The Winners: Ten’s new 6pm current affairs program and 6.30pm news reminder started last night and did well (see below). Seven’s tennis did better, 829,000 for the evening session from 7.30pm, after the return of Home and Away (969,000) at 7pm.

  1. Seven News (6pm)– 1.262 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.090 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.061 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.014 million

The Losers: Viewers of Two and a Half Men. All 789,000 of you (only because I happened upon it while changing stations from Ten to look at Home and Away).

News & CA: Seven News lost Sydney, won the rest. Today Tonight lost Sydney and Brisbane, won the rest. Today won Sydney and Melbourne, lost Brisbane big time and Adelaide and Perth.

  1. Seven News (6pm)– 1.262 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.090 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.061 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.014 million
  5. ABC News (7pm)– 988,000
  6. Ten News (5pm) — 827,000
  7. The 7pm Project (Ten) (7pm) — 781,000
  8. 6PM with George Negus (Ten) (6pm) — 605,000
  9. Ten Evening News (Ten) (6.30pm) — 536,000
  10. ABC News Update (ABC, 10.25 – 10.35 pm) — 178,000
  11. SBS News (6.30pm) — 155,000
  12. Ten Late News  (11.30pm) — 119,000
  13. SBS News (9.30pm) — 85,000

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 379,000
  2. Today (Nine) (7am) — 306,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 32.9%, from Nine on 28.5% (3 channels), Ten (3), was on 18.9%, the ABC (4) was on 14.4% and SBS (two channels) finished with 5.3%. Nine leads the week with 32.9% from Seven with 28.2% and Ten on 20.0%.
  • Main Channel: Seven won with a share of 23.1% from Nine on 20.5%, Ten was on 13.7%, ABC 1 finished with 11.3% and SBS ONE, 4.3%. Nine leads the week on 25.1% from Seven on 20.1% and Ten with 13.7%.
  • Digital: The 10 digital channels had a total FTA prime time share of 27.0% last night. 7TWO won with 5.3%, from Gem on 4.6%, Eleven with 4.5%, 7Mate also on 4.5%, GO on 3.4%, ABC 2 on 1.6%, ABC 3 and SBS TWO on 1.0% each, One on 0.5% and News 24 with 0.5%. The digital channels had FTA shares ranging from the usual low of 22.5% in Sydney to a high 33.8% in Perth and 30% in Adelaide.
  • Pay TV: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 26.3%, from Nine on 22.7% (3 channels), Pay TV (100 plus channels) was next with 17.4%, Ten (3) was on 15.1%, the ABC (4) was on 11.5% and SBS (2) finished with 4.3%. The 15 FTA channels shared 82.6% of the audience last night, made up of 21.6% for the 10 digitals and 61.0% for the five main channels. Foxtel’s share hit a high of 21.8% in Sydney (usual) and a low of 13.1% in Adelaide. It averaged 16.8% in Melbourne.
  • Regional: Prime/7Qld won with a share (3 channels) with 33.5%, from WIN/NBN (3) on 30.7%, SC Ten (3) was on 16.2%, the ABC (4), 13.7% and SBS (2), 5.8%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 23.8% from WIN/NBN on 23.7%. 7TWO won the digitals with 5.2%, from Eleven on 4.9% and 7Mate on 4.5%. the 10 digital channels had an FTA share of 27.0% last night in prime time. WIN/NBN leads the week on 34.6% from Prime/7Qld on 27.6%.

Major Markets: Seven won overall and the main channels in every market. Nine was second Ten third, except in the main channels in Adelaide where ABC 1 slipped into that spot. In the digitals, 7TWO won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. &Mate won Melbourne and Brisbane. Nine leads the week from Seven and Ten.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: 6PM with George Negus was a bit like the The 7pm Project, but only a bit slower. It averaged 650,000 from 6pm to 6.30pm (boosted by the George factor, as Ten had hoped it would be). The 6.30pm News (which is a recast of the local news in each state) averaged 536,000. Those figures mean that for the first night, the Ten gamble worked.

Let’s wait for a month and then six months to see what the figures are. I thought Ten wimped the interview with the Victoria Cross winner. It was a wham bam thank you and goodbye. Too quick and underestimated the interest in the audience. It was more like an interview you’d see on The 7pm Project. But a good first effort.

The 650,000 for George topped what The Simpsons repeats at 6pm used to get, while the 536,000 at 6.30pm for the News at least matched Neighbours in its dying days last year.

TONIGHT: Tennis, George and the local news, plus The 7pm Project, Australia Celebrates on the ABC at 8.30pm. Repeats on Nine.

Tomorrow: Tennis on Seven, cricket on Nine from Adelaide, lot’s of mindless chauvinism about Australia, and look at a doco on SBS on Wednesday night called Mother of Rock, or record it. It will be worth it. Ten’s two and a half hours of News (which will take a hit from the cricket.)

News: Changes at Premier Media Group, (50% News Ltd, 50% Cons Media), after a visit to Australia by Fox Sports heavy David Hill (an Australian who once ran Nine Sport). Hill was brought to Australia after the board of Premier Media Group decided they needs “new eyes” at the output to see if it matched what was the best in the US.

Hill came and visited and wrote a report for the board. The result was that David Malone, the long time CEO (who was working at Nine when he took the Fox Sports gig in the 1990s), is leaving.

David Malone replaced Saul Shtein, now running Seven’s sport, at Fox Sports.

The replacement is said to be Patrick Delaney, the number 2 at Foxtel to Kim Williams. If that’s the case, then there will be speculation that Foxtel and Premier Media/Fox Sports could be “consolidated” which would boost profits at Foxtel considerably. Whoever the new CEO is, the brief is simple, a top to tail revamp of Fox Sports’ look, editing, presentation, TV coverage with a big spend on new technology and graphics to boost coverage, especially the AFL and the NRL, which are the profit and viewer drivers for Premier and for Foxtel.

When David Hill recommends changes to sports coverage, he usually is spot on (He gave us modern cricket coverage for example, helped by ideas from Kerry Packer). Watch the Super Bowl (which is on Fox this year in the US on Sunday week on on ONE) for ideas about what we might see on Fox Sports in Australia, eventually.

With decisions expected this year on the new AFL and NRL TV contracts, the involvement of Premier and its Fox Sports channels will be vital for the success of the bid of Foxtel and Nine to retain the NRL contract in its entirety from strong bids from Seven, Ten (although would Ten bid with Nine for the NRL?) and perhaps Telstra. Foxtel/Premier will be touting the fresh, new look and coverage and technology in their lobbying. David Malone, it seems was a casualty of that and nothing else.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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