The Winners: Sorry folks … no ratings figures today because of problems at OzTAM. Well at least not until this afternoon (we’ll update this article on the Crikey website when we get them). So no figures until sometime around 2pm.

The figures should have been very good for last night’s State of Origin broadcast by Channel Nine … in Queensland at least.

The Losers: The NSW Rugby League team, of course, and its rapidly shrinking band of supporters.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The Gruen Transfer returned last night to the ABC and was welcome respite to the “Slaughter At Suncorp”, (AKA the State of Origin).

It appears the ABC management didn’t even think of the clash with the second Origin game when programming The Gruen Transfer at 9 pm. That’s what I call “being aware”. The saving grace for the ABC was that by then, the destruction of the NSW side by Queensland was very apparent.

It was a mean and spiteful game that reflected poorly on everyone involved on the field and behind the scenes with both teams. The Nine Network will be under enormous pressure to flick Andrew Johns because of his key role in the events of the past week involving those racist comments that saw a NSW player walk and the team all but implode. Nine has suspended him, will they now axe him? News Ltd is in the same boat with Johns a columnist for its Sydney tabloids. Will both media groups be tough, or weak?

MasterChef was a Qantas promote-a-thon, complete with ad right next to a segment for the A380, the plane the program was set around. The contra was a bit obvious, especially with the airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce a judge, along with the airline’s consulting chef, Neil Perry. Why not just have all the food set down by attendants etc; or go the whole hog and have the cast of MasterChef sing I Still Call Australia Home?

On ACA last night there was an interesting program about the variable pricing of fresh fruit and vegies at Coles and Woolies. It was done in Queensland, but we were led to believe it was national, without any proof. The hidden camera vision in the story was done in Queensland supermarkets.

The ABC’s new news channel will be known as Channel 24 (that’s two four/24, take your pick) and its due to be launched at the ABC HQ in studio 22 on July 16.

And the ABC is currently negotiating with the Chaser mob to do some election specials. It’s a wonder the ABC has the money to pay the Chaserettes. Weekly I hear talk of budget cuts and other cost cutting, all to pay for the 24 news channel. It is building up a lot of internal resentment. If there are any problems, watch the leaks flow. The ABC has little if any fresh money to allocate to 2011 programming. The cutting is widespread and indiscriminate.

TONIGHT: Seven’s black hole. Nine has Sea Patrol, Ten has MasterChef, the ABC not very much, likewise SBS, apart from the World Cup. Ten also has Hamish & Andy’s Caravan of Courage: Great Britain & Ireland at 8pm instead of Glee. Hmmmmm…

Peter Fray

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