The Winners: Today Tonight was tops with a high 1.350 million. Seven News was next with 1.279 million and Nine News was third with 1.134 million. Cold Case was 4th with a million viewers. But that’s a preliminary reading as the program started late around 8.50pm after the Test cricket ran over well past the scheduled 8.30pm finish. Seven’s How I Met Your Mother (a repeat) at 7pm averaged a high 933,000 and benefited from the Test cricket being on Nine. The cricket averaged 670,000, but the average in the last quarter hour of play was well over 800,000 at times. Being in Perth, it finished before 6pm and it was a normal night’s viewing won by Seven, with Nine up close in second place.

The Losers: The Test cricket made it hard to work out if there were losers, as did the very average quality of most programs last night.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane. Today Tonight won the 6.30pm slot against the cricket with A Current Affair pre-empted (as it is tonight and tomorrow night). The 7pm ABC News averaged 897,000, The 7.30 Report, 676,000. Lateline, 155,000. Ten News, 720,000. The late News/Sports Tonight, 314,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 139,000, 201,000 for the late edition. 7am Sunrise with 341,000, Today, 296,000. Nine’s Nightline, 281,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a 6pm to Midnight All People share of 31.9% from Seven with 29.3%, Ten with 19.1%, the ABC with 14.2% and SBS with 5.5%. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Seven won Brisbane and Perth. Seven leads the week 29.1% to 27.7% for Nine.

In regional markets WIN/NBN won with 29.6% for the main channel, from Prime/7Qld with 28.4%, Southern Cross’ (Ten) main channel on 18.7%, ABC 1 on 12.5% and SBS ONE, 7.0%.

Digitally: Another solid night. 7TWO won with 2.90% (Seven on 26.40%), from Nine’s GO with 2.70% (29.10%), ABC 2 with 1.90% (ABC 1, 11.60%). Ten’s ONE was on 1.10% (Ten’s main channel, 18.00%, ABC 3 was on 0.70%, SBS TWO, 0.60% (SBS ONE, 4.90%). That’s a shade under 10% for the six channels in prime time.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine won the night because the Test cricket coverage from around 7pm until the play finished late around 8.45pm, saw audience numbers build. By the end, in Melbourne for instance, more 400,000 people watched the cricket in the last hour and a quarter of play (527,000 from 8.30pm to the end). In Sydney more than 300,000 watched the last hour or so, with 372,000 watching from 8.30pm to the end (which was around 8.45 pm Sydney/Melbourne time). The averages for the last hour were much higher than the 670,000 average for the entire day’s play.

But what was interesting was how Seven News still won Sydney and Melbourne, despite the bigger lead-ins for the cricket, and how the audience for Today Tonight really perked up when Nine went back to the cricket at 6.30pm. Viewers wanted their daily current affairs fix, then some cricket a bit later.

Today/TONIGHT: Test cricket on Nine. The digital channels, GO, 7TWO and ABC 2. Ten’s One has sport against sport in most markets, Nine’s cricket will be better. On the main channels, Christmas shopping again looms as the preferred option if you can’t stand cricket.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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