The Winners: Seven News was tops with 438,000; with Midsomer Murders on the ABC second at 8.30pm with 1.484 million. Nine News was 3rd with 1.390 million and Dancing With The Stars was 4th with 1.353 million for Seven from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Nine’s Domestic Blitz averaged 1.246 million and Stephen Fry in America at 7.30pm on the ABC was 7th with 1.211 million. 60 Minutes was 8th with 1.211 million and the last Bones on Seven for this series averaged 1.088 million.

The Losers: CSI Miami on Nine at 9.30pm, 621,000, and the 10.30pm repeat, 475,000. Rove at 8.30pm, 784,000, after Australian Idol (which fell under a million for the first time this year, averaging 992,000). Rescue Special Ops on Nine at 8.30pm under a million with 906,000. That’s a poor result. Last week it averaged 860,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Ten News averaged 661,000, the 7pm ABC News averaged 962,000. SBS News averaged 187,000. In the morning, Weekend Sunrise, 414,000, Landline on the ABC at Noon, 234,000, Today on Sunday on Nine, 232,000. Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 179,000. Inside Business, 128,000. Offsiders, 121,000. Meet The Press on Ten, 69,000.

The Stats: Seven won all people 6pm to Midnight with a share of 27.4% (26.0% a week earlier), from Nine on 26.50%, which was boosted by its digital audience, see below). The ABC was third with 22.9% (20.8%), Ten was 4th with 19.1% (19.9%) and SBS was on 4.0% (9.1% with the test cricket a week earlier). Seven won Sydney, drew Brisbane with Nine and won Perth. Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. In regional areas a win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 27.5% from Prime/7Qld with 26.5%, the ABC with 21.7%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.0% and SBS with 5.3%. The digital channels are available now in most regional markets, so last night’s viewing figures were not all related to the main channels (except for Seven).

The ratings for the main channels were skewed last night by the viewing on the digital channels to the point where the OzTAM figures should be issued on a split basis.

Last night the breakdown between the analogue and digital channels last night from 6pm to Midnight tell a different story to the gross figures above:

Seven was unchanged on 27.40% (because its digital channel isn’t separately programmed or separated in the ratings as yet). Nine’s analogue main channel averaged 23.20%, with Go, its digital channel recording a high of 3.30%. The ABC’s main channel averaged 22.10% and ABC 2 averaged 0.80%. Ten’s main channel averaged a very low 16.80%, but ONE, its digital channel, averaged 2.40%. SBS’s main channel averaged 3.80%, and SBS TWO averaged 0.20%. That made a total of 6.70% share for the digital channels. That was more than twice the share of SBS ONE. Seven’s slowness to start its separate digital channel is understandable given that more ad dollars are being spent each night on the main channel than on the digital ones.

Nine will have some very cranky advertisers on its hands:

  • For the last hour (from 5pm) of the NRL broadcast last night, the repeat of The Nanny was watched by 131,000 viewers. That was national. The NRL was shown in Sydney and Brisbane and 49,000 people watched The Nanny there, vs. 393,000 on the main channel. The extra viewers would have helped the 6pm News.
  • Wipeout at 6.30pm on GO averaged 224,000 viewers and drained those from Domestic Blitz on the main channel with a still respectable 1.252 million people.
  • 82,000 people watched Seinfeld on Go at 6pm, 1.390 million watched Nine News on the main channel. Closer to 1.5 million may have watched if they were not watching Seinfeld and perhaps The Nanny.
  • At 7.30pm Big Bang Theory on Go was watched by 177,000. 60 Minutes on the main channel was watched by 1.115 million: close to 1.3 million if there was nothing on Go at the same time.

It’s called cannibalisation and Nine is eating its main channel audiences. No wonder Seven doesn’t want to start a separate digital channel.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won last week (thanks to Nine being boosted by Go). The Australia-South Africa Rugby Union test was boring, a loss for Australia, and unsuccessful for Seven, with 351,000 viewers nationally on a low viewing night. 92,000 people watched the test on Foxtel, so it was an underperformer for both broadcasters, because of the poor form by the Australians.

A Current Affair fell under the one million viewer mark on Friday evening, the first time it has had three successive nights of less than a million viewers for ages. Nine News was also weak on Saturday night, 860,000 nationally. It’s normally 200,000 to 300,000 viewers stronger than that. The ABC News had more viewers nationally and in most markets with 914,000. Seven News had a clear lead with 1.214 million.

TONIGHT: City Homicide on Seven, Australian Story on the ABC (perhaps Four Corners and Media Watch). Nine has Farmer Wants a Wife, Ten has The 7pm Project. SBS has Top Gear. A thin night really.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports