The Winners. The NRL Grand Final averaged 2.074 million viewers from around 5.15 onwards. Nine’s new mid evening US cop show, The Mentalist with Simon Baker averaged 1.334 million. That’s okay, but let’s see it on a normal Sunday night: it could do better. 60 Minutes had 1.315 million viewers. The NRL Grand Final presentation averaged 1.315 million in just Sydney and Brisbane, it was 4th. Seven News averaged 1.315 million, despite being up against the League. Nine News averaged 1.220 million viewers, but aired all over the place and only briefly in Sydney. Australian Idol averaged 1.213 million and 7th; Midsomer Murders on the ABC from 8.35pm averaged 1.137 million. The Grand Final entertainment averaged 1.121 million up to around 5pm, and ABC News averaged 1 million viewers and was the 10th and final program with a million or more viewers.

The Losers. Californication on Ten at 10.10pm for the first of the new series; 501,000 isn’t anything to boast about. The Moto GP on Ten in the afternoon (race at 4pm), just 275,000, despite Australian Casey Stoner winning. Having the NRL Grand Finals on the same day didn’t help. The same audience which watched the under 20 Grand Final in the NRL in Sydney and Brisbane: a win for the league.

News & CA. The football made the news battle last night irrelevant. Ten News averaged 514,000 as the football started. SBS News at 6.30pm, 138,000. Weekend Sunrise at 8am on Seven, 360,000. That was down a bit because of daylight saving starting. Landline on the ABC at noon averaged 243,000. Early Weekend Sunrise from 7.30am averaged 186,000. Insiders averaged 160,000, Inside Business at 10am, 132,000, Offsiders on the ABC at 10.30am, 123,000. Nine’s Sunday News at 8am, 66,000, but it didn’t air in Brisbane because of daylight saving? Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 56,000. Even a solid Brisbane audience wouldn’t have pushed Nine’s news much past the 80,000-90,000 mark.

The Stats. Nine won with a share of 33.2% (25.6%), Seven was second with 25.2% (22.9%), ten was next with 18.8% (24.7%), the ABC was 4th with 18.2% (21.4%) and SBS was on 4.3% (5.4%). Nine won Sydney and Brisbane by big margins, as expected, Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. In regional areas a win for WIN/NBN with 33.6% from Prime/7Qld with 24.3%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.8%, the ABC on 18.0% and SBS with 5.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments. An underwhelming game for most of its 80 minutes, a big win to Manly and the NRL fan base basically didn’t really care. Three million people watched it (2.074 million in the five metro markets and just over 958,000 in regional areas). But that was way short of the 3.748 million who watched last week nationally, including the 2.422 million in the metro markets. The game couldn’t catch the million viewer audience in Sydney: 942,000, 492,000 in Melbourne and 503,000 in Brisbane. Seeing how the same two teams went around again last night as in 2007, it was a curious result.

Perhaps it was the earlier 5.15pm start (which made it seem like a real football game), perhaps it was the earlier start of daylight saving. Audiences in pubs and clubs were not measured, but that happens for every football game and major sporting activity. The first half was solid, but like the GF in 2007, it was a second half blow out, but even more so. The Storm didn’t score and Nine failed to really score on the ratings scoreboard as well.

The NRL wanted an earlier start because of pressure from fans etc for a return to afternoon daylight grand finals, so the 5.15 start was a compromise, and Nine agreed to show all the finals from the qualifying semis in the first round onwards, which they didn’t. What was curious was the way 60 Minutes audience didn’t really benefit. The presentation wasn’t seen apart from Sydney and Brisbane and averaged 1.315 million with 895,000 people in Sydney and 420,000 in Brisbane: both substantial figures. But 60 Minutes averaged 1.330 million with a five city audience. The Sydney audience had more than halved to 427,000 and the Brisbane audience shrank to 271,000 for a mixture of rubbish stories about young people in debt (round up the usual victims, young, high spending women willing to say anything on TV and grouchy anti-debt professor, Steve Keen). Then there was a story on a youth drug and then the young drivers in the V8 carbon emitters.

The Mentalist followed 60 Minutes and averaged a solid 1.334 million. But it was up against movie on Seven and next week will be up against Dancing With The Stars for part of the hour. Midsomer Murders didn’t drag viewers away from Nine on the ABC and it ends next week. Seven has axed Private Practice from its Sunday night line up next week and reverted to ‘The Movie’ like Nine has been doing Monday nights for a while. Ten has axed 90210 from tonight’s line up. Supernatural is back off the Satellite, so to speak. According to some guides 90210 is gone, others say 8.30pm Friday night, which is almost the equivalent of going for a rest, exceeded only by being scheduled on a commercial channel on Saturday nights. 90210 might actually pick up a few more viewers if it is indeed on Friday night.

There was confusion about whether there was a proper national Nine news last night. There wasn’t in Sydney except for a brief update. There was a news broadcast in Melbourne after the Grand Final and Nine bailed out of the presentation to go to the news.

Tonight it’s Seven by a mile and tomorrow night as well. Border Security and The Force, City Homicide and Bones. Ten has Idol, the results episode for Final 8; then Supernatural for two hours. (desperate Ten). Nine has an hour of Two And A half Men, then the unfortunately unfunny Til Death, then a movie that didn’t seem to make it into the cinemas in many places around the world called 16 blocks. The ABC has a solid looking Four Corners which looks at international tax planning and mentions certain Australians; Media Watch and then Andrew Denton talks to Rolling Drone founder, Jann Wenner. SBS has the second episode of the local edition of Top Gear. Settling down time tonight.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.

Peter Fray

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