The Winners: Today Tonight was first with 1.389 million as viewers again wanted something other than cricket at 6.30 m. Seven news was second with 1.286 million and Nine News was third with 1.055 million. The repeat of How I Met Your Mother at 7pm for Seven averaged 912,000 and was again boosted by the non-cricket loving audience. Seven’s movie, Die Hard, averaged 810,000. Rescue Special Ops after the cricket on Nine, 771,000 for a repeat. The 7pm Project from Bondi, 592,000. At least it’s still trying.

The Losers: Again, the cricket made it hard. But confronted with dross (even if it was new dross), the smart viewers headed for the digital channels (if they have digital) and watched some good dross (i.e. repeats).

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane. Seven’s Mark Ferguson won Sydney for the third night in four over Peter Overton on Nine, 369,000 to 268,000. ACA was again pre-empted by the cricket on Nine, so TT had the field to itself. Ten News averaged 702,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 297,000. The 7pm ABC News averaged 794,000, The 7.30 Report, 671,000. Lateline, 273,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 111,000, 130,000 for the late edition. 7am Sunrise, 361,000, 7am Today, 289,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a 6pm to midnight All People combined share of 32.4% from Nine with 27.7%, Ten with 18.0%, the ABC with 16.7% and SBS with 5.2%. Seven won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Nine won Adelaide. Seven leads the week 29.7% to 27.7% for Nine.

In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 29.6% from WIN/NBN’s main channel with 26.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 17.1%), ABC 1 with 16.1% and SBS ONE with 6.3%.

Digitally: A string night again: 7TWO with 3.40% (main channel, 29.000%) tied with Nine’s GO with 3.40% (24.30% for the main channel). ABC 2 was next with 2.00% (ABC1 was on 14.10%), Ten’s ONE averaged 1.40% (Ten main channel, 16.70%), SBS TWO, 0.70% (SBS ONE, 4.50%), ABC 3, 0.50%. All up 11.4% for the digital channels, a very solid night.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Cricket again was the major factor, but Seven won the night fairly easily in the main channel battle. its 7TWO and Go drew the night and the digital channels grabbed up more than 11% of the prime time audience last night. The desire for non-cricket viewing made that understandable.

The cricket again sent viewers off to Seven’s Today Tonight for something without a bat. Seven News had a solid win over Nine, despite the latter having the cricket as a lead in. Nine lead in Sydney and Melbourne from 5.30pm because of the cricket, Seven News won both, but not in Brisbane where Nine again got up. The cricket averaged 670,000 for the entire day’s play, higher from around 7.30 pm onwards.

Tonight, the weekend and beyond: Cricket today, tomorrow and hopefully Sunday. Then we are on our own. Nothing else of interest, lot’s of repeats. The Digital Channels appeal. The Hamish And Andy Christmas Regifted special from late November is regifted by Ten for viewers on Sunday night. How appropriate, a repeat of a program which put together repeats of the duo’s best bits of 2009. Why am I so cynical about TV networks and programmers at times. There’s your answer.

And that’s it for the year. I’m off on holidays. Best wishes to everyone and a safe 2010.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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