The Winners: It was always going to be Nine’s night with Australian playing the World Cup Rugby semi-final against New Zealand.

The Australian win over New Zealand  in the rugby league was watched by 943,000 people from 3.30pm on Nine, which was a better effort than the World Cup semi-final (when you look at the proportion of the audience watching Nine at both times).

Junior MasterChef on Ten at 7.30pm, 872,000. Terra Nova on Ten at 8.30pm, 827,000.

Ten’s Moto GP in the afternoon at 3.30pm, 317,000 on Ten and 293,000 on ONE (610,000 all up, which was excellent given the rugby league was against it) and the formula one race later on about 5pm, 370,000 on ONE.

  1. RWC: Australia versus New Zealand (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.788 million
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.382 million.
  3. Underbelly: Razor (Nine, 8.30pm) — 1.336 million.
  4. Seven News (6pm) — 1.243 million.

The Losers: With such a big game in the schedule last night, there were no losers.

News and CA: The Bolt Report repeat at 4.30pm was pre-empted by Ten’s motorbike coverage, but the 10am edition again was weak and Insiders on the ABC is clearly tops.

The 6pm news battles were disrupted by the rugby league and rugby union either side of the Nine News, which should have really had more viewers. Seven’s News in Perth was big because it had Telethon as a lead-in that helped the network there and nationally.

Sunday Night’s audience would have been well over a million but was pre-empted by the Perth telethon on Seven (an annual event).

  1. Nine News (6pm)– 1.382 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.243 million
  3. Sunday Night (Seven) (7.30pm) — 956,000
  4. ABC News (7pm) — 894,000
  5. 60 Minutes (Nine) (Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, after the rugby) — 487,000
  6. Ten News (5pm) — 388,000
  7. SBS News (6.30pm) — 161,000
  8. Dateline (SBS 1, 8.30pm) — 149,000

In the morning:

  1. Weekend Today (Nine) (8am) — 291,000
  2. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) (8am) — 275,000
  3. Insiders (ABC) (9am) — 225,000 (+ 18,000 on News 24 simulcast)
  4. Landline (ABC) (noon) — 190,000
  5. Inside Business (ABC) (10pm — 156,000
  6. Offsiders (ABC 1, 10.30pm) — 139,000
  7. The Bolt Report (Ten) (10am) — 91,000
  8. Meet The Press (Ten) (10.30am) — 88,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Nine (three channels) won with a share of 35.1% from Seven (three) on 27.8%, Ten (three) was on 19.3%, the ABC (four) was on 14.2% and SBS (two) ended with 3.6%.
  • Main Channel: Nine won with 29.9% from Seven on 21.4%, Ten was on 13.5%, ABC 1 was on 11.2% and SBS ONE ended on 3.0%.
  • Digital: 7TWO won with 3.7% from GO on 3.6%, Eleven on 3.0%, ONE and 7mate on 2.7%, ABC 2 on 1.7%, Gem on 1.5% and News 24, ABC 3 and SBS TWO on 0.6% each. The 10 digital channels had an FTA viewing share last night of 19.7%.

Pay TV: Nine (three channels) won with a share of 28.0% from Seven (three) on 22.2%, pay TV (200-plus channels) was third with 17.8%, Ten (three) was on 15.3%, the ABC (four) was on 11.3% and SBS (two) ended with 2.9%.

The top five pay TV channels last night were:

  1. Fox Sports 3 (6.75%)
  2. Fox 8 (2.49%)
  3. TVI (2.3%)
  4. Fox Sports 2 (2.22%)
  5. UKTV (1.85%)

The five top pay TV programs last night were:

  1. RWC: Australia versus New Zealand (Fox Sports 3) — 701,000
  2. RWC: RWC Centre (Fox Sports 3) — 193,000
  3. RWC: RWC Centre (Fox Sports 3) — 168,000
  4. Lewis (UKTV) — 77,000
  5. The Simpsons (Fox 8) — 77,000

Regional: WIN/NBN (three channels) won with a share of 36.9% from Prime/7Qld (three) on 27.6%, with SC Ten (three) on 18.6%, the ABC (four) was on 14.0% and SBS (two) ended with 2.7%. WIN/NBN with 31.0% were easy winners of the main channels with daylight next then Prime/7Qld on 19.2%. GO won with 4.9% from 7TWO on 4.6% and 7mate on 3.9%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA viewing share last night of 24.1%.

The top five programs in regional markets last night were:

  1. Nine News — 686,000
  2. Rugby League: Australia versus New Zealand — 545,000
  3. Underbelly — 545,000
  4. RWC: Australia versus New Zealand — 516,000
  5. Wild Boys — 491,000

Major Markets: Nine won from Seven and Ten (overall and the main channels) in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. in Melbourne Nine won from Seven and Ten overall, but the ABC replaced Ten in third in the main channels. 7TWO won the digitals in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Go won Sydney and Brisbane.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Last week, Seven won overall and the main channels, but Nine’s GO won the digitals. Seven won all five metro markets, puling past Nine on Friday and Saturday nights. ABC 1 beat Ten on four of the Seven nights for third place nationally in the main channels. Prime/7Qld also won the regional markets, overall, the main channels and the digitals.

Saturday night’s France versus Wales Rugby World Cup semi-final averaged 1.157 million viewers on Nine from 6.30pm in metro and regional markets. A further 360,000 people watched the game on pay TV across the country for a national figure of 1.511 million.

The returning first episode of the new series of Doc Martin averaged 1.891 million viewers topped the night at 7.30pm and showed us that more Australians were interested in being entertained rather than frustrated.

Last Night: The World Cup Rugby semi-final won by the All Blacks dominated, and meant Nine had an easy win. It lifted Underbelly: Razor‘s audience last night for what was a solid episode.

The top five national programs were:

  1. RWC: Australia versus New Zealand — 2.304 million
  2. Nine News — 2.066 million
  3. Underbelly: Razor — 1.881 million
  4. Seven News — 1.696 million
  5. Rugby League: Australia versus New Zealand — 1.489 million.

The 701,000 people who watched the World Cup Rugby on Fox Sports 3 was the highest audience ever for pay TV in this country. That made a total audience on pay TV and free-to-air TV last night in Australia of a massive 3.005 million people watched the losing performance of the Wallabies. The Nine Network can only wonder what would the audience had been next Sunday, had Australia won.

But the rugby was out-watched by the rugby league Test in regional markets.

That means the three highest audiences for pay TV are held by rugby matches: last night’s game (701,000), the Super 15 final in May with 526,000 and last week’s Australia versus South Africa World Cup final with 468,000.

Ten also confirmed today that it is bring back It’s a Knockout (1985-87) to its summer schedule. Desperate times breed desperate measures.

Tonight: The ABC’s usual four and a half hours of news and current affairs. Q&A at 9.30pm is in Darwin for the first time.

Seven has 90 minutes of The X Factor followed by Body of Proof. Nine has two fresh episodes of The Big Bang Theory from 7.30pm, then The Mentalist at 8.30pm. Ten has Junior MasterChef at 7.30pm. SBS has the mad Swift and Shift Couriers at 8.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey