The Winners: Seven’s night. Seven led from 6-10pm. At 9pm, Body of Proof averaged 797,000 for Seven and won the hour timeslot to 10pm.

Ten’s Can of Worms at 8.30pm averaged a low 579,000, but wasn’t helped by coming after the very weak The Renovators at 7.30pm with 679,000. To lose only 100,000 viewers after that turkey wasn’t a bad outcome.

  1. The X Factor (Seven) (7.30pm) — 1.319 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.300 million
  3. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.281 million
  4. Nine News (6pm)  — 1.154 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.137 million
  6. Home and Away (Seven) (7pm) — 1.130 million
  7. The Farmer Wants a Wife (Nine) (7.30pm) — 1.024 million

The Losers: Nine and Ten, again. It sounds like a broken record, but both network’s deficiencies again were  exposed last night against a moderately performing Seven line-up that did the job.

News & CA: Seven News won everywhere, bar Sydney where, with just 265,000 viewers, it lost badly to Nine News with 339,000. Hot Seat in Sydney on Nine averaged averaged 145,000, Seven’s Deal or No Deal averaged 105,000. That 40,000-viewer difference accounted for a good slab of the 87,000 difference in favour of Hot Seat nationally. But it is not the only answer: viewers in Sydney seem to have gone off Seven News and host Chris Bath.

In contrast, Today Tonight lifted to 327,000 viewers (62,000 more than Seven News) and won the market from ACA. ACA could only win Brisbane last night. TT won the rest. So something is definitely wrong with Seven News in Sydney so far as viewers are concerned. The lead-in is only part of the story.

6.30 with George Negus regained the 400,000-viewer level last night.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.300 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.281 million
  3. Nine News (6pm)  — 1.154 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.137 million
  5. ABC News (7pm) — 932,000
  6. The 7pm Project (Ten) (7pm) — 804,000
  7. Australian Story (ABC) (8pm) — 797,000
  8. Four Corners (ABC) (8.30pm) — 761,000
  9. Media Watch (ABC) (9.20pm) — 745,000
  10. 7.30 (ABC) (7.30pm) — 695,000
  11. Ten News (5pm) — 609,000
  12. Q&A (ABC) (9.35pm) — 519,000
  13. 6.30 with George Negus (Ten) (6.30pm) — 424,000
  14. Lateline (ABC) (10.30pm) — 255,000
  15. Late News/Sports Tonight (Ten) (10.30pm) — 185,000
  16. SBS News (6.30pm) — 165,000
  17. Lateline Business (ABC) (11.05pm) — 140,000
  18. SBS News (9.30pm) — 115,000

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 392,000
  2. Today (Nine) (7am) — 319,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 31.1% from Nine (3) on 27.2%, Ten (3) was third with 18.7%, the ABC (4) was on 16.9% and SBS (2) ended on 6.1%. Seven leads the week on 30.5% from Nine on 29.7% and Ten on 19.4%.
  • Main Channel: Seven won with 23.3%, to from Nine on 19.7%, ABC 1 was third with 13.3%, Ten was back on 12.7%, and SBS ONE was on 4.2%. Seven leads the week with 23.4% from Nine on 22.9% and Ten on 12.6%.
  • Digital: GO and 7TWO tied the night with 4.7% from Eleven on 4.0%, 7mate on 3.0%, Gem was on 2.8%, ABC 2 was on 2.3%, ONE was on 2.0%, SBS TWO ended with 1.8% and News 24 was on 0.7% and ABC 3 was on 0.6%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA viewing share of 26.6% last night. 7TWO leads the week with 4.2% from GO on 2.1% and Eleven on 3.6%.
  • Pay TV: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 25.7% from Nine (3) on 22.5%, Ten (3) was on 15.4%, pay TV (200-plus channels) was on 15.2%, the ABC (4) was on 14.0% and SBS (2) ended on 5.0%. The 15 FTA channels had a total share of prime time TV last night of 84.8% with the 10 digitals on a share of 21.8% and the five main channels on 63.0%.
  • Regional: WIN/NBN (3 channels) won with a share of 33.3% from Prime/7Qld on 30.4%, the ABC (4) was third with 15.5%, SC Ten (3) was 4th with 14.8% and SBS (2) ended on 6.0%. WIN/NBN won the main channels with 26.3% from Prime/7Qld on 22.6%. ABC 1 was third with 12.1% and SC Ten was in 4th spot with a weak 9.9%. 7TWO won the digitals with 4.9% from GO on 3.9% and Eleven on 3.2%. The 10 digital channels had a total FTA viewing share last night of 25.0%. WIN/NBN with 33.1% leads the week from prime/7Qld on 30.7%.

Major Markets: Seven’s night, almost. Seven won overall in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Brisbane overall. The ABC was third in Sydney overall, Ten elsewhere. In the main channels, Seven won everywhere: The ABC was third in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane with Nine second. In Melbourne and Brisbane it was Nine and Ten in the minors. GO won the digitals in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Eleven won Adelaide, 7TWO won Melbourne. Nine leads Seven and Ten in Sydney and Brisbane, Seven leads Nine and Ten in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Seven already has big winning margins in the latter three markets and will win the week nationally.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Four Corners‘ examination of the UK phone-hacking scandal started slowly, was out of date (13 former journalists have been charged, not 12 as mentioned in the story, the last was on August 18, which should have been added to the story). But apart from those quibbles, the story developed nicely and ended up as the best TV report so far on the entire stinking mess. It also showed up how little the News Ltd papers in Australia have actually reported on the scandal.

Nationally, the most watched programs were:

  • The X Factor with 489,000 in regional areas and 1.319 million in the five metro markets had a national audience of 1.908 million.
  • Seven News with 545,000 viewers in the regions and 1.3 million people in metro markets, had a national audience of 1.845 million people.
  • A Current Affair with 581,000 viewers in the regions and 1.137 million viewers in metro markets, had a national audience of 1.718 million.
  • Nine News with 546,000 regional viewers and 1.154 million in the metro markets, had a national audience of 1.7 million people.
  • The Farmer Wants a Wife had 526,000 viewers in the regions and 1.024 million in the metro markets for a national audience of 1.560 million.

Tonight: Packed to The Rafters on Seven, after The X Factor. The ABC has Foreign Correspondent, Ten has Modern Family. Nine returns Top Gear Australia at 8.30, then a repeat of the UK version. SBS has Insight at 7.30.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey