The Winners: Today Tonight soared to 1.405 million, boosted by a couple of hundred thousand anti cricket refugees from Nine from 6.30pm. Seven News was second with 1.264 million, Nine News was third with 1.172 million (boosted by the Test cricket as a lead-in) and the repeat of CSI Miami at 8.30pm was down as being watch by 1.092 million people . But the first 30-odd minutes of that was cricket over run as the South African bowlers made up lost overs. In Sydney and Melbourne alone close to 900,000 people were watching the Test from 8.30pm to 9pm. From 6.30pm onwards the Test audience built so that from around 7.30pm to 9pm it was well above 1 million viewers and gave Nine the night (and will give it the next three nights and the week). Food Safari on SBS wasn’t hurt by the cricket, it averaged 325,000, about what it has been averaging while Nigella at 6.30pm on the ABC averaged 344,000 (that was lopped 100,000 viewers) and Jamie At Home at 6.30pm averaged 422,000, and took a smaller hit.

The Losers: The usual collection last night; Las Vegas on Seven at 8.30pm, 696,000. Rules of Engagement on Ten at 8pm, 652,000. The Rush repeat on Ten at 9.30pm, 518,000, The Unit on Seven at 10pm, 524,000. Prison Break on Seven at 11pm, 310,000. Ten’s House repeat at 8.30pm, 738,000.

News & CA: Seven News won nationally but lost Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to Nine because of the Test cricket impact as a lead-in. Seven won Brisbane and Perth. Today Tonight didn’t have competition from ACA which is being rested until next Monday. The 7pm ABC News averaged 919,000 and The 7.30 Report averaged 715,000, both taking a hit from the Test. Ten News averaged 699,000 (Test affected) and the Late News/Sports Tonight averaged 220,000. SBS News averaged 147,000; the 9.30pm SBS News, 248,000. 7am Sunrise, 358,000, 7am Today, 292,000.

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The Stats: Nine won with a share from 6pm to midnight All People of 31.7% (26.9% last week) from Seven with 26.3% (29.7%), Ten with 17.6% (17.8%), the ABC on 17.3% (18.3%) and SBS on 7.1% (7.3%). Seven leads the week, 28.6% to 26.3%. In regional areas the Test cricket was again very popular. WIN/NBN won with 32.7%, from Prime/7Qld with 25.3%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 17.0%, the ABC on 16.0% and SBS with 9.0%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: As frustrating as the first cricket test from Perth was for Australian supporters it was at least fresh, unseen TV. The pictures were great, the cricket good (if injudicious), the commentary on Nine was the usual bunch of grumpy old captains and assorted helpers while ABC radio was its usual entertaining self at times. It means summer is here, at last (the Kiwis didn’t count) and Santa is around the corner.

For Nine it was the difference between an average night and a good win. But the oddity was the way Today Tonight‘s audience swelled by 200,000 or so viewers at 6.30pm to more than 1.4 million viewers. Clearly not all Nine News viewers like cricket. Seven ran dead though for the rest of the evening. The abysmal Las Vegas is unwatchable: the 696,000 viewers last night are gluttons for punishment.

Tonight: more Test cricket and some other stuff. Will Today Tonight’s audience get that curious lift at 6.30pm when Nine goes back to the Test. Inspector Rex is in Rome again (be afraid Tiddles, or I’ll throw another can to keep you quiet. I know it’s a dog show I only watch it for the scenery!). Ten has Law And Order for two hours and that’s it. The ABC is a check your guides and be careful in selecting. After
“resting” Ugly Betty on Tuesday nights, Seven has her back tonight at 7.30pm against the cricket on Nine, followed by Eli Stone. I should be throwing the cat can at it and not Tiddles who is now sulking. (The name of my cat has been changed to protect me from his “friends”).

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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