The Winners: Budget night; “who cares?” said over 3.1 million people, who chose instead to watch Australia’s Got Talent and MasterChef last night. Australia’s Got Talent cleared out to a big lead over MasterChef last night, a sign of things to come? Australia’s Got Talent is better than last year.

  1. Australia’s Got Talent (Seven) (7.30pm) — 1.752 million
  2. MasterChef (Ten) (7.30pm) — 1.440 million
  3. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.337 million
  4. Seven News (6pm) — 1.337 million
  5. Winners & Losers (Seven) (8.30pm) — 1.328 million
  6. NCIS (Ten) (8.30pm) — 1.200 million
  7. Nine News (6pm) — 1.168 million
  8. Home and Away (Seven) (7pm) — 1.092 million
  9. ABC News (7pm) — 1.053 million

The Losers: Sea Patrol, Nine, 8.30pm, 603,000. Being whacked by Winners & Losers and CSI. Nine from 9.30pm onwards (see below). Confusing late changes nationally and in Melbourne.

News & CA: The low figures for the Treasurer’s speech and then the 7.30 discussion program at 8pm, plus Lateline and Lateline Business tells us that viewers were bored and didn’t want to know about the budget other than what they already knew. That’s why all the frothing and reporting from now on, plus the talkback radio tripe will be falling on deaf ears.

Seven News again lost Sydney and Brisbane to Nine, but won the rest. Today Tonight won everywhere and won easily. What will Seven do in Sydney?

For the second night in a row the 10.30pm repeat of 6.30 with George Negus didn’t happen. It was pre-empted for the extended late news budget coverage, despite being in the guides, but didn’t appear.

  1. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.337 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.337 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.168 million
  4. ABC News (7pm) — 1.053 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 965,000
  6. The 7pm Project (Ten) (7pm) — 902,000
  7. Ten News (5pm) — 648,000
  8. 7.30 (Treasurer’s Speech) (ABC) (7.30pm) — 588,000
  9. 6.30 with George Negus (Ten) (6.30pm) — 524,000
  10. 7.30 Budget Special (ABC) (8pm) — 497,000
  11. Late News/Sports Tonight (Ten) (10.30pm) — 291,000
  12. SBS News (9.30pm) — 201,000
  13. Insight (SBS) (7.30pm) — 172,000
  14. SBS News (6.30pm) — 146,000
  15. Lateline (ABC) (10.30pm) — 141,000
  16. Nine’s Budget Special (Nine) (10.30pm) — 101,000
  17. Lateline Business (ABC) (11.05pm) — 87,000

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 394,000
  2. Today (Nine) (7am) — 325,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Seven (3 channels) won with 33.9% from Ten (3) on 24.7%, Nine (3) was on 21.8%, the ABC (4) was on 14.4% and SBS (2) was on 5.2%. Seven leads the week with 32.0% from Ten on 25.2% and Nine with 23.8%.
  • Main Channel: Seven won with 26.9%, with Ten on 20.3%, Nine was on 15.1%, ABC 1, 9.9% and SBS ONE ended with 4.1%. Seven leads the week with 24.7% from Ten on 19.0% and Nine on 17.7%.
  • Digital: GO won with 4.4%, from 7TWO on 3.6%, 7mate was on 3.4%, Eleven and ABC 2 were on 2.4% each, Gem was on 2.3%, ONE was on 2.0%, News 24, 1.3%, SBS TWO, 1.1% and ABC 3, 0.7%. That’s a total FTA share last night of 24.6%. 7TWO still leads the week on 4.0% from GO on 3.6% and ONE on 3.3%.
  • Pay TV: Seven won easily with a share of 28.3% (3 channels) from Ten )3) on 20.6%, Nine (3) was on 18.2%, Pay TV (100 plus channels) ended with 13.6%, the ABC (4 channels) was on 12.0% and SBS (2) was on 4.3%. The 15 FTA channels had a 86.4% share of prime time TV viewing last night, made up of 19.7% for the digital channels and 65.7% for the five main channels.
  • Regional: MasterChef wasn’t anywhere near as popular at Talent was for Seven’s affiliates, so SC Ten struggled compared with Ten’s metro performances. Prime/7Qld (3 channels) won with a share of 35.0% from WIN/NBN (3) on 23.9%, SC Ten (3) was on 22.5%, the ABC (4) ended with 13.5% and SBS (2) was on 5.1%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 27.0% from WIN/NBN with 17.8% and SC Ten on 17.5%. 7TWO won the digitals with 4.3%, From GO on 3.9%. The 10 digital channels had a total FTA viewing share last night of 25.6%. Prime/7Qld leads the week with 33.1% from WIN/NBN on 26.1%.

Major Markets: A clean sweep for Seven as MasterChef again showed small signs of weakness, but nowhere near the sag that Nine’s schedule again showed last night, especially in Perth. Seven won overall and the main channels everywhere. Ten was second everywhere, nine a distant third. GO won the digitals in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 7TWO won Adelaide, 7Mate won Perth. Seven leads the week from Nine and Ten in Sydney and Brisbane. In Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth its Seven from Ten and Nine.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Bring back Kerry O’Brien, all is forgiven! The post budget discussion last night on the ABC was turgid, toe-curlingly turgid. More people, 588,000 people, preferred the Treasurer’s speech than 7.30‘s post budget discussion at 8pm (497,000). When Wayne Swan proves to be more popular (especially when speaking) than Leigh Sales and others, it’s a real judgement from the audience.

It was a boring, once a year event for a small part of the audience. The rest of the country couldn’t care, unlike the morning newspapers today which slaughtered thousands of trees for their budget specials. All waste and little insight. Carbon killers.

The Nine Network: 10.30pm was too late for viewers and not at all for some in Melbourne, or so it seems from this morning’s ratings. In fact, Nine didn’t show CSI New York as the late daily schedule at showed at 9.30pm, nor did it show Top Gear (which was in the older weekly guides) in the same slot. It seems to have got really confused and made very late changes. The News Special on the Budget appears not have been shown in Melbourne and averaged just 101,000 viewers. Most confusing. The first episode of Underbelly averaged 159,000 in Melbourne from 9.30pm and just 64,000 for the second episode from 11.30pm. Another judgement from viewers.

The Seven Network ignored the budget, apart from updates. Despite the best attempts of the News Ltd press and The Greens to make it an issue, the budget is over for another year, (when we will get more of the same, if Wayne Swan is to be believed), so far as TV viewers are concerned.

Australia’s Got Talent topped the viewing in regional areas with a large 763,000 people. With the 1.752 million from the metro markets, the national audience was 2.51 million and the lead over MasterChef last night was a large 630,000. This is the biggest loss MasterChef has had in this timeslot for at least two years.

TONIGHT: Is this the most important night of 2011 and 2010 on TV? From 9pm on the ABC we should know when Angry Boys debuts (it’s actually a world premiere, without the red carpet). All hail Chris Lilley and will the viewers in the UK and US get it as much as we will?

Nine has RPA at 8.30pm (ignore the rest). Seven has Australia’s Got Talent (maybe?) and an allegedly fresh episode of Criminal Minds, and then a repeat at 9.30pm replacing Detroit 1-8-7 which has been pushed back to 10.30pm and is on its way to the boning room. Before Angry Boys the ABC has Spicks and Specks. Ten has MasterChef and Glee. SBS has faithful Inspector Rex, in repeat, again, at 7.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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