Denton gets a Carey freebie to kick-off 2008. Fresh from talking exclusively to No Idea for a $180,000 fee, former AFL footballer Wayne Carey seems to be doing a “freebie” with Andrew Denton on his first Enough Rope program for 2008 on March 31. In a statement today the ABC said: “Denton has vowed to ask Carey the questions Australians want answers to.” What will they be? When are you going to stop being an idiot? Why should we listen to anything you have to say? Why aren’t you in Miami? — Glenn Dyer

Nine fails to protect final Underbelly eps. Just last week Channel Nine were telling us there was absolutely no way that the final three episodes of Underbelly could be available to download from the internet. We were told they hadn’t even left the editing suite. Well, it seems they were wrong. Even as we were talking to Channel Nine, the final three episodes were being uploaded. The quality isn’t so good – I am told a timer runs throughout (I haven’t downloaded or watched them myself). They appear to have been obtained and uploaded by a group or individual called “Reeps”. So who is Reeps, and more to the point, who or what do they know? And what does this mean for the ability of free to air television, or anyone else for that matter, to protect their franchise in the new media world? — Margaret Simons

Seven’s public urination scoop! The hot story of yesterday was without a doubt the discovery of HMAS Sydney. According to Media Monitors, every news program across the country led with the shipwreck (apart from Ten Brisbane who went with slumping property prices). Every news program, except Channel Seven Melbourne that is. They made the brave call to buck the trend and instead go with the titillating tale of boofhead AFL player Brendan Fevola weeing on a nightclub window:

Channel 7 (Melbourne)
Seven News – 17/03/2008 – 06:00 PM
Peter Mitchell

Carlton FC’s Brendan Fevola has been caught misbehaving at a Prahran nightclub, and now faces possible punishment from the club and leadership group. Fevola allegedly urinated on Candy Bar, Greville Street, Prahran, but denies the claim, despite the incident being caught on CCTV. Fevola has faced other claims at a Vic Uni campus and North Melb dry cleaners.

Click below for Seven’s exclusive CCTV footage of Brendan weeing, including an after shot of the abused window:

Grand Prix tool elbowed by reporter: Channel Ten reporter Cameron Baud must’ve been feeling pretty hot and bothered reporting from the Grand Prix in 37 degree heat. Which may explain why he had little tolerance for the blonde tipped wag who ran up behind him on live television and started yelling things at the camera. Unperturbed, Baud continued to file his report while applying a short, sharp elbow to the solar plexus:

Iraq war? Boring. Remember the war in Iraq? The question isn’t entirely facetious. The war has nearly vanished from TV screens over the past few months, replaced by stories about the fascinating presidential campaign and faltering economy. Yet Americans continue to fight and die there, five years after the war started in March 2003. — The Miami Herald

Bloggers look into their crystal ball: We asked the bloggers on the Power 150 blog-ranking index to tell us what technology marketers should be paying most attention to in 2008. Here’s what they said.AdAge

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: 
Border Security on Seven at 7.30pm was top with 1.549 million, Seven News was next with 1.530 million and Today Tonight was 3rd with 1.370 million. So You Think You Can Dance Australia was next with 1.364 million, followed by Nine’s repeat of CSI (1.279 million), Home And Away (1.269 million), SCU: Serious Crash Unit from New Zealand (1.266 millionat 8pm for Seven), Nine News (1.186 million), A Current Affair (1.179 million), Good News Week (1.156 million), the 7pm ABC News (1.109 million) and The Biggest Loser elimination ep (1.094 million). Two And A Half Men finished 4th at 7pm with 950,000, Seven’s movie, Someone Like You, had 886,000 and the throw away royal special on Will and Kate averaged 847,000 viewers on Nine at 7.30pm. Mythbusters averaged 577,000. Australian Story had 805,000.

The Losers: It’s non-ratings, so apart from viewers of Ten, the ABC and perhaps SBS, we were all losers given the average material scattered through the schedules of Seven and Nine.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Adelaide. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne where ACA had 417,000 viewers (the second biggest audience in any market on the night). The 7pm ABC News was second in Sydney behind Seven. Ten News averaged 902,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 388,000. The 7.30 Report, 770,000; Lateline, 309,000; Lateline Business, 154,000. Nightline, 211,000. SBS News, 180,000 at 6.30pm; 198,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise, 388,000; 7am Today, 271,000.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight with 28.6% (29.4%) to Nine with 25.4% (28.0%), Ten with 24.3% (22.5%), the ABC with 15.0% (14.2%) and SBS with 6.8% (5.9%). Ten leads the week with 28.3% from Seven on 26.9% and Nine on 24.3%. Seven won all markets bare Melbourne where Nine won. Nine was unusually weak in Sydney where it finished third. Viewers in Sydney seem to be going off Nine at the moment. In regional markets Prime/7Qld won with 28.6% from WIN/NBN with 27.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.3%, the ABC on 15.4% and SBS with 8.3%. In the 6pm to 10.30pm battle, Fusion Strategy said Seven won with 23.86% (25.66% the same night of last year) from Nine on 21.27% (23.06%), Ten with 20.55% (18.39%), Pay TV with 15.73% (15.42%), the ABC with 12.88% (11.90%) and SBS with 5.71% (5.58%). Monday night NRL returned to Pay TV last night. There were 6,000 more viewers watching last night than a year ago (785,000, vs. 779,000) and about 120,000 more than last Monday night.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Reading a book was a good alternative to TV last night. Couldn’t get enthused about Prince William’s lurve life and even though Australian Story was more than OK, the rest of the night was dull. Today Tonight with a stand in host still easily beat ACA with Tracy Grimshaw in the chair, even if ACA was again strong in Melbourne. Nine News and ACA dropped below 300,000 viewers in Sydney on a Monday night. Easter is still five days away and Seven News showed no sign of any holiday impact. That’s three nights in a row ACA has been under 300,000 viewers in Sydney. Tonight Seven has new It Takes Two and All Saints. Nine also has all new programming with Moment of Truth, Kitchen Nightmares and The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Ten has new TBL, Bondi Rescue, Women’s Murder Club and Burn Notice. If Nine and Seven can keep up the fresh eps tonight, who not on other nights?

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports

Peter Fray

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