The Winners. The NRL Grand Final averaged 2.416 million people in the five capital city markets. Another 1 million in regional markets saw it almost hit 3.5 million viewers. The Nine News was second with 1.845 million and the Grand Final Presentation from around 7pm was third with 1.657 million. Fourth was 60 Minutes with its best numbers for months with 1.403 million. It had a reasonable wrap of the earthquakes in Samoa and Padang. Midsomer Murders final episode of this series averaged 1.354 million in fifth spot for the ABC from 8.35pm. Seven News was 6th with 1.269 million and the Rugby League Entertainment averaged 1.227 million. Yellowstone on the ABC averaged 1.172 at 7.30 pm to 8.30pm. The ABC News update around 8.30pm averaged 1.051 million.

The Losers: Australian Idol, 926,000, Rescue Special Ops on Nine at 8.30pm, 956.000. CSI Miami on Nine at 9.30pm, 718,000. The repeat of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation on Ten at 6.30pm, 559,000.

News & CA: Nine News won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Seven News won Adelaide and Perth. 60 Minutes did OK, but from figures for non-Rugby League markets, the program would have struggled without the lead in from the Grand Final. Ten News averaged 420,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 151,000. In the morning Weekend Sunrise from 8am, 309,000, Today on Sunday, 259,000, Landline at Noon on the ABC, 229,000, Insiders on the ABC at 9am 175,000, Inside Business, 119,000, at 10am on the ABC, Offsiders, 134,000 at 10.30am.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of for All People 6 pm to midnight of 34.8% (24.4%) from Seven with 22.8% (27.0%), the ABC with 21.4% (22.6%); Ten, 16.4% (20.7%), and SBS with 4.6% (5.2%). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven won Perth. Nine was third and the ABC second. In regional areas the NRL GF helped WIN/NBN to a big win with 36.6%, from prime/7Qld with 23.1%, the ABC was third with 19.8%, Ten (Southern Cross) was on 15.0% and SBS was on 5.5%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine won last week narrowly 28.4% to 28.3% for Seven in All People pm to midnight. That was despite having Hey Hey It’s Saturday (2.169 million people nationally). This week the NRL Grand Final and the second episode of the Hey Hey reunion should put Nine in the box seat, but it faded a bit towards the end of the week allowing Seven to get close.

Last night the NRL Grand Final was the big winner for Nine screening through the start of prime time from 6pm and ending around 7.40pm. That helped 60 Minutes (surprisingly on the pace) to get its best audience for months. But the 8.30pm program, Rescue Special Ops was again disappointing with less than a million viewers as the audience preferred Midsomer Murders at 8.30pm on the ABC which averaged 1.35 million people for the last episode of this series.

Australian Idol was again under 1 million viewers from 7.30pm, so none really switched from the League to Ten: the 926,000 viewers was just OK for Ten. Rove at 9.30pm was hurt by Australian Idol‘s weakness and only averaged 712,000. And that was the night. Apart from the Grand Final, Nine was weaker as the night went on. Seven ran dead, Ten struggled. Next week with Midsomer Murders no longer there Ten might have a chance, but the naughty ABC has programmed the popular Jonathan Creek series (which is new) at 8.30pm.

TONIGHT: Top Gear at 7.30PM on SBS. Australian Story and Four Corners on the ABC at 8pm and 8.30pm respectively, will be well worth a watch. Seven has FlashForward (will it hold most of its opening 1.7 million audience?) and Mercy at 9.30pm. Nine has The Mentalist at 8.30pm. Will The Apprentice at 9.30pm do any better than the 692,000 of last week? Ten has The 7pm Project and Good News Week, now 90 minutes as Ten struggles to fill timeslots.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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