The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.700 million, with Nine News second with 1.548 million. Ten’s MasterChef Australia was 3rd with 1.456 million and Merlin was third with 1.372 million. 60 Minutes was 5th with 1.318 million and Seven’s Bones was 6th at 8.30pm with 1.278 million. Seven’s Sunday Night averaged 1.229 million at 6.30pm in just four markets: it was pre-empted in Adelaide by AFL. Border Security averaged 1.219 million at 7.30pm and The Force at 8pm averaged 1.172 million, both for Seven. Nine’s CSI was 9th at 8.30pm with 1.089 million and Rove was next with 1.006 million. Nine’s high cost Home Made averaged 1.002 million at 6.30pm. Castle on Seven at 9.30 pm debuted with 939,000, CSI New York on Nine at 9.30pm averaged 833,000. The Eurovision song contest on SBS averaged 482,000 at 7.30pm last night, even though the results were known. On One HD, Ten’s Sports Channel, the IPL live game last night averaged 68,000 at 8.20pm and Sports Tonight averaged 54,000 at 7.30pm.

The Losers: Dirt Game: 517,000 at 8.30pm for the ABC. Still OK, but vaguely unsatisfying. Harper’s Island on Ten at 9.30pm, 425,000. The black hole of Ten’s schedule just sucked another program into viewer oblivion.

News & CA: Seven News won nationally and in every market but Sydney and Adelaide. Seven news won by 102,000 in Brisbane, even though the NRL match between Souths and Wests was a corker. The 7pm ABC News averaged 970,000 and Ten’s News averaged 718,000. SBS News at 6.30pm averaged 210,000. In the morning shows, Weekend Sunrise averaged 437,000, Landline on the ABC at Noon, 212,000, Insiders at 9am on the ABC, 206,000 and the Today Show on Sunday 185,000, down under the 200,000-plus it had been enjoying for a while. The ABC’s Inside Business averaged 166,000 at 10am and Offsiders, 163,000 at 10.30pm. Meet The Press on Ten at 8am averaged 65,000. Not much interest in post budget chat, it seems.

The Stats: Seven won All People 6pm to midnight for the second Sunday in a row. Its share was 27.6% (29.1%) from Nine with 25.5% (26.1%), Ten on 24.3% (27.1%), the ABC with 12.7% (13.3%) and SBS with 9.9% (6.0%). Ten won 18 to 49, 16 to 39 and 25 to 54. Seven won everywhere bar Adelaide where Nine won. In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN for Nine with 27.5% from Prime/7Qld with 27.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.8%, the ABC on 15.3% and SBS on 8.3%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won last week from Nine and Ten in All People. But in the broader 16 to 54 age group, Seven won from Ten, with Nine third. Nine’s Saturday Today Show averaged 164,000, slightly down from the previous Saturday. A Current Affair did well because of its (well placed) coverage of the Matthew Johns story. It won’t have that this week. Ten continues to do well in 18 to 49s. It continues its lock on the 16 to 39s. Nine is lagging now.

At the end of ratings survey Number 3 at midnight Saturday, Seven led lead Nine by 2.1 commercial share points in primetime across the year-to-date vs. a 0.7 share point advantage over Nine in weeks 7-20 in 2008. Nine leads 25 to 54’s, with a falling share, Seven is gaining. Ten says Seven leads 18 to 49 and is second. Ten leads 16 to 37. Seven’s share is up in all segments, Nine is weakening, Ten steady to a touch weaker.

Fusion Strategy says the networks are all weak in 16 to 39s with viewing (excluding Easter) down just over 5% in this demo. Only Seven and Pay TV have lifted so far in 2009 and Pay TV is doing the best by far. Fusion says that in Prime Time All People 6 pm to 10.30 pm Pay TV is up 4.97%, Seven is up 2.53%. All the rest down with Nine off 2.65%, SBS off 2.26%, the ABC down 2.09% and Ten was off half a per cent.

In All People, excluding the two Easter weeks, Seven was won 11 weeks, Nine 1. Including Easter, its 12 to 2.

Nine is working on the music for its new 4.30pm News starting next month; Jim Waley starts at Sky News early next month and is on air around June 20. The Seven Network is planning a 3.30pm program Monday to Friday to gazump the 4.30pm program at Nine. And there’s talk from Seven of a new senior producer being hired for Sunday Night now that it is performing better and its future seems more assured.

TONIGHT: Local Top Gear on SBS at 7.30pm. The ABC has Four Corners, Australian Story and Spooks. On Nine Sea Patrol returns. There’s an hour of Two and a Half Men from 7pm to 8pm is the problem, and Eleventh Hour at 9.30pm.

Ten has MasterChef, Recruits, Good News Week and then Supernatural at 9.40pm which will again be sucked into the network’s ratings black hole. Seven has How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters. Simply because it’s returning for the new series, Sea Patrol is worth a look.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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