The Winners: Underbelly‘s first episode at 8.30pm was tops with 1.677 million (helped by a huge 624,000 watching in Sydney). The second episode at 9.30pm averaged 1.613 million (and made sure of the night for Nine). Seven News was 3rd with 1.571 million, MasterChef was next with 1.548 million (and it was a brutal challenge) and Nine News was 5th with 1.472 million. Sunday Night averaged 1.296 million for Seven at 6.30pm, Bones at 8.30pm for Seven averaged 1.243 million and Customers at 6.30pm averaged 1.211 million for Nine, with Send in the Dogs at 7pm averaging 1.140 million and 9th place. 60 Minutes was 10th with 1.113 million (viewers deserted to MasterChef). Seven’s 8pm program The Force averaged 1.109 million and the 7.30pm repeat of Border Security averaged 1.036 million.

The Losers: Merlin at 6.30pm for Ten, 852,000, weaker than last year. The buzz about this one has gone so far as Ten viewers are concerned. Are they off watching 7TWO and GO? House on Ten at 9.30pm, 539,000. Needs to be ended humanely, I think.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane (the Brisbane Broncos-Storm game was the NRL lead in). Ten News averaged 573,000. The 7pm ABC News, 850,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 163,000. Dateline on SBS at 8.30pm, 137,000. In the morning Weekend Sunrise averaged 375,000, Weekend Today, 267,000. Landline at Noon on the ABC, 181,000. Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 196,000, Inside Business at 10am, 174,000, Offsiders at 10.30pm, 140,000. Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 28,000.

The Stats:

FTA: Nine won with a share of 33.2%, from Seven with 26.7%, Ten with 21.3%, the ABC, 15.6% and SBS, 3.2%. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Seven won Adelaide and Perth. Nine only got up because Underbelly rated its socks off in Sydney, and was solid in Melbourne and Brisbane. It wasn’t all that popular in Adelaide and Perth.

Main Channel: Nine won here as well, with a share of 29.3%, from Seven with 25.3%, Ten on 18.5%, ABC 1, 14.5%, and SBS ONE, 2.9%. Nine won Sydney, drew Melbourne with Seven, won Brisbane and Seven won Adelaide and Perth.

Digital: GO won with 3.9%, from ONE with 2.8% (The F1 from Spain won by Mark Webber), 7TWO was third with 1.4%, ABC 2, 0.8% and ABC 3 and SBS TWO with 0.3% each. The six FTA digital channels averaged 9.5%.

Pay TV: Nine won with a share of 27.7%, from Seven with 22.3%, Ten with 17.7%, Pay TV with 13.8%, the ABC with 13.0% and SBS with 2.7%. the 13 FTA channels had a total share of 86.2%, Pay TV’s 100 plus channels shared the 13.8% reported.

Regional: A win for WIN/NBN with 33.6%, from prime/7Qld with 26.1%, SC Ten on 18.3%, the ABC, 16.7% and SBS, 4.3%. WIN/NBN won the main channels with 29.6% from prime/7Qld with 24.6%. GO won the digitals with 2.3%, with 7TWO and ONE both on 1.5% each.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Last week was Nine’s again as Seven was weak on too many nights, but especially Thursday which it is struggling to fix. WIN/NBN won the regionals for Nine as well. Nine’ GO won the digital battle.

Last night was another typical Sunday except that Foyle’s War (907,000), the classiest UK historical drama for years, made a welcome return last night at 8.30 pm And guess what crime lovers, a new series of Midsomer Murders is back at 8.30 pm this Friday.

A notable event: Last night’s Formula One telecast from Spain on Ten’s main channel averaged 176,000, but on the ONE HD sports channel, it beat it with 211,000. 386,000 watched the race on Ten, but it used to be all those eyeballs were watching from one channel. The digitals are cannibalising the main channels, so the Networks will have to start asking more for advertising on the digitals.

Underbelly was OK. What Underbelly lacks is any sort of outside reference, no feeling for what was being said in the Sydney media, Sydney society or communities about crime etc. The independent MP, John Hatton, was mentioned in passing.

Sunday Night on Seven heavily promoted a cure for diabetes and got the result, 1.296 million people and a win in the 6.30pm slot. 60 Minutes was laboured last night and wasn’t better for the night off last week.

TONIGHT: Seven has AFL in the South so the schedule is disrupted and Desperate Housewives is not on in northern markets, it’s a movie that won’t do well. The ABC has the usual quartet of Australian Story, Four Corners, Media Watch and Q&A. Nine has Top Gear. Ten has MasterChef and that’s the night.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey