The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.608 million people, with the 7.30pm tennis coverage second on Seven with 1.587 million people. Today Tonight was third with 1.432 million and Home and Away was fourth with 1.284 million. Nine News was next with a solid 1.239 million, Ten News was also very solid with 1.093 million, up against the tennis. The second night in a row over 1 million viewers. 7th was the 7pm ABC News with 1.80 million and 8th was A Current Affair with 1.068 million people. Ten’s Law And Orders averaged 984,000 for Criminal Intent and 950,000 for SVU. Inspector Rex on SBS at 7.30 pm, 343,000 and he’s still in Rome. Viewers have tired of the promise shown by Carla Cametti on SBS at 8.30pm and turned off: its audience fell to 267,000 last night. The tennis might have hurt … but?

The Losers: Losers? None, again, it’s summer and the tennis is proving to be so dominant.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and as did Today Tonight. Seven News was low in Sydney on 342,000 and Nine News averaged 311,000. That’s the closest Nine has come since the change in hosts to Peter Overton. Today Tonight won over a very weak A Current Affair where summer host, Leila McKinnon has hired celebrity agent, Sean Anderson, to represent her in pay talks with Nine run by hubby, David Gyngell. A wise move. Ten’s Late News/Sports Tonight averaged 537,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 830,000. Host, Ali Moore did very well. Next week Lateline and Lateline Business return to the ABC. SBS News, 171,000 at 6.30 pm, 157,000 for the late edition. 7am Sunrise, 406,000, 7am Today 317,000. Both strong.

The Stats: Seven won with a 6pm to midnight All People share of 38.4% from Nine with 23.2%, Ten with 21.2%, the ABC on 11.7% and SBS, 5.4%. Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week 39.5% to 22.2% for Nine. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 35.2% from WIN/NBN with 24.5%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.5%, the ABC with 13.2% and SBS with 6.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: What can you say about tennis? Not long to go. Cricket tonight and Sunday when the first signs of the 2009 ratings battle emerges with Ten starting The Biggest Loser and So You Think You Can Dance Australia from 6.30pm. The two programs run through to 9pm.

If the Men’s Final is Federer vs. Nadal (as it almost certainly will be), Seven will have a very good audience, while Nine and the ABC will be squeezed, especially as the One Day cricket is against NZ. Perhaps Australians will watch that in morbid fascination to see if Australia can do any worse than the rotten effort against South Africa on Australia Day.

From Monday night the Sydney 6pm news battle and comparisons will be in force. Apart from the sport and the Sunday night programs on Ten, watch a movie, swelter, cool off at a beach, in a cool air conditioned bar, or snooze.

Did the horrible story from Melbourne yesterday of the 4-and-a-half-year-old girl being thrown off the Westgate Bridge boost TV news audiences in Melbourne last night? There was no other story around to explain the huge rise in audiences for Seven and Ten in particular, while Nine and the ABC also did better. Seven’s News audience jumped to 570,000 last night, much higher than normal — the day before Seven’s News averaged 481,000 in Melbourne. Nine’s was a solid 463,000 (up 30,000 or so), Ten’s a very high 430,000 at 5pm. (Ten’s News averaged 33,000 on Wednesday evening). The ABC’s 7pm News averaged a solid 359,000 (also up more than 20,000 on the night).

No wonder Jon Faine, the Melbourne 774 ABC radio morning host, was heard to tell Adam Spencer on ABC 702 this morning that he thought the media had been ghoulish and insensitive over the story. He also also accused some journalists of harassing the child’s family.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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