The Winners: Season three of MasterChef arrived last night and long waiting viewers tuned in. Meanwhile, the Logies bored for Australia, it made Midsomer Murders look interesting. What was unusual was that Nine didn’t break out the red carpet arrivals as a separate ratable segment, as the network has done in previous years.

The MasterChef audience was down 10% from last year’s 1.70 million for the first episode of the season. Last night’s Logies audience was also lower, down 80,000 from last year’s 1.4 million. Part of the explanation is the availability of four extra digital channels this year compared to last year (especially Eleven, Gem and 7mate. They had 9.1% of the FTA audience in prime time last night, which would account for the lower figures for both telecasts).

  1. MasterChef (Ten) (7.30pm) — 1.569 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.511 million
  3. Nine News (6pm)– 1.363 million
  4. Logies (Nine) (7.30pm) (has it ended?) — 1.323 million
  5. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.228 million
  6. The Biggest Loser (Ten) (6.30pm) — 1.198 million

The Losers: The Logies are terrible, self indulgent TV.

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News & CA: Nine News won Sydney with a good local NRL game as the lead in. Nine also won Melbourne. Seven won the rest.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.511 million
  2. Nine News (6pm)– 1.363 million
  3. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.228 million
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) (6.30pm) — 890,000
  5. ABC News (7pm) — 818,000
  6. Ten News (6pm) — 485,000
  7. Ten News — (Ten) (5pm) — 471,000
  8. SBS News (6.30pm) — 200,000
  9. Dateline (SBS) (8.30pm) — 146,000

In the morning:

  1. Weekend Sunrise — (Seven, 8 – 10 am) — 393,000
  2. Weekend Today (Nine, 8 – 10 am) — 254,000
  3. Landline (ABC, Noon- 1 pm) — 186,000
  4. Insiders (ABC, 9 – 10 am) — 170,000
  5. Offsiders (ABC, 10.30 – 11 am) — 121,000
  6. Inside Business (ABC, 10 – 10.30 pm) — 119,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 35.0% from Seven (3) with 24.4%, Ten (3) was on 22.95%, the ABC (4) was on 13.4% and SBS (2) was on 4.2%.
  • Main Channel: Nine won with a share of 28.2% from Ten with 18.9%, Seven was on 18.7%, ABC 1, 11.8% and SBS ONE, 3.6%.
  • Digital: GO won with 3.5%, from Gem with 3.3%, 7mate with 3.1%, 7TWO on 2.7%, Eleven on 2.4%, ONE, 1.7%, ABC 2, 0.9%, SBS TWO, 0.6% and ABC 3 and News 24 were on 0.4% each. That’s a 19% share of FTA prime time viewing last night.
  • Pay TV: Nine (3 channels) won with 29.4% from Seven (3) on 20.5%, Ten (3), on 19.2%, Pay TV (100 plus channels), 13.3%, the ABC (4), 11.3% and SBS (2), 3.5%. The 15 FTA channels had a total share of prime viewing last night of 86.7%, made up of 15.5% for the digital channels and 71.2% for the five main channels.
  • Regional: While MasterChef did well in regional Australia with over half a million viewers, the rest of Ten’s offering didn’t, so the network underperformed its metro effort. WIN/NBN (3 channels) won with a share of 34.4%, thanks to the Logies marathon broadcast. Prime/7Qld (3) averaged 25.9%, with SC Ten (3) on 20.6%, the ABC (4) on 14.7% and SBS (2) on 4.4%. WIN/NBN won the main channels with 26.1% from Prime/7Qld with 18.3% and SC Ten back on 15.7%. GO won the digitals with 4.5%, with 7TWO on 3.9% and Gem on 3.5%. the 10 digital channels had a total FTA viewing share in prime time of 22.7%.

Major Markets: What was interesting was the reaction to the Logies and MasterChef in various markets. Sydney loved both, Melbourne was more Logies than MasterChef; Brisbane liked both, Adelaide was more Logies and in Perth, both didn’t rate. So Nine won everywhere both overall and in the main channels, except in Perth where Seven won both and won them fairly easily. MasterChef was strongest in Sydney and weakest in Perth and Adelaide. The Logies were an east coast program. GO won the digitals in Sydney and Perth. 7mate won Melbourne, Gem Brisbane and 7TWO won Adelaide.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won the Royal Wedding telecast easily with a 39.7% share (which included small audiences for the AFL game, Carlton vs. the Swans), Nine was on 26.7% (which included the small audience for the NRL game Brisbane vs. Canterbury). Most of the wedding action as on the main channels where Seven had a share of 29.8% and daylight the rest. Nine was on 22.7%. 2.38 million watched the actual wedding and royal family arrival on Seven across the country (1.673 million in the five metro markets). 2.09 million watched the same on Nine.

Interestingly, Seven’s 6pm News in metro markets averaged 1.523 million, Nine’s News, 1.163 million. Those and other figures firmly refute the still lingering belief at Nine and among some analysts that when there’s a big story viewers turn to Nine. far from it, based on figures for Friday night, Seven was the clear winner, especially at 6pm when the battle of the news broadcasts was on. Nine did win Melbourne though.

Friday night’s AFL game averaged 501,000 nationally and had more viewers than the NRL game which was watched by 486,000. But the Swans game was only watched by 27,000 people in Sydney live on 7mate, which shows us the size of the battle the AFL has, dollars and all, to expand in this market. And it also shows the size of the task ahead for Foxtel to expand because it has to boost viewers in Sydney which is the biggest TV market in the country. And the NRL game’s audience in Sydney with 272,000 (Canterbury, a Sydney team was playing Brisbane), was bigger than the audience in Melbourne (249,000) watching a local team (Carlton) play the Swans.

The upshot of this was an easy to win for Seven last week overall, the main channels and the digital channels.

Nine won last night because the Logies are a test of endurance and the telecast went on for sooo long, as did the red carpet rubbish. Australians showed their preference for food over foolery.

Looking at Today and KAK on Nine this morning, I’m sure the Logies were still running at full bore! Only in Australia could a co-host of a program with an audience of around 300,000 a morning or a bit more, become the most popular person on TV when there are programs on Ten, Nine and Seven that attracted audience figures five to seven times more than Today‘s.

The disconnect between the true meaning of the word popular and the Logies meaning was on show for all to see. Like a TV or movie set, it’s all front and no depth. And Today is yet to win a normal week from Sunrise for the past five years or more. And, if Karl Stefanovic is such a hot shot, what about his co-host, Lisa Wilkinson? She’s as much the reason for the improvement in the ratings for Today as Stefanovic is.

Sunday Night on Seven went on for an extra half hour, but the program had reasonable content (assuming you believe that Ricky Nixon and Brendon Fevola are “good” interview subjects for all Australians). Journalist and author, Peter FitzSimons did an excellent job interviewing Fevola and showed up quite a few TV reporters who claim to have good interviewing skills.

Nationally MasterChef had a total audience of 2.08 million viewers, including the regional audience.

TONIGHT: MasterChef on Ten, the juggernaut continues. And speaking of big units, Ten also has the finale of The Biggest Loser. Four Corners and Media Watch on the ABC. Nine steps back and wastes a fresh Big Bang Theory against MasterChef. Seven debuts No Ordinary Family at 7.30pm. Man vs. Wild on SBS at 8.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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