings battle with less than its full complement of programming. Nine won week one. Seven’s share is down on the start of last year but the network now has two wins more than it thought it would, thanks to Nine botching its Underbelly launch by not addressing legal problems in Victoria. With Underbelly screening in Melbourne, Nine would have won all three weeks. Nine still won Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, but Seven won Brisbane and had a big enough margin in Perth to lift it over Nine nationally. Seven won the 6pm to 12 midnight battle with a share of 28.1% (28.0%), from Nine with 27.9% (26.8%), Ten with 21.0% (22.3%), the ABC on a high 16.6% (16.4%) and SBS on 6.4%. Ten was the only network not to lift its share last week. Seven won Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Nine won Sunday, Thursday and Friday — both Sunday and Friday featured one day cricket. This week, Nine has last night’s big win and at least one more final on Tuesday night. If Australia wins Tuesday, Nine will win this week. But next week it has no cricket and returns the tired old stager, This Is Your Life with Mike Munro to Sunday nights at 6.30pm. 60 Minutes also returns next Sunday night. Both programs will skew towards older audiences, as Ten has the younger audience locked up with So You think You Can Dance Australia. Seven News and Today Tonight easily beat Nine News and A Current Affair Monday to Friday. In regional areas Nine won through WIN/NBN with the cricket on Friday night the major factor. WIN/NBN won with a share of 28.4% from Prime/7Qld with 28.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) on 19.2%, ABC with 17.1% and SBS on 7.1%. In the 6pm to 10.30pm battle in the five metro markets last week Fusion Strategy said Seven won with 23.16% (25.38% in week three a year ago), Nine was next with 23.17% (22.75%), Ten was next with 17.84% (17.98%), Pay TV was on 15.61% (14.90%), the ABC was on 14.59% (14.78%) and SBS was on 5.10% (4.21%). — Glenn Dyer

Neil Mitchell bites the hand that feeds. The 3AW host had a bee in his bonnet this morning — at this stage, he should probably check his house for hornets’ nests — about an ad featuring that young upstart, Narre Warren party boy Corey Delaney. It’s an ad for Melbourne Airport. It’s also an ad that features on 3AW. Click here for the ad, and here for Mitchell criticising the ad, by re-airing it.

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
The cricket was tops with 1.660 million for the evening session. Ten’s So You think You Can Dance Australia was second with 1.556 million people and Nine News was third with 1.495 million thanks to the cricket. Seven News was next with 1.456 million, followed by The Zoo (1.275 million), the Day session of the cricket (1.271 million), Grey’s Anatomy (1.196 million), Bush Doctors (1.145 million), Brothers & Sisters (1.094 million) and The Biggest Loser (1.054 million).

The Losers: A little unfair to pick out any losers after last night’s strong cricket audience. Robin Hood didn’t impress again on the ABC and Samantha Who? fell to 997,000 on Seven. If it doesn’t rebound past 1.1 million over the next couple of weeks, it will be moved post Easter. Jekyll certainly got what it deserved, 664,000 at 8.30pm. Too arch for my taste. The Rocky Horror Show does monsters better. Where is Dexter when you need a serial killer hunted down anyway?

News & CA: Thanks to the cricket, Nine won fairly easily, except in Perth and Brisbane, where Seven News outrated the cricket with 385,000 viewers. Ten News averaged 614,000 and the 7pm ABC News averaged 761,000. SBS News averaged 166,000. On Sunday morning, Weekend Sunrise, 411,000; Landline, 249,000; Insiders, 167,000; Inside Business, 151,000; Offsiders, 151,000. Sunday rose to 129,000; Meet The Press, 50,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 34.6% (31.5% last Sunday night) from Seven with 25.0% (24.2%), Ten with 23.8% (24.1%), the ABC with 12.2% (14.9%) and SBS with 4.4% (5.3%). Nine won everywhere bar Perth where the cricket finishes around 8pm leaving Seven’s better programming to do the business. In regional areas a big win to Nine as expected with WIN/NBN on 35.8%, Prime/7Qld with 25.1%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.0%, the ABC with 14.4% and SBS with 4.8%. According to Fusion Strategy in the 6pm to 10.30pm slot, Nine won with 29.80% (29.05% on the same night of last year), from Seven with 21.88% (28.42%), from Ten with 20.80% (13.01%), Pay TV with 12.87% (14.23%), the ABC with 10.75% (11.87%) and SBS with 3.89% (3.42%).

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Cricket did the job last night and it will do the job tomorrow night. Despite all the bad publicity about the Australian team, there’s still solid interest from viewers in watching it play India. Nine will be happy to see a small 18,000 viewer lift in the audience for Sunday. Laurie Oakes’ interview with Wayne Swan stood out, as did the second part of the exclusive on the doctor who mutilated hundreds of women while working in various NSW hospitals. Tonight on the ABC its Australian StoryFour Corners (which should be interesting on Chris Masters returning to Queensland) and Media Watch. Ten has Dance and Good News Week; Nine has CSI and CSI New York and another Year With The Royal Family. Seven has Border Security, The Force, Desperate Housewives and the fluff known as Dirty Sexy Money. SBS has Mythbusters.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports

Peter Fray

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