The Winners: Seven’s prime time Games coverage averaged 2.042 million, Seven News, 1.994 million; Today Tonight 3rd with 1.832 million and Nine News 4th with a solid 1.280 million people. A Current Affair was 5th with 1.176 million ands the 5pm to 6pm fringe coverage from Seven was next with 1.169 million. The 7pm ABC news was 7th with 1.050 million. Ten’s repeat of Friends at 7pm averaged 995,000, Australian Story at 8pm, 973,000, Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope, 733,000, The two Simpsons episodes on Ten, 942,000 and 920,000, Neighbours, 905,000. Why, it reads like a typical Monday night for Ten without one of its big drawcard programs.

The Losers: None really last night because of the strength of the games. Ten and the ABC though did well and both got good numbers (especially the ABC).

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally as did Today Tonight. Ten News averaged 854,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, went to air at 12.10am this morning: 109,000; buried. Why run it? The 7.30 Report, 912,000. Lateline, 286,000, Lateline Business, 142,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 224,000. 7am Sunrise, 435,000, 7am Today, 309,000 — solid. Four Corners last night on the big boom that failed, 989,000. Media Watch, 724,000, straight afterwards.

The Stats: Seven won with 44.4% of the audience from 6pm to midnight (42.7% a week ago), with Nine next with 17.5% (17.8%), Ten with 17.3% (16.6%), the ABC with 16.5% (15.9%) and SBS with 4.2% (7.0%). Seven won all markets and leads the week. Brisbane were the Games lovers last night: Seven averaged 45.6% share to 44.9% in Sydney and 44.6% in Melbourne. In regional areas the Games were not quite as popular with Prime/7Qld winning with 39.2% from WIN/NBN with 22.5%, Southern Cross (ten) with 18.1%, the ABC with 15.5% and SBS with 4.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: What to say about a golden day yesterday for Australia? Not much because, well, other countries have had golden days, bronze days and silver periods and get as ecstatic about it as we do. None more than China which turned blue (unfairly) with Men’s 110 metres hurdler Liu Xiang who had the crushing burden of national expectation on him, but withdrew because of injury. It’s the same as the absurd reaction here to Jana Rawlinson and the mutterings of Tamsyn Lewis. They are all athletes, subject to poor form, injury and whatever, just like you and me. But people persist in attributing some sort of God-like status to them. Some live up to expectations because of their inner abilities, some fail, just like you and me.

To hear a well known Sydney ABC breakfast host this morning saying to a listener who phoned in that “we have underperformed relatively” was atrocious. Underperformed by whose yardstick? I would have though the current medal tally and the string of personal bests was more than enough performance. That’s if you need measurement. No doubt we will hear bleats and moans about funding shortfalls (already we have the swimming mob complaining about how much money the poms are spending). Car industry and union greed on tariffs and assistance, industry pleading for greenhouse emission targets to be dropped and sports groups wanting more government funding. They are all rentseekers wanting to carve up the public purse.

Why don’t the swimming mob screw money out of the media groups (including the ABC) who trade off their fame, fortune and success at various competitions, international and domestic? Media companies should be forced to pay for interviews, for photographs etc. And news gathering and image groups like Reuters and Getty Images should be forced to pay. After all the news agencies and groups like Getty Images sell their product to newspapers and other clients, who then turn around and sell their product to consumers and others. It’s all a profit making model and at the moment the media groups are bludging off the sports groups. The sports groups would argue that they wouldn’t get the publicity that news organisations give (it’s a sort of quid pro quo arrangement). But what I am suggesting is actually at the heart of the Pay TV industry and is a business model Rupert Murdoch has made very successful.

I know the IOC charges media companies charge an arm and a leg for the rights, but that’s once every four years and a separate argument. You can bet that if the Australian women’s swimming team said no to all interview requests (even from Seven and Nine networks), someone would offer money to get the exclusive. If the TV networks pay money for interviews on tabloid TV programs, why shouldn’t sports charge for exclusive rights with the funds going to finance the improvement of the sport? Why can’t the likes of Libby Trickett get a return on media groups using their images? In France sports people get paid for image use! Here endth the rave.

Tonight: more games, more other stuff, and bed beckons for those bored by sport or repeats or odd stuff — as on the ABC.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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