The Winners: As we can see from that the news programs dominated meaning there was nothing on later in the night that really grabbed the audience. Seven’s tennis audience from 7pm averaged 489,000, which wasn’t solid.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.244 million
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.170 million
  3. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.131 million
  4. ABC News (7pm) — 1.013 million

The Losers: No one really. the digital channels provided an outlet for tennis hating viewers, but that didn’t stop Foxtel from benefitting from its live tennis coverage either.

News & CA: Seven News won Sydney, lost Melbourne and Brisbane, won Adelaide and Perth. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne. It won Brisbane easily where ACA is trying to look very local with a heavy concentration on flood coverage.

Sunrise lost Melbourne and Brisbane, won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth and won nationally.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.244 million
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.170 million
  3. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.131 million
  4. ABC News (7pm) — 1.013 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 943,000
  6. The 7.30 Report (ABC) (7.30pm) — 893,000
  7. Ten News (5pm) — 889,000
  8. The 7pm Project (Ten) (7pm) — 711,000
  9. ABC News update (10.30pm) — 230,000
  10. Late News/Sports Tonight (Ten) (11pm) — 194,000
  11. SBS News (6.30pm) — 168,000
  12. SBS News (9.30pm) — 141,000

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 391,000
  2. Today (Nine) (7am) — 348,000
  3. Sunrise (extended) (Seven) (9am) — 307,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Seven won with a total share for its three channels of 30.0%. Nine (3 channels) was second with 29.3%, Ten (3) was on 20.3), the ABC (4 channels), 15.4% and SBS (2), was on 5.1%. Nine leads the week with 35.8% from Seven on 28.2% and Ten on 16.5%.
  • Main Channel: Nine won with a share of 21.6% from Seven on 18.8%, Ten was on 14.1%, ABC 1, 12.4% and SBS ONE, 4.2%. Nine leads the week on 28.7% from Seven with 19.3% and Ten on 11.4%, with ABC 1 on 11.1%.
  • Digital: The 10 digitals channels had an FTA share of 29%, close to if not the highest so far. 7TWO won with a share of 7.0%, from Eleven on 5.7%, Gem with 4.3%, 7Mate on 4.2%, Go was on 3.4%, ABC 2, 1.5%, News 24 and SBS TWO both finished with 0.9% each, ABC 3 finished with 0.6% and ONE was on 0.5%. 7TWO leads the week with 5.2%, from Eleven on 4.2% and 7Mate on 3.6%.
  • Pay TV: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 23.9%, from Nine (3) on 23.4%, Pay TV (100 plus channels) on 17.5%, Ten (3) 16.5%, the ABC, 12.3% and SBS, 4.1%. The 15 FTA channels had a total share of the viewing last night of 82.5%, made up of 23.1% for the 10 digitals and 59.4% for the five main channels.
  • Regional: Not available

Major Markets: Eleven had another big impact in most markets, as did the tennis on 7TWO for a while, while the tennis on Seven’s main channel seems to have driven viewers to the digital channels and not so much to rival main channels on Ten and Nine and the ABC.

  • Sydney: Seven won overall from Nine and Ten, but in the main channels Nine was the winner from Seven and Ten. 7TWO won the digitals from Eleven and 7Mate. Nine leads the week from Seven and Ten. The digital channels had a total FTA share of 26.5%, which in their weakest market, tells us a lot about how the tennis on Seven sent viewers elsewhere, including to 7TWO (after the Jelena Dokic match finished) and 7Mate. Foxtel had a total share of 21.6% in Sydney for its 100 plus channels (second overall), the 10 FTA digitals share on this basis was 20.4%.
  • Melbourne: Nine won both overall and in the main channels, with Seven and Ten in the minors. Eleven won the digitals from Gem and 7Mate. Nine leads the week from Seven and Ten. The 10 digital channels had a total share of 29.3% in Melbourne, which again tells us how uninteresting the tennis was in its market of origin. Foxtel’s share was 15.7%, so the FTA digitals easily beat it with 24.4% when Foxtel is included.
  • Brisbane: Nine also won here overall and on the main channels. 7TWO won the digitals from Eleven and GO. Nine leads the week from Seven and Ten. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share of 27.9%. Foxtel’s share was 16.4% and including Pay TV, the 10 FTA channels had a share of 21.5%.
  • Adelaide: Seven won overall from Nine and Ten and Nine won the main channels from Seven and Ten. 7TWO won the digitals from Eleven, with Gem and 7Mate tied for third. Nine leads the week from Seven and Ten. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share of 32.6%. Foxtel had a share of 11.4% in what is its weakest market and it was comfortably beaten by the combined share of the FTA digital channels of 27.9%.
  • Perth: Seven won both the overall battle and the main channels. 7TWO won the digitals from Eleven and Gem. Seven now leads the week with Nine and Ten second and third. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share of 31.1%. Foxtel’s share was a solid 19.4%, but was easily beaten by the FTA digitals combined share of 26.9%.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Australian TV viewers can be fickle creatures. One day they are all over the Australian One Day cricket team and giving Nine its best ODI audience, the next they ignore the first night of tennis on Seven’s main channel. Tennis always starts slowly, unless there’s an early Australian hero. The audiences rise when the top ranked players appear and as we move into the second week.

But the tennis and the newness of Eleven’s offering, plus the tennis on Foxtel, saw the lowest share for the main channels yet recorded, just under 60%. That means the 10 FTA digital channels and their clones at Foxtel’s 100 plus channels had combined share of 40.6% of the TV audience last night, which is the highest ever. Now summer and the tennis might explain a lot that, but it is still an important milestone in Australian TV history.

7TWO got an early boost from screening the Jelena Dokic women’s singles match from around 6pm when Seven’s main channel was showing the news. 7TWO’s audience grew for much of the night.

TONIGHT: More tennis on Seven. The ABC has a timely doco, The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg And The Pentagon Papers. Nine has repeats and more repeats. Ten has The 7pm Project and Jamie’s Thirty Minute Meals, then repeats. SBS has a doco at 7.30 pm called Money: Why Do We Take Risks? If you don’t like tennis or current repeats and want some nostalgia, try 7TWO, 7Mate, Eleven, Gem or even GO.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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