The Winners: Seven’s night, so easily. Dinner Date at 9.30pm, 771,000, an appalling program but won this time slot. Nine just didn’t bother competing. The local version of Top Gear returned last night to what could be called faint applause. It flopped miserably.

Nine had one program with a million or more viewers, Ten again had none.

Seven led from 6pm to 10.30pm.

  1. The X Factor (Seven, 7.30 – 8 .30 pm) — 1.690 million
  2. Packed To The Rafters (Seven, 8.30 – 9.30 pm) — 1.597 million
  3. Seven News (6pm) — 1.321 million
  4. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.309 million
  5. Home and Away (Seven) (7pm) — 1.162 million
  6. Nine News (6pm) — 1.116 million

The Losers: The biggest loser last night was Top Gear Australia which had only 503,000 viewers from 8.30pm. It was beaten by Ten and Seven, and the ABC’s Australian Story special on David Hicks. Top Gear Australia was atrocious. Meanwhile, the UK Top Gear repeat at 9.30pm had just 344,000 viewers.

News & CA: Nine News and ACA won Sydney, Seven News and TT won the rest.

Once again the margin was solidly in Nine’s favour in Sydney, 341,000 for Nine to 248,000 for Seven, or more than 90,000. TT lifted its Sydney audience to 280,000 but still lost to ACA on 322,000 (which sunk to 261,000 in Melbourne after Nine News was reached 322,000 viewers and lost by 54,000 to Seven News.)

The problem is Hot Seat (Nine, 670,000 at 5.30pm) and Deal Or No Deal (Seven, 5.30pm, 554,000). That’s a 116,000 margin nationally. Sydney accounted for much of the national margin: 89,000 last night. It’s a big ask to come back from that for Seven News. In Melbourne the margin was just 14,000 in favour of Hot Seat, which Seven converted into that 54,000 margin at 6pm. 6.30 with George Negus continued to improve and averaged a touch under half a million last night. Foreign Correspondent‘s view of the London riots was solid, as was the Australian Story effort on David Hicks.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.321 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.309 million
  3. Home and Away (Seven) (7pm) — 1.162 million
  4. Nine News (6pm) — 1.116 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 939,000
  6. ABC News (7pm) — 872,000
  7. Ten News (5pm) — 666,000
  8. 7.30 (ABC) (7.30pm) — 661,000
  9. Australian Story (ABC) (8.30pm) — 647,000
  10. Foreign Correspondent (ABC) (8pm) — 638,000
  11. 6.30 with George Negus (Ten) (6.30pm) — 490,000
  12. Late News/Sports Tonight (Ten) (10.30pm) — 297,000
  13. Insight (SBS) (7.30pm) — 220,000
  14. Lateline (ABC) (10.35pm) — 178,000
  15. SBS News (6.30pm) — 170,000
  16. Lateline Business (ABC) (11.10pm) — 115,000
  17. SBS News (9.30pm) — 109,000

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 383,000
  2. Today (Nine) (7am) –346,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 37.1% from Ten (3) on 20.9%, Nine (3) on 20.5%, the ABC (4) was on 15.7% and SBS (2) ended with 5.9%. Seven leads the week with 32.6% from Nine on 26.7% and Ten (3) on 19.9%
  • Main Channel: Seven won with a share of 29.2% from Ten on 15.6%, Nine was on 14.4%, ABC 1 was on 12.0% and SBS ONE ended with 3.8%. Seven leads the week with 25.3% from Nine on 20.2% and Ten on 13.5%.
  • Digital: 7TWO won with 4.1%, from 7mate on 3.8%, Eleven on 3.4%, GO and Gem were on 3.0% each, ABC 2 was on 2.5%, ONE and SBS TWO were on 2.0% each and ABC 3 was on 0.6% and News 24 was on 0.4%. That’s a total FTA viewing share of 24.9%. 7TWO leads the week with 4.1%, from GO on 3.8% and Eleven on 3.6%.
  • Pay TV: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 30.8% from Ten (3) on 17.4%, from Nine (3) on 17.0%, Pay TV (200 plus channels) was on 14.5%, the ABC (4) was on 13/0% and SBS (2) ended on 4.9%. The 15 FTA channels had an 85.5% share of TV viewing in prime time last night. the 10 digital channels had 20.7%, the five main channels, 64.8%.
  • Regional: Prime/7Qld 93 channels) won clearly with a share of 38.5%, from WIN/NBN (3) on 22.0%, SC Ten (3) was third with 19.5%, the ABC (4) was on 14.2% and SBS (2) ended on 5.8%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 30.5%, with daylight second and third, then WIN/NBN on 16.0%. 7TWO won the digitals with 4.0% from 7mate on 3.9% and GO and Eleven on 3.3% each. The 10 digital channels had an FTA viewing share last night of 25.2%. prime/7Qld has taken the lead in the week on 33.2% from WIN/NBN on 29.5%.

Major Markets: Seven’s night, while Nine ran third, and 4th in one market on the main channels. Seven won overall and the main channels in all markets. The ABC was third in the main channels in Perth behind Ten, with Nine 4th. Nine was second overall and in the main channels in Sydney and Brisbane. Ten was third. Ten was second and Nine thirds (except in the main channels in Perth) in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. In the digitals, 7TWO won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. GO won Sydney, Eleven and Gem shared Brisbane. Seven now leads Nine and Ten everywhere.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven’s night easily, despite just over 200,000 viewers deserting Packed to the Rafters. It was as big a win as any that Seven has had this year.

The continuing weakness in Sydney of Seven’s 6pm News is the network’s major headache at the moment. The top five programs tell us just how dominant Seven was last night in the metro, regional and national markets.

  • The X Factor was the most watched program nationally with 2.407 million viewers, with 712,000 in the regions and 1.690 million in the five metro markets.
  • Packed to the Rafters was second with 2.309 million viewers, made up of 712,000 in the regions and 1.597 million in the metro markets.
  • Seven News at 6pm had 1.885 million viewers nationally with 564,000 in the regions and 1.321 million in the metro markets.
  • Nine News at 6pm had 1.671 million viewers with 509,000 viewers in the regions and 1.162 million in the metro markets.
  • Home and Away had 1.625 million viewers nationally with 507,000 viewers in the regions and 1.116 million in the metros.

Programming Note: The ABC said today that The Chaser were returning to ABC 1 TV with eight half hour episodes of a program called The Hamster Wheel, which the release said: “… will examine the contemporary media landscape, where everyone from journalists to political fixers is perpetually at risk of spinning out of control.” The series airs later in the year.

Tonight: Spicks and Specks and The Gruen Transfer from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on the ABC. Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation on Ten at 8.30pm. Criminal Minds, Suspect Behaviour on Seven, also at 8.30pm.

Nine starts a program called Same Name at 7.30pm in which celebrities swap places with ordinary people of the same name for a day. If Nine airs the programs in the same order as they went to air in the US from July (it’s a summer program in America, which should give you a big clue about how good it is) then the first celebrity to swap is David Hasselhoff. Sounds absolutely gruesome. Nine also has The Mentalist at 8.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey