Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Seven News was number one with 1.927 million: the prime time Games coverage to 10pm averaged 1.776 million and the closing ceremony from 10pm a high 1.541 million in third. Australian Idol was a very solid 4th for episode one of this series. It averaged 1.395 million. Nine News was 5th with 1.345 million and 60 Minutes was 6th with 1.273 million. CSI Miami averaged 1.270 million at 8.30pm and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.061 million in 8th spot. Doctor Who was 9th at 7.30pm for the ABC with 1.060 million and Nine’s What’s Good For You Special at 6.30pm averaged 1.051 million in 10th spot. Then came Seven’s late morning coverage with 1.017 million and the 5pm to 6pm fringe coverage, 1.012 million and Rove was 13th with 1.011 million at 9pm, a solid result and a sign of the solid start for Australian Idol.

The Losers: From tonight, the loser list is being reactivated. Judging from Australian Idol last night, the judges will be the problem this year. They should have been turned over. There is not one person who can really say, “I want you on my company’s recording or play roster'” (Kyle Sandilands can’t do that because his music is chosen for him very carefully by management). The judges need to give off a buzz as well as the Idolettes.

News & CA: Ten News averaged 759,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 203,000. Landline at midday on the ABC, 256,000. Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 175,000, Nine morning News at 8am, 149,000, Offsiders at 10.30pm, 121,000, Inside Business at 10am, 112,000. Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 63,000.

The Stats: Seven won with 41.5% (45.2% for the previous Sunday). Nine was next with 21.7%, Ten was on 20.3%, the ABC 12.4% and SBS 4.1%. Seven won all markets as was expected. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 34.6% (the shine had well and truly left the games for those in the bush), from WIN/NBN with 25.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.9%, the ABC with 13.1% and SBS, 4.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A final quibble on the Seven coverage of the Games — Saturday evening around 5.30pm Seven was doing its “fringe coverage” while the Australian paddler Ken Wallace was winning gold in the K500. The schedule said 17.30 AEST (5.30pm Sydney time), so why didn’t Seven show it live? It wasn’t as though he was an unknown. He had won bronze in the K1000 and they knew he was in the final. Instead Seven was chatting to Steve Hooker, or repeating something with him from earlier in the day. Wallace was at the top of the 6pm news, but it would have been nice to have seen his win live.

There was no excuse except laziness or a stick to the rundown mentality and safety for the producers. In fact Wallace’s win and those of Hooker and Mitcham showed what the games is all about for those doubters. That Mitcham had the highest score ever in Olympic diving, and Hooker a new Olympic record (which he got on yet another third attempt) shows why sport is so alluring. They also confirm the top performance by Stephanie Rice: three gold medals, three world records, in the finals — and Mr U Bolt’s achievements as well).

We had top results, we had middling results and we had poor results, just like every other country. We were no better or no worse than other countries competing at the games. All the athletes did us proud. Seven was OK, but failed in its last attempt to prove otherwise on Saturday afternoon. They could have shown the presentations for all medals in the pole vault, the men’s diving and the K500 instead of truncating them to the Australian gold medal award. Why was the walk around the swimming area by the medallists more important than parades by other Australian medallists?

So last night saw 60 Minutes attempt to muscle in to the Seven coverage. You can be sure that Seven will return the favour in 2012. Australian Idol was back and did OK for Ten against the Games and 60 Minutes. Certainly better than the first Big Brother because Rove‘s audience was over a million, which means it was handed a solid start by Australian Idol. We will see how it goes next week when Dancing With The Stars is up against it with a younger cast and look.

Tonight, Four Corners on Malcolm Turnbull, City Homicide on Seven, Australian Idol on Ten if you are in the demographic, March of The Penguins on Nine at 7.30pm. Top Gear on SBS. Megan Gale on Enough Rope.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports