The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.449 million people, the tennis from 7.30pm was second with 1.435 million, Today Tonight was third with 1.281 million, Nine News was next with 1.203 million, Home and Away was next with 1.170 million, A Current Affair was sixth with 1.134 million and the 7pm ABC News was next with 1.073 million. Food Safari on SBS at 7.30pm, 467,000. Nigella on the ABC at 6.30pm, 324,000.

The Losers: Today Tonight last night for its coverage of the Obama carnivale. It was one story, voiced by “Sluggo” Richardson and was a once-over lightly effort. Even at the end of an Obama-heavy day, Nine’s A Current Affair managed to inform me a little bit more than I was when the program started. Bob Penfold did very, very well for Nine (as did Rahni Sadler for Seven in the morning). Today Tonight could have done a bit more. After all, Seven now prides itself on its leadership in news and current affairs. Whoever was calling the shots last night at TT had little idea of the interest here in Obama. It was a cursory foreign story, and then back to the dross of the night (one story was a sun tanning pill!). Chandon Pictures on the ABC at 8.30pm: 330,000. No wonder the ABC buried it against the more popular tennis on Seven.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally but lost Melbourne and Brisbane, as did Today Tonight. Nine News in Sydney got more viewers last night under Peter Overton. Nine had 314,000, but the 7pm ABC News had 315,000. Seven had 416,000. Ten News in Sydney, 298,000. There was a real desire to watch Obama material; The 7.30 Report Summer edition averaged 815,000, with some solid Obama coverage. Ten News averaged 896,000 nationally. The late News/Sports Tonight, 304,000. SBS News at 6.30pm 204,000, the 9.30pm edition, a high 284,000. In the morning, Sunrise on Seven was boosted to 464,000 by Obama and Today on Nine (both from 7am), rose to an average 361,000, which would be close to a high for even a one-off. The Obama highlights in the late afternoon on the ABC averaged 209,000. In the wee small hours 530,000 people across the country in the five metro markets watched Obama’s swearing in just after 4am Sydney time. 186,000 people watched in Sydney, 156,000 in Melbourne.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight All People with a share of 38.6% from Nine with 22.7%, Ten with 17.5%, the ABC with 13.3% and SBS with 7.9%. Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week 33.2% to 26.3%. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 35.1% from WIN/NBN wit 23.5%, Southern Cross (Ten) 19.0%, the ABC, 12.7% and SBS, 9.7%

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The tennis worked a treat for Seven and as we told you on Tuesday, Bernard Tomic would be advanced to prime time for his next game, as he was for last night, but lost. Some of the precious folk among ABC sporting reporting and tennis commentators, plus some in the newspapers, fretted about that promotion. There were mutterings about a sporting event being run to suit a commercial broadcaster and so on. From the point of view of those in the papers who were muttering, it’s another example of media impotence. If their media organisations could afford to sponsor the open and broadcast it, instead of Kia and Seven etc., then they wouldn’t be moaning or groaning about decisions like the Tomic switch to prime time.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, it was reported that Tomic asked for centre court last night. If he wanted to give it a go, then let him. To me, the fretting about him being centre court last night is irrelevant. These are sporting entertainers. They get paid a lot of money. Contrast the commentary this morning about Tomic with some of the gushing drivel written last week about Dave Warner’s Twenty20 89 in Melbourne.

Tonight: Tennis and not much else, except Inspector Rex is still in Rome and Carla Cametti is still making with the gooey eyes on SBS. Ten has its usual collection of Law and Order repeats from 8.30pm to 10.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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