The Winners: A strange night with Seven seemingly the last commercial network standing as viewers deserted Ten and Nine (but didn’t flock to Seven). Junior MasterChef lost more viewers, Ten’s repeats of Modern Family from 6.30pm flopped, 873,000 and 737,000 for the two episodes. Nine’s 6.30pm program RBT was also weak, just under a million viewers. Ten’s Offspring at 8.30pm with 943,000 held its own and won the slot and the demos. Two new digital channels started at Nine (GEM) and Seven (7Mate). Both did well on the first outing that was measured. GEM had a fiddly start and couldn’t get really going until yesterday. 7Mate started with the AFL grand Final on Saturday, but the audience wasn’t measured.

  1. Junior MasterChef (Ten) (7.30pm) — 1.507 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.500 million
  3. Midsomer Murders (ABC) (8.30pm) (final) — 1.403 million
  4. Nine News (6pm) — 1.219 million
  5. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm) –1.115 million
  6. The X Factor (Seven) (7.30pm ) — 1.054 million
  7. 60 Minutes (Nine) (7.30pm) — 1 million

The Losers: Ten, apart from Junior MasterChef, Nine with a dud movie and another slated for next Sunday night. The Incredible Hulk last night averaged 647,000 viewers from 8.30pm.

News & CA: A stock standard Sunday in mid-Spring. Football ending, ample reason for viewers to do other things. But Seven News got a respectable 1.5 million viewers at 6pm and beat Nine across all markets, although Nine News was close and competitive in Sydney and Melbourne.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.500 million
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.219 million
  3. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm) –1.115 million
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) (7.30pm) — 1 million
  5. ABC News (7pm) — 878,000
  6. Ten News (5pm) — 603,000
  7. SBS News (6.30pm) — 186,000
  8. Dateline (SBS, 8.30 – 9.30 pm) — 169,000

In the morning:

  1. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) (8am) –404,000
  2. Weekend Today (Nine) (8am) — 253,000
  3. Insiders (ABC) (9am) 232,000
  4. Landline (ABC) (Noon) — 215,000
  5. Offsiders (ABC) (10.30am) — 151,000
  6. Inside Business (ABC) (10am) — 127,000
  7. Meet the Press (Ten) (8am) — 58,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Seven won with a share of 27.7% from Nine on 24.9%, Ten with 23.5%, the ABC with 19.5% and SBS with 4.4%.
  • Main Channel: Seven won with a share of 23.8%, from Nine with 19.0%, Ten on 18.9%, ABC 1 with 18.1% and SBS ONE with 3.6%.
  • Digital: Nine’s GEM and 7Mate were measured for the first time last night and averaged 1.1% each. GO won the night with 4.7%, close behind was ONE with 4.6% because of the F-1 GP from Singapore (368,000 viewers). 7TWO was third with 2.8%, GEM and 7Mate were next with their 1.1% shares each, SBS TWO averaged 0.8%, ABC 2, 0.4% and ABC 3 and News 24 averaged 0.4% each. That was a total share of 16.5%. The best market was Adelaide where the digital channels had a total share of 18.1%, followed by 15.0% in Brisbane and 14.3% in Perth.
  • Pay TV: Seven won with a share of 22.9%, from Nine on 20.6%, Ten with 19.4%, the ABC with 16.1%, Pay TV wand its 100 plus channels was on 14.6% and SBS ended with a share of 3.7%. That left a total share for the 14 FTA channels of 85.4%, made up of 13.7% for the nine digital channels and 71.7% for the five main channels.
  • Regional: WIN/NBN won here for Nine with a share of 27.1%, from Prime/7Qld on 25.8%, SC Ten on 20.4%, the ABC on 20.0% and SBS on 4.5%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 21.1% from, WIN/NBN on 21.0%. GO won the digitals with 4.7%, from ONE with 3.5% and 7TWO on 2.5%. Nine’s GEM had a 1.4% share and 7Mate, 2.2%.

Major Markets: Nine was surprisingly weak in some markets, beaten by either Ten or the ABC. It was solid in Melbourne where it won.

  • Sydney: Seven won overall from Nine and Ten, but in the main channels, it was Seven from Ten and the ABC, with Nine 4th. 7TWO won the digitals from GO and ONE.
  • Melbourne: A very different result with Nine winning overall and the main channels from Seven and Ten. ONE won the digitals from GO and 7TWO
  • Brisbane: Seven won from Nine and Ten overall and in the main channels. GO won the digitals from ONE and 7TWO.
  • Adelaide: Seven won overall from Ten and the ABC. In the main channels it was Seven from the ABC and Nine. ONE won the digitals from GO and 7TWO.
  • Perth: Seven won overall from Ten and the ABC, and in the main channels it was Seven from the ABC and Ten. GO won the digitals from ONE and 7TWO

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Even though Seven will make a motza on the second AFL grand final, the impact on ratings on Saturday night was minimal (OK in Melbourne where Seven won), and nothing at all on the week. The Brownlow on Ten last Monday night had a bigger impact than the Grand Final did.

Nine won because the two NRL finals on Friday and Saturday nights were played in prime time. That helped Nine win the week, securing a combined prime time share of 28.3%, ahead of Seven on 26.8%, Ten on 21.3 per cent, followed by the ABC on 17.8% and SBS, 5.8%. GO won the metro digitals from 7TWO. WIN/NBN won the regionals, thanks to the NRL and a couple of strong nights earlier in the week. GO won the digitals in regional areas as well.

Last night, Ten was a one trick pony. Junior MasterChef continues to shed viewers. The audience is down 693,000 viewers from the opening 2.20 million, or 31.5%. The program is still a success, it was the most watched program last night, but it no longer has as much ooomph with viewers. And really, with nothing else on TV last night to challenge it, it should have done better.

The final episode has to get more than 2 million viewers for it to be the big success that Ten and others though after the first night. Those 693,000 viewers haven’t gone anywhere. The X Factor figures for Seven haven’t picked up, 60 Minutes struggled to stay at the 1 million mark last night. And they haven’t swelled the number of people watching the digital channels.

With Midsomer Murders finishing last night on the ABC, there will be around 400,000 or so viewers spare to travel elsewhere as the ABC has a 90 minute special with Stephen Fry at the Opera House.

News: Regional broadcaster, WIN (controlled by part-time Australian billionaire, Bruce Gordon) has given up on its Pay TV ambitions and is winding back its struggling Select TV, the country’s smallest Pay TV business. Foxtel and Austar have bought its subscribers for a small outlay. The deal was done late last month. The losses for WIN are not known, but estimates range from $10 million to $100 million (which sounds too much).

The basic Spanish and Greek Pay TV channels will continue to be offered, but its Great TV or Premium Package subscribers (which are in English) finish in November 15 when subscribers moving to Austar and or Foxtel, which start their new services.

Select TV subscribers were told of the details in a letter jointly signed by Select TV chairman, Andrew Gordon and Austar CEO, John Porter.

Select TV had a suite of foreign language channels which was supposed to be its point of difference with Foxtel, Austar and Fetch TV (which isn’t quite in go mode). It offered other channels in English, such as BBC World, some National Geographic and MTV channels, but the rapid growth of the Free To Air digital channels in the past year has killed off demand for Select’s offerings. Foxtel and Austar will be glad of the few thousand extra subscribers, their own subs numbers are under growing pressure.

Foxtel is now offering a three month holiday and free installation to new subscribers, up from the long offered first month free. The offer also continues the 12 month contract time that was cut from the long held 24 month take it or leave that was abandoned last year when ONE and GO started making inroads.

There was no reason for the FTA networks to buy Select. After all, it had failed to make inroads for WIN and the Gordons, who by geographic reach, own the biggest commercial TV network in the country. WIN offered it around the industry on the quiet, but found no interest. WIN and Gordon control around 12% of the Ten Network. He couldn’t even get that network interested.

Select TV’s woes and the sale of its subscribers to its bigger competitors probably rules out any more significant competition in the Pay TV sector, especially now that Kerry Stokes has got a big foot in the door via his 23% stake in Cons Media (behind James Packer), which controls 25% of Foxtel and 50% of Premier Media Group, the most profitable part of the Pay TV business in the country.

TONIGHT: Back to back news and current affairs on the ABC from 7pm. Mungo MacCallum might the highlight on Q&A at 9.35 pm. Seven starts a new US series called The Event. It’s all about a global conspiracy — need we say any more? Ten has The 7pm Project and Good News Week. Nine has nothing at all of interest.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports