The Winners: Seven News was tops, with 1.162 million viewers on average, Today Tonight was second with 1.069 million and the 7pm ABC News was third with 1.011 million. A Current Affair was on 973,0900, The 7.30 Report averaged 884,000 and Nine’s Getaway averaged 870,000. There were other programs in prime time. I could mention their ratings, but that could encourage them to stay, when they should be sleeping. The six digital channels had their biggest night so far in combined terms.

The Losers: Yes there were losers last night, but they know who they were. They were not Seven News, Today Tonight, Nine News, ACA, the 7 pm ABC news or The 7.30 Report. That’s all I will say. So many poor quality repeats or shows that never made it in ratings.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally but lost Sydney, as did TT to ACA. ACA reduced the big gap from the night before and was stronger in Sydney. But The 7.30 Report with 327,000 viewers and the 7pm ABC News with 315,000, did better than Nine News (287,000) and ACA (258,000) and Seven News (277,000 and TT (235,000). Call it daylight saving, Thursday night shopping, or just home and turning the TV set on later. In fact The 7.30 Report topped the Sydney market last night. Ten News averaged 710,000, the late News/Sports Tonight with 317,000. Lateline averaged 161,000. Nine’s Nightline did 224,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 124,000, 188,000 for the late edition. 7am Sunrise, 358,000, 7am Today, 299,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a combined 6 pm to midnight All People share of share of 28.8%, from Seven with 28.6%, Ten with 19.6%, the ABC with 17.2% and SBS with 5.7%. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Seven won Brisbane and Perth. Seven leads the week with a combined 28.5% to 28.0%.

In regional Australia, Nine’s main channel won with 29.9%, from Seven with 26.5%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.1%, the ABC 1 with 14.6% and SBS One with 7.0%.

Digitally: The action was in digital where 7TWO got its highest share so far with 4.50% (leaving Seven’s main channel with 14.20%). Nine’s GO was also strong with 3.50% (25.30% for Nine). ABC 2 was on 2.40% (ABC 3 was on 0.60%, ABC 1 was on 14.20%). Ten’s GO was on 1.70%, (Ten was on 17.90%). SBS Two was on 0.50% (SBS ONE was on 5.20%). 13.20% all told for the digital channels.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine won last night, Seven was second. It was a dreadful night, no wonder the digital channels attracted solid audiences. ABC 3 again out-rated SBS TWO, Kids rule, OK! 13.20% in total for the six digital channels. ABC 1 only averaged 14.20%. That’s highest share for the digital channels so far in their short lives and no sign of the networks’ misgivings (the commercials actually), that these new fangled digital businesses might hurt them.

Seven is doing the clever thing (and Ten to a more limited extent) in promoting their digital channels on the main channels. In fact this summer so far they seem to have kept many viewers watching an offering from any of the channels of the five networks, rather than heading to pay TV, or more likely, abandoning TV. (Remembering that Pay TV is only in around 30% of homes, while an estimated 53% of Australian homes have digital TV or some sort of way of watching digital TV).

By the end of summer viewers will be thanking the networks for their digital offerings. At least the quality of their repeats is better.

TONIGHT: No cricket, but golf, which started yesterday. Apart from that, not much. Top Gear on SBS at 7.30pm. Nine’s Go for example stands out because it has Seinfeld and Frasier on tonight. 7TWO has Mother and Son (yes, from the ABC). ONE has American basketball tonight. All in their own way more interesting than some of the offerings on the main channels.

A repeat of Wire In The Blood on the ABC at 8.30pm? The movie The Santa Clause 2 on Seven? Bodyguard (that movie again!) on Nine. Purlease. If anything stands out it’s the lost John Safran pilot on the ABC at 10.05pm (the one where he investigates Ray Martin’s rubbish). In fact tonight would be worth that alone.

TOMORROW: Kingdom and Wallander were OK last week on Seven. Seven also has American Beauty in repeat at 10.30pm. That is the nite’s highlight. Aliens is the movie on Ten at 8.30pm. A repeat, but an absolute classic. Be bored by the AFI awards on Nine at 9.30pm. Like the Australian movie industry at the moment, a bad night is assured.

SUNDAY: The finale of this series of Glee, the repeat of the movie, Little Miss Sunshine, both on Ten. On Nine at 11.50pm another movie classic, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. Bones and Castle on Seven.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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