The Winners: Seven’s prime time coverage averaged 2.131 million with Seven News second with 2.047 million. The 5pm to 6pm games coverage averaged 1.438 million in 3rd place and Today Tonight averaged 1.960 million. Spicks and Specks averaged 1.063 million and Nine News was 6th with 1.061 million. Seven’s afternoon games coverage was 7th with 1.060 million and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.053 million. A Current Affair was pushed down to 943,000 (Did Leila McKinnon filling in for Tracy Grimshaw contribute?). Ten’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance (the US version) averaged 904,000 and the ABC’s The New Inventors at 8pm, 897,000. That was a pretty good effort.

The Losers: Again it would be unfair to label any program a loser, even the horrible ones like ‘Til Death on Nine at 7pm — it’s just not funny. The repeat of Funniest Home Videos at 7.30pm on Nine with 888,000 was tragic for those who watched. Neighbours held up at 6.30pm on Ten with 847,000 viewers. It’s as though the Olympics are passing its audience by. Ten’s repeat of Friends at 7pm with 880,000. It’s a bit tragic when that gang of lightweights are an attractive diversion from the Games.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. The 7.30 Report averaged 828,000, Lateline, 233,000 and Lateline Business, 125,000. Ten News, 760,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 361,000. The SBS News at 6.30pm, 238,000. 7am Sunrise up to 479,000, 7am Today up to 309,000, which is quite strong for them, given the games focus on Sunrise.

The Stats: Seven naturally won with a share of 43.7% from Nine with 18.3%, Ten with 16.9%, the ABC with 13.5% and SBS with 7.6%. The games won everywhere. Seven leads the week 43.4% to Nine with 18.7%. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 43.2% from WIN/NBN with 22.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) 15.4%, the ABC with 12.1% and SBS 6.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Spicks and Specks showed last night that there is life for TV people looking for respite from the Olympics. It was its usual entertaining self, but the program that followed it, Freezing, was unfunny and the Games proved to have more allure — even the poor effort by the Socceroos against the Ivory Coast.

The Men and Women’s time trials were a bit flat: perhaps it was the complete absence of any noise from the course (thanks to China’s security claim). The men’s winner was Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, who fellow fans might remember, staged that ripping dash with less than five kilometres to go in the Men’s road race last Saturday evening to grab bronze. His ride was almost preordained yesterday.

The swimming yesterday was even better than the day before. For all the drawbacks of the Games the high level of performance and achievement in the swimming has been stunning, justifying the intense coverage. Michael Phelps is simply astounding, Stephanie Rice amazing and swimmers from South Korea, Italy and other lesser known countries are wonderful to watch. But Spicks and Specks was worth departing from the games, if only to see an appalling video clip starring Red Symons at the end.

After today’s swimming finals, there’s more games and more games, and of course, not much else. Germaine Greer on Q&A on the ABC at 9.30pm would be worth watching. It will be a kind of brutal sport, judging by some of her previous efforts. Baiting Greer could be an Olympic sport, but grown adults should not watch some of her barbed replies. It’s not football, it’s a discussion on our ABC. The Footy Shows are on Nine at 9.30pm. How they go against the wall to wall sport on Seven and SBS will be of interest. Greer would be a great match for Sam Newman: who’s selling tickets? Ten has So You Think You Can Dance, a fresh episode of Law & Order CI and a repeat of SVU to offset the games. Nine also has Getaway in repeat and a repeat of CSI Miami.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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