The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.429 million as viewers flocked to watch the news as Nine continued with the dying embers of the Test (as it should have done, seeing it was close). Today Tonight was second with 1.256 million and A Current Affair was sort of third with 1.101 million (but that included the overrun of Nine News past 6.30pm to account for the cricket running past 6pm). Nine News averaged 988,000, and that was affected by not starting at 6pm. The cricket gave Nine a boost in Sydney with the 5.30pm to 6pm slot attracting 252,000 viewers to 142,000 for Seven. But at 6pm the figures changed dramatically and Seven News averaged 413,000 in Sydney and the cricket/Nine News around 276,000. The odd thing was that so many viewers didn’t stick with Nine and the Test but wanted to watch news on Seven. The rest of the night you can write off and forget. The ABC’s Jail Birds fluttered to an end with 828,000 viewers.

The Losers: From 7pm not one program averaged a million or more viewers. An indictment of the dross that was on offer last night, except for The Circuit on SBS at 8.30pm, 212,000, ABC News at 7pm and The 7.30 Report. If I detailed the losers on the night, I’d be repeating the names of the same old flops from Monday night or last Tuesday night.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally as did TT. Nine News and ACA were knocked around by the test running over. But 492,000 viewers in Melbourne for Seven News was hard to believe, given that city’s claim to be sporting freaks and keen followers of anything Australian. The 7pm ABC News averaged 979,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 930,000. Lateline, 283,000. Ten News, 727,000. The late News/Sports Tonight, 360,000. SBS News at  at 6.30pm, 156,000, 180,000 for the late edition, 7am Sunrise, 373,000, 7am Today, 281,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a combined 6pm to midnight All People share of 28.3% from Seven with 27.9%, Ten with 18.9%, the ABC with 18.8% and SBS with 6.1%. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Seven won Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven leads the week 28.8% from Nine with 27.4%.

In regional areas a clear win to WIN/NBN with 28.8% (for the main channel) from Prime/7Qld with 24.9%, the ABC with 18.0% (for the main channel) and Southern Cross, 17.0% (Ten, for the main channel). SBS was on 7.8% for the main channel.

Digitally: 7TWO won with 3.10% (Seven’s main channel on 24.80%) from GO with 3.00% (Nine’s main channel was on 25.30%). ABC 2 was next with 1.40% (ABC 3 was on 0.50% and ABC 1 was on 16.80%). Ten’s ONE was on 0.90% (Ten’s main channel was on 18.00%). SBS TWO was on 0.60%, SBS ONE was on 5.60%.

All up the FTA digital channels averaged a solid 9.50% share.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: All that can be said about last night is that Seven News had an absolutely huge win over Nine News because the cricket ran over time. Perhaps it was the fact that the second test wasn’t really in the balance that saw viewers leave Nine for Seven news, which won nationally by well over 400,000 viewers and by 160,000 in Melbourne and 137,000 in Sydney. Nine ended up winning prime time.

The cricket season so far for Nine has underwhelmed, according to analysts from Fusion Strategy in Sydney. In a report this morning, Fusion said:

The audience trends for Second Test pretty much match First Test, and ends up 23% down on 3.5 day second test last year, a little worse. This is a wretched start to what we forecast would be a poor season. Younger viewers continue to leave in stronger numbers.

Fusion said the fall off in viewers for the cricket on Nine in 16 to 39 and 18 to 49 was around 19%, with the drop slightly higher in the younger demographic. That’s bad news for Nine and Cricket Australia. Next year with the Ashes should make a different story.

But the test was more interesting for most of the day than the offerings last night in prime time.

TONIGHT: More of the same, without the cricket to offset the tedium, apart from the final of John Safran’s Race Relations at 9.30pm on the ABC. It’s not everybody’s favourite, but he’s having a go. Apart from that, possible tedium free zones could be found in the various News at 5pm, 6pm and 7 m, The 7pm Project and The 7.30 Report. TT and ACA should be watched only amusement at 6.30pm, especially Leila McKinnon who’s replaced Tracy Grimshaw on ACA.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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