The Winners: The prime times Games coverage won the night with 1.968 million (under the two million mark for the first time this week). Today Tonight was second with 1.904 million and Seven News was next with 1.891 million. The 5pm to 6pm Games coverage was 4th with 1.139 million, and the 7pm ABC news averaged 1.060 million. Nine News was next with 1.032 million and was 6th. A Current Affair averaged 952,000 (and couldn’t manage a million for the second night in a row), Ten’s Law And Order SVU repeat averaged 910,000, So You Think You Can Dance on Ten at 7.30pm, 904,000 and Law And Order Criminal Intent, 841,000.

The Losers: No losers really because the Games are so dominant. The Footy Shows, 632,000 at 9.30pm, with 110,000 for the NRL program in Sydney and 288,000 for the AFL in Melbourne. Their audience was drained by the Games. But more people watched Q&A in Sydney, 157,000, than the NRL program.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. The 7.30 Report averaged 841,000, Lateline, 282,000, Lateline Business, 162,000. Ten News, 801,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 393,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 299,000. 7am Sunrise down to 445,000, 7am Today down to 292,000.

The Stats: Seven won with 43.2% to Ten with 18.2%, Nine with 18.1%, the ABC with 14.0% and SBS with 6.5%. Seven leads the week with 43.4% to 18.6% for Nine Sydney was again the biggest watcher of the games with a 45.4% share over Brisbane with 44.7% Melbourne saw a 42.1% share for Seven. In regional areas as expected another win For Prime/7Qld with 39.3%, WIN/NBN with 22.7%, Southern Cross (ten) with 18.5%, the ABC with 13.3% and SBS with 6.2%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Q&A last night with Ms Germaine Greer suffered from two faults in what was an otherwise entertaining program. The first was that there were too many people with Ms Greer on the panel. She could have handled the whole thing by herself: the audience was there to see and hear her, not the others. And I reckon so were most of the 476,000 viewers who watched from 9.30pm. The second fault was the presence of former NSW Premier, Bob Carr on the panel. He might be erudite, but he left NSW in a mess and bequeathed us Morris Iemma. We are only now realising the long list of things he and his government said they would do, but didn’t.

    There’s more sport over the weekend with the Games and various bits of football and some non-games material. But you will have to dig hard to find it. What is interesting is how the audience for Pay TV has been badly wounded. Pay TV has shed around 100,000 to 130,000 a night in prime time this week (6.30pm to 10.30pm), with the audience falling from around 720,000 to 580,000. Most of this loss is being held by Foxtel and Fox Sports. it’s no wonder Foxtel and Fox Sports wanted to join with Nine to bid for the 2010 winter games and the 2012 London Summer Games. The audience loss is embarrassing for Foxtel and Pay TV which had marketed itself as “viewing alternative” for the Games. It might claim it still is, but then so are the ABC, Nine and Ten, and you don’t have to pay for the privilege.

    The ABC and Ten have, for most nights this week, suffered a proportionately smaller audience loss than Pay TV. But then, if you look at the most watched programs on Pay TV it’s all sport; with one or two exceptions the top 10 programs are AFL, NRL and the odd Rugby Union game. The ABC’s prime time audience last night of 650,000 (according to Fusion Strategy figures) was unchanged from a year ago! If you want to watch AFL on Seven, check your guides or go to the most up to date website.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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