The Winners: Seven News won the night with 1.729 million, followed by Seven’s prime time Games coverage from 7pm with 1.645 million, Today Tonight with 1.573 million, A Current Affair with 1.172 million. The 7pm ABC news with 1.144 million and the Nine News with 1.129 million. Two And A Half Men at 7pm averaged 1.046 million and Getaway averaged 1.037 million at 7.30pm with a one-off special. Ten’s repeat of Law And Order SVU averaged 1.009 million. Seven’s late night Games coverage averaged 963,000, Ten’s So You Think You Can Dance (the US version), 962,000. The 5pm to 6pm Games “fringe”, 958,000. Law And Order CI, 913,000, CSI Miami, 833,000.

The Losers: Not even the AFL and NRL Footy Shows: the audience rose to 670,000 from 632,000 the week before with higher audiences in Melbourne 323,000 vs. 288,000 and Sydney, 114,000 vs. 110,000, but lower in Brisbane, 63,000 vs. 85,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally as did Today Tonight thanks to the news. The 7pm ABC news beat Nine News in Sydney again, despite being up again the start of Seven’s prime time Games coverage at 7pm. Nine beat the ABC in Melbourne. Ten News, 812,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 418,000 — the audience has hardly changed from normal non-Games nights!) The 7.30 Report, 909,000 — solid non-games loving viewers, the sort who liked Q&A last night). Q&A, 426,000. Lateline, 276,000, Lateline Business, 167,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 227,000. 7am Sunrise on Seven, 467,000. 7am Today on Nine a solid 303,000. The question for these two programs is who keeps the viewers from the games fortnight? Sunrise needs them more than Today.

The Stats: Seven won again with the share down to 39.2%, (43.2% last week) the lowest so far, and the prime time audience the lowest of the games so far. Nine was second with 21.5% (18.1%), Ten was on 20.1% (18.2%), the ABC was on 14.9% (14.0%) and SBS was on 4.3% (6.5%). (No Inspector Rex on SBS for the second week in a row — yippee. In regional areas Prime/7Qld’s share was down to 34.9% from WIN/NBN on 24.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) on 20.3%, the ABC on 14.4% and SBS on 5.5%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Where to start with TV yesterday? Getaway was up in the air in its usual fashion, Q&A was earnest to the point of being teeth gratingly boring — give me Ms Greer any day. The NRL Footy Show was flat, boring and should be following Colin the whale.

The games athletes yesterday (Not Seven) were the stars. The water polo (Australia’s dramatic penalty shoot out, Holland’s amazing win over the hot US team, with one Dutch player scoring seven goals, and some underwater action that would get Senator Steve Fielding antsy!). The US women’s beach Volleyball team, 119 wins in a row and two gold medals in 2004 and 2008, the US and Brazilian women’s soccer teams going at each other with pose and a lack of nasty male histrionics. Brazil is still to win gold in men’s or women’s soccer. 

Bruce Mcavaney calling the men’s 800 metres semi finals, the Men’s 400 metres final; and then the men’s and women’s 4×100 relays. The incompetence of the US men’s and women’s teams, the British team was wonderfully described by him. He couldn’t believe it. Jacques Rogge would have been better off bagging the incompetent US athletes than Mr Bolt. The men’s and women’s individual archery gold medals were dramatic with South Korean dominance broken by a Chinese archer in the women’s event and a Ukraine arrowist in the men’s. In gripping fashion and in rain!

The softball was gripping, the curse of the Australian men’s hockey team struck again after the money was tossed off in 2004. The rain made it tough for everyone. The men’s open water swim marathon was just as good as the women’s the day before. And today more of the same, men’s soccer bronze medal tonight, athletics, pole vault, canoeing, basketball with the Opals going for gold.

There are other sports on: Australia vs. South Africa in the Rugby Union Tri-Nations, AFL and NRL. The closing ceremony is on Sunday evening, after the men’s marathon. And then its back into everyday banality and joy of Network TV. Australian Idol starts on Ten in a big year for it and the Network’s future.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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