The Winners: Cyclone Yasi and cricket last night. Ten missed the boat, as did the ABC. The OzTAM figures are very provisional, but not final due to last minute changes by Ten, Nine and the ABC. Seven has corrected its figures where it can.

  1. Seven News (6pm)– 1.523 million
  2. Today Tonight —(Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.354 million (but really — 1.054 million as TT not broadcast in Brisbane)
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.303 million
  4. One Day Cricket, 2nd session (Nine) (7pm) — 1.277 million
  5. Tears of the Sun (Nine) (after the cricket, but not in Brisbane or Perth) — 1.251 million
  6. The Biggest Loser: Families (Ten) (7.30pm) — 1.111 million
  7. Blue Bloods (Ten) (8.30pm) (debut) — 1.108 million

The Losers: No one really.

News & CA: Nine News had more viewers in Sydney and Melbourne with the ODI cricket as the lead in. In Brisbane, the market where it mattered last night, Seven, with 363,000 scrubbed Nine by well over 100,000 viewers. Nine News in Brisbane had 235,000. The pre-emptions meant TT and ACA had figures lower than normal, although in Sydney and Melbourne ACA had more viewers than TT, but there was a tune in late for the cricket on Nine which boosted ACA‘s audiences.

Sunrise whipped Today by over 160,000 viewers Wednesday morning as viewers overwhelming chose Seven to follow the Yasi story. Seven kept Sunrise going and its extended coverage to 11am averaged 390,000. Early Sunrise from 5am averaged 272,000, early Today, 217,000. Ten did a 9.30pm bulletin. Nine doubled ACA in some markets at 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

And finally, Chris Bath on Seven deserves a big pat on the back. She anchored the afternoon coverage on Seven on the Network, did the 6pm News in Sydney and then backed up at 8.30pm for the evening network coverage and signed off around 12.15am today. That’s a lot of hours. In all, Seven had 17 and three quarter hours of news coverage across the network yesterday and Chris Bath fronted seven and three quarters on the network and seven and three quarters in Sydney. David Koch and Mel Doyle were on air from 5am to 11am. And again this morning.

  1. Seven News (6pm)– 1.523 million
  2. Today Tonight —(Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.354 million (but really — 1.054 million as TT not broadcast in Brisbane)
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.303 million
  4. ABC News (7pm) — 999,000
  5. Seven News Special (8.30pm) — 900,000
  6. Ten News (5pm) — 834,000
  7. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 799,000 (ACA only broadcast in Sydney and Melbourne because of the cricket)
  8. The 7pm Project (Ten) (7pm) — 797,000
  9. The 7.30 Report (ABC) (7.30pm) — 714,000
  10. Seven News Special (10.30pm) — 535,000
  11. Seven News at 4.30pm ( Seven) (4.30pm) — 500,000
  12. 6PM With George Negus (Ten) (6pm) — 465,000
  13. 6.30pm Evening News (Ten) (6.30pm) — 413,000
  14. Seven News Special (Seven) (11pm) — 380,000
  15. Ten Late News Cyclone Special (Ten) (10.30pm) — 281,000
  16. Lateline (ABC) (10.30pm) — 237,000
  17. SBS News (6.30pm) — 218,000
  18. Lateline Business (ABC) (11.05pm) — 211,000
  19. SBS News (9.30pm) — 100,000

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 524,000
  2. Sunrise, extended (Seven) (9am) — 390,000
  3. Today (Seven) (7am) — 360,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 31.7% from Seven (3) on 30.2%, Ten (3), was on 20.2%, the ABC, (4) finished with 13.7% and SBS (2), ended with 4.1%. Seven leads the week on 31.3% from Nine on 28.9% and Ten on 22.2%.
  • Main Channel: Nine won with a share of 26.8% from Seven on 23.6%, from Ten on 16.8%, ABC 1, 8.6% and SBS ONE, 3.3%. Seven leads the week with 24.2% from Nine on 22.7% and Ten with 18.5%.
  • Digital: The 10 digital channels had a total prime time FTA share last night of 21.1%. 7TWO won with 3.9%, from Eleven on 3.2%, GO on 3.0%, News 24, 2.8%, 7Mate, 2.7%, Gem, 1.9%, ABC 2, 1.8%, SBS TWO, 0.8%, ABC 3, 0.7% and ONE on 0.3%. The digital channels’ share ranged from a low of 18.0% in Sydney to 24.7% in Perth and 23.2% in Adelaide. 7TWO leads the week with 4.1%, from GO on 3.2% and Eleven on 3.2%.
  • Pay TV: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 26.7% from Seven (3) on 25.5%, Ten (3) was on 17.1%, Pay TV (100 plus channels) finished with 12.2%, the ABC (4), was on 11.6% and SBS (2), 3.5%. The 15 FTA channels share of viewing in prime time last night was 87.8%, made up of 17.7% for the ten digital channels and 70.1% for the five main channels.
  • Regional: The regional TV figures were impacted by Yasi with the reporting panels in Cairns and Townsville lower than normal. Nine’s cricket coverage won the night with WIN/NBN getting 35.2% of the market for its three channels; Prime/7Qld (3) was on 31.0%, SC Ten (3) was on 16.6%, the ABC (4) on 13.7% and SBS (2), on 3.5%. WIN/NBN won the main channels, from Prime/7Qld. News 24 actually topped the digital channels in regional areas, equal with Eleven on 3.7%. That was a first. Behind them were 7TWO on 3.1% and GO on 2.7%. The 10 digital channels had a total FTA prime time share last night of 20.3%. In Queensland, Seven Qld streeted the market with its wall to wall coverage which got a share of 43.8%. Nine’s coverage of the cricket was well beaten. Seven’s coverage trimmed News 24’s Qld figure to just 1.1% (it had a high of 5.8% in southern NSW). WIN/NBN lead the week on 32.3% from Prime/7Qld on 30.9%.

Major Markets: The combination of the cricket and Seven’s 8.30pm coverage of the cyclone produced some interesting outcomes. While Nine won Sydney Melbourne and Adelaide overall and in the main channels, Seven won Brisbane overall and in the main channels with its storm coverage. In Perth, Seven won both for much the same reason and the three hour time difference helped. In the digitals, News 24 did well in every market, but strangely, not Brisbane. Free To Air viewing was higher for both the main channels and the digitals last night with News 24’s audience quadrupling in some markets. And Foxtel’s audience was lower in every market as a result. Seven leads Nine and Ten in all markets bar Melbourne where Nine’s cricket coverage was solid last night,. as it was in Sydney.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven’s Yasi coverage from 8.30pm changed the dynamic last night. The Australian cricket team were heroic for themselves and Nine. The ABC’s News 24 did well and got the viewers. The 7.30 Report was predictable, studio bound and so old fashioned, it wasn’t funny. They weren’t really trying.

Seven pre-empted Today Tonight, Home and Away and My Kitchen Rules in Brisbane. Criminal Minds and City Homicide pre-empted in all markers for 8:30pm-midnight for the Seven News coverage of Yasi.

News 24 averaged 116,800 viewers from 6pm to midnight, SKY News averaged 73,000, so a clear win to the ABC.

The networks all did reasonably well with the Yasi coverage, but Seven showed it was the network more committed to news. It kept its coverage going until 6pm (from 5am yesterday) and then returned at 8.30pm until 2am today. Nine couldn’t make up its mind, had coverage after 9am after first going to Kerry Anne (who did well with live crosses). Nine then had the cricket, which didn’t seem to be interrupted at all by crosses or updates Ten had crosses in programs plus news broadcasts, News 24 was OK, but ponderous, studio-based when in fact it should have been driving coverage from the impact area and using the ABC’s assets in the region.

ACA and TT based themselves up north and did OK, much of the vision had been seen during the day (as had coverage in the 6pm news broadcasts. Seven put the hours to air and showed viewers they were prepared to junk programs. (Unfortunately My Kitchen Rules still made it to air).

It was this morning that sorted the networks into clear winner/losers.

Seven looked and did better with coverage from Innisfail via Skype and mobile phone and video camera. Nine’s Today was restricted to phone interviews with people and reporters. Today also made a mistake in splitting the hosts, having Karl Stefanovic in Queensland (where he did well) and Lisa Wilkinson in Sydney, where she looked out of place. Sunrise sent David Koch and Mel Doyle up to North Queensland and driving most of the coverage from there, with sports reporter, Mark Beretta and others hosting the Sydney end.

And Sunrise‘s Grant Denyer did very well this morning driving around with a phone camera and using Skype on an iPhone. It was dodgy in places, but it could be broadcast and was first vision, especially with the trip towards Tully which has emerged as the centre of the damage.

Nine and the ABC were reduced to phone interviews or chats with reporters well outside the area of most destruction. It’s the way of the future folks in TV. It’s immediate and when the NBN happens, it will be great. Everybody will be able to uplift high quality pictures from anything to anyone. Seven had the advantage of using its 7Qld offices and studios (but so should have the ABC). That gave Seven an advantage over Nine, which would have had to use the WIN facilities.

TONIGHT: The night of the dinosaurs, Seven has a fresh episode of How I Met Your Mother, and the transplants, Grey’s Anatomy at 8.30pm and Desperate Housewives at 9.30pm. On their way to the hiatus vault, I think. Private Practice has been resurrected at 10.30pm on Seven.

Nine had Getaway at 8pm at half an hour. That’s another sign it is fading and also bound for the bone yard. CSI returns, another one suffering.

Ten has The 7pm Project, along with The Biggest Loser: Families and The Good Wife, plus a fresh Law and Order SVU at 9.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports