Night two of Eddie McGuire’s stint as host of Nine’s A Current Affair hasn’t ended well. Eddie and ACA tanked, losing 212,000 viewers and seeing the 6.30pm gap widen between it and rival Today Tonight from 41,000 to 332,000.

On Monday night, ACA averaged 1.429 million and Today Tonight 1.470 million. Last night it was ACA, 1.217 million, TT up to 1.549 million.

Not helping was the slump in the Nine News audience: it averaged just 1.181 million last night, down from 1.517 million. Seven News’ audience though was steady on 1.720 million.

Over 100,000 of that loss came in Melbourne as the audience dropped to 362,000 from 465,000 on Monday night when ACA led with the home videos of gangster Carl Williams and his mates and former wife, Roberta.

That bit of cynical glamourisation was enough on Monday night to make ACA competitive, but without it last night, it was no contest as TT won all five metro markets. It had lost Sydney and Melbourne to ACA on Monday night.

This performance confirms that Eddie’s pull with TV audiences isn’t as strong as he and Nine think and also confirms the failure last Friday of the return of 1 vs. 100 at 7.30pm in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Eddie certainly isn’t earning his reputed $5.7 million a year.

And if you had to look for a culprit besides the obvious, look at Nine’s 5.30pm program, Million Dollar Wheel which averaged 561,000 last night, compared to 756,000 on the holiday Monday night.

The odd thing is that even though it was a work night last night, Seven’s early evening audience hardly changed, but Nine lost the best part of 200,000-300,000 viewers compared to Monday.

Despite Nine’s better performance later in the evening this year, the 5.30-7pm battle is still a problem.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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