The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.468 million, Today Tonight was second with 1.355 million and Getaway on Nine at 7.30 pm averaged 1.176 million. A Current Affair was 4th with 1.161 million and Nine News was 5th with 1.150 million. Home and Away won the 7pm slot for Seven with 1.147 million, 20 to 1 averaged 1.141 million for Nine at 8.30pm and Seven’s Ghost Whisperer was 8th with 1.128 million. The Footy Shows were 9th with 1.101 million and the 7pm repeat of Nine’s Two and a Half Men averaged 1.086 million. Seven’s Grey’s Anatomy averaged 1.074 million at 8.30pm in 11th and Ten’s Law And Order CI averaged 1.052 million, also at 8.30pm. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.029 million and 14th was Ten’s MasterChef Australia with 1.007 million. Private Practice on Seven at 9.30pm averaged 883,000. Inspector Rex on SBS at 7.30pm in repeat averaged 338,000 and easily out rated Mad Men an hour later with 245,000. Hot Seat on Nine at 5.30pm, 603,000, Deal or No Deal, 867,000. Ten News, 931,000. Q&A at 9.30pm on the ABC, 510,000.

The Losers: Medium on Ten at 9.30pm, 735,000. Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget reply speech: 721,000 vs. Wayne Swan’s 1.141 million on Tuesday night. The Treasurer always wins; it’s the value of incumbency.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne. The impetus from the Matthew Johns interview had gone. The 7.30 Report happened at 8pm after Mr Turnbull’s speech. It averaged 768,000 (more than Malcolm’s reply!). Lateline averaged 332,000, Lateline Business, 163,000. The Ten late News/Sports Tonight, 358,000. Nine’s late News, 321,000 around 11pm in most markets. When will Seven lurch forward with its “new” late news? SBS News at 6.30pm, 195,000, 126,000 for the 9.30pm edition. 7am Sunrise, 408,000, 7am Today, 301,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a 6pm to Midnight All People share of 29.9% (29.2%) from Seven with 26.8% (25.9%), Ten on 21.6% (21.8%), the ABC on 16.9% (18.6%), SBS was on 4.7% (4.6%). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven won Adelaide and Perth. Seven leads Nine, 28.7% to 25.8% with Ten on 24.0%. In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN with 32.0%, from Prime/7Qld with 26.5; Southern Cross Ten on 16.8%, the ABC on 16.5% and SBS with 6.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The NRL Footy Show at long last achieved some relevance last night. Host Paul Vautin probably saved his credibility with a heartfelt and believable explanation about his actions on the show the previous week when Matthew Johns apologised; Phil Gould, a former player, coach and now journalist and commentator, showed he had more brains and vision on the issue than most commentators have so far shown.

In doing so, Gould joined Tracy Grimshaw at Nine in standing up and being counted, and showing up the soft-edged approach Nine News has had on numerous issues in recent years. (That comment excludes Laurie Oakes who is supporting the entire Nine News apparatus on his credibility). Gould showed more realism and more understanding of the damage the Johns story has done to Rugby League and everyone involved in it, including every sports journalist and broadcaster.

Gould also showed similar strengths when he interviewed Andrew Johns (Matthew’s brother) the year before last when Andrew Johns had been sprung in a drugs bust in London and forced to come clean, completely. Jacqueline Magnay’s presence on the Footy Show panel (she’s a football writer from the SMH) also changed the dynamics of the program when she’s there.

Gould’s comments and the discussion on the Footy Show last night was more nuanced and subtle than anything that has sprung for the computers at News Ltd, which half own the game and have always had, within its power, enormous financial and media clout to out the spivs, shonks and others. To its credit Sydney’s Daily Telegraph has stepped up this time.

There is some commercial self interest here of course. Nine is the main broadcaster and had millions of dollars to defend. But the public battle has been fought on Nine, not Foxtel (the other rights holder), which remains almost hidden from view so far as the bulk of the TV audience and games supporters are concerned.

To its credit ACA, led by Tracy Grimshaw, has done the hard yards on this story (because they are at Nine, it has to be said). In contrast the effort by Dave Richardson on Today Tonight on Seven last night was a lightweight hackneyed affair. It didn’t help ACA last night. Its audience fell to 1.1 million and TT went back in front with a steady 1.35 million. But because of circumstances, the program and Ms Grimshaw have had a good week. To those critics remember, ACA and Ms Grimshaw could have quite easily dogged it and done a patsy interviews. They didn’t.

TONIGHT: AFL, NRL, Midsomer Murders, Better Homes and Gardens.

TOMORROW NIGHT: Sport, movies, repeats (New Tricks), Foyle’s War, Billy Connolly, Iron Chef, Mythbusters, Movies.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Sunday Night, Border Security, The Force, Bones, Home Made (an episode of truth for the program), 60 Minutes, CSI, MasterChef, Rove, Merlin, Dirt Game and sport.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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