The Winners: The State Of Origin game was the most watched program with a record 2.455 million viewers for Nine from just after 8pm when the game kicked off in rain from Sydney. MasterChef was a very solid second with 1.687 million and the pre-match program for the Origin game on Nine from 7.30pm was 3rd with 1.633 million. Seven News was next with 1.605 million and Today Tonight was 5th with 1.468 million. Nine News was 6th with 1.368 million and the post match origin broadcast averaged 1.321 million (and was only broadcast in Brisbane and Sydney). A Current Affair averaged 1.309 million and the 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.152 million for Nine. The 7pm ABC News was 10th with 1.090 million and Seven’s Home and Away averaged 1.088 million in 11th slot nationally.

The Losers: No one. It was State Of Origin time and there’s only one winner and no losers.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally, but lost Brisbane to Origin fever. Today Tonight won nationally, but lost Melbourne to ACA. The 7.30 Report averaged 765,000, which wasn’t bad against the start of Origin on Nine. Lateline averaged, 230,000, Lateline Business, 132,000. Ten News averaged 955,000, The late News/Sports Tonight, 343,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 201,000, 187,000 for the late edition. 7am Sunrise on Seven, 401,000, 7am Today on Nine, 336,000.

The Stats: FTA: Nine won with an Origin-inflated share of 38.2%, from Ten on 23.2%, Seven third with 21.4%, the ABC on 13.23% and SBS, 4.0%. Nine won Sydney and Brisbane by big margins, Ten won the rest. Nine leads the week with 31.6%, from Seven with 26.1%.

Main Channel: Here, a similar story. Nine wins Sydney and Brisbane big, Ten wins the rest. So Nine finished with a share of 36.3%, from Ten on 22.7%, Seven with 19.3%, ABC 1 on 10.8% and SBS ONE with 3.7%. Nine leads the week, 29.0%, to Seven’s 23.4% and Ten on 22.4%.

Digital: The six FTA digital programs had a total share of 7.4%, down a bit, but surprisingly League-hating fans didn’t flee there in large numbers. 7TWO won with a share of 2.1%, with ABC 2 and GO on 1.9% each, ONE on 0.6% and ABC 3 on 0.5%, with SBS TWO on 0.3%.

Pay TV: Nine won easily as expected with 32.5%, from Ten with 19.8%, Seven on 18.2%, Pay TV, 12.1%, the ABC, 11.2% and SBS, 3.4%. The 11 FTA channels had a total share of 87.9%, Pay TV’s 100 channels shared the reported 12.1%.

Regional: A big win for WIN/NBN finishing with a share of 44.7%, from Prime/7Qld with 20.0%, SC Ten on 18.7%, the ABC, 12.1% and SBS, 4.5%. The main channels were also won by WIN/NBN with 42.9%, With Prime/’7Qld with 18.3% and SC Ten, 18.1%. GO won the digitals with 1.8%, 7TWO was on 1.7% and ABC 2, 1.3%. WIN/NBN lead the week with 32.6% from Prime/7Qld with 26.5%.

(All share figures on the basis of combined overnight 6pm to midnight All People)

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The Rugby League State of Origin dominates the screens last night in Sydney, Brisbane, regional NSW and Queensland. Nothing else got a look in those areas. Elsewhere, it was Ten ahead of Seven.

The State of Origin was a record audience for the five metro markets of 2.455 million for Game 1, up from 2.322 million in 2009. In regional areas 1.120 million watched as well, which is believed to be close to a record. That’s a total of 3.575 million people watching across the country.

The Sydney audience of 1.179 million was a record and up 19% on last year and beat the previous record set in 2003 (when it last topped the million viewer level).

A breakdown of figures nationally show that the game was watched by 2.435 million live, meaning (according to Fusion Strategy’s Steve Allen) that only 20,000 viewers recorded the game and watched it later in the night.

Melbourne’s 328,000 for the live broadcast was near the previous best of 366,000 in 2007. In Brisbane where 824,000 watched (or a massive 66% of the available audience), the figure was just shy of the 845,000 record audience last year. And in Adelaide and Perth, where the game started at 9.30pm local time on delay, it was watched by just 62,000 people in each city.

Lost was lost by viewers, Only 615,000 people watched the two and half hour finale last night from 8.30pm. That was OK for a program that got lost a long time ago so far as most viewers are concerned.

Lost’s broadcast meant Seven finished a distant third behind Ten in second nationally, while Ten won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Somehow I think Seven always meant to run Lost up against the State of Origin once the timing of the final episode became known from the US. It was the ultimate ratings fodder for a night when the network knew it didn’t have a chance..

TONIGHT: Black hole Thursday for Seven. Getaway and Sea Patrol for Nine, MasterChef, Glee for Ten, Italian Food Safari for SBS, and Costa’s Garden Odyssey.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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