The Winners: Seven’s late Melbourne Cup coverage from around 3.45pm to 5.30pm averaged 974,000.

The Melbourne Cup was run outside ratings so didn’t have much influence on last night’s outcome, although it boosted the audience for Seven News in Melbourne. But it wasn’t enough to help Seven News in Sydney which again lost of Nine’s News, while Today Tonight was beaten by a very weak A Current Affair in Sydney as well.

  1. Melbourne Cup (the race) (Seven) (3pm) — 2.653 million
  2. Melbourne Cup (presentation) (Seven) (~3.12pm) — 1.964 million
  3. Melbourne Cup (mounting yard) (Seven) (2.23pm) — 1.681 million
  4. The X Factor (Seven) (7.30pm ) — 1.517 million
  5. Seven News (6pm) — 1.421 million
  6. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.211 million
  7. Australia’s Got Amazing Talent (Seven) (8.30pm) — 1.204 million
  8. NCIS (Ten) (8.30pm) — 1.097 million
  9. Home and Away (Seven) (7pm) — 1.059 million
  10. Nine News (6pm) — 1.045 million.

The Losers: Nine, a really poor night. The 6pm News was its most watched program and it was downhill from there. Mike & Molly at 8pm, 643,000, a good example.

News & CA: Nine News won Sydney by a large 80,000 viewers last night: 335,000 to 255,000 for Seven. ACA also won Sydney by a much narrower result: 251,000 to 246,000 viewers.

In Adelaide, ACA had just 51,000 viewers, TT had 124,000. In Perth it was 80,000 for ACA, against TT‘s 195,000.

Sunrise won a second morning from Today, with a big loss in Sydney, but sold wins in Melbourne and Brisbane in particular.

Ten’s revamped The Project fell to 549,000 last night, from 571,000 on debut on Monday.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.421 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.211 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.045 million
  4. ABC News (7pm) — 945,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 819,000
  6. 7.30 (ABC) (7.30pm) — 674,000
  7. Ten News (5pm) — 551,000
  8. The Project (Ten) (6.30pm) — 549,000
  9. Foreign Correspondent (ABC) (8pm) — 520,000
  10. SBS News (6.30pm) — 219,000
  11. Insight (SBS) (7.30pm) — 184,000
  12. Lateline (ABC) (10.25pm) — 152,000
  13. SBS  News (9.30pm) — 135,000
  14. Lateline Business (ABC) (11pm) — 100,000

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 387,000
  2. Today (Nine) (7am) — 335,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 33.0%, from Nine (3) on 24.0%, with Ten (3) on 23.9%, the ABC (4) was on 13.2% and SBS (2) was on 5.8%. Seven now leads the week with 30.0% from Nine on 29.3% and Ten on 20.1%.
  • Main Channel: Seven won with a share of 26.2% from Ten on 18.6%, Nine was on 17.7%. ABC 1 was on 9.3% and SBS ONE finished with 3.9%. Seven also now leads with a share of 22.9% from Nine on 22.3% and Ten with 20.1%.
  • Digital: GO won with 3.8% from 7TWO on 3.7%, Eleven was on 3.6%, 7mate was on 3.1%, ABC 2 and Gem finished with 2.5% each, SBS TWO was on 2.0%, ONE was on 1.7% and ABC 3 and News 24 finished with 0.7% each. That’s an total FTA share last night of 23..3%. GO and 7TWO lead the week with 3.9% each, with Eleven on 3.7%.

Pay TV: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 27.8%, from Nine (3) on 20.2%, with Ten (3) on 20.1%, Pay TV (200 plus channels) was on 13.6%, the ABC (4) was on 11.1% and SBS (2) was on 4.9%. The 15 FTA channels had a share last night of 86.4%, made up of 20.5% for the digital channels and 65.9% for the five main channels.

The five most watched Pay TV channels were:

  1. Fox 8 (2.54%)
  2. Lifestyle (1.97%)
  3. 111 Hits (1.61%)
  4. TV 1 (1.57%)
  5. Sky Racing (1.53%)

The five most watched programs were:

  1. The Simpsons (Fox 8) — 81,000
  2. Family Guy (Fox 8) — 78,000
  3. Sarah Beeny: Village SOS (Lifestyle) — 67,000
  4. Eastenders (UKTV) — 61,000
  5. Futurama (Fox 8) — 58,000

Regional: Prime/7Qld (3 channels) won with a share of 34.0% from WIN/NBN (3) on 25.3%, with SC Ten (3) on 22.3%, the ABC (4) was on 12.1% and SBS (2) was on 5.5%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 25.1% from WIN/NBN on 18.2%. 7TWO won the digitals with 5.2%, from Gem on 3.7% and 7mate on 3.6%. The 10 digital channels had a share last night of 27.6%. Prime/7Qld leaders the week with 33.0% from WIN/NBN on 28.9%.

The five most watched programs were:

  1. Melbourne Cup (the race) — 826,000
  2. The X Factor — 682,000
  3. Australia’s Got Amazing Talent — 587,000
  4. Seven News — 573,000
  5. Melbourne Cup (presentation) — 562,000

Major Markets: Seven won everywhere, both overall and the main channels. Ten beat Nine into second overall and the main channels in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. In Brisbane, Nine was second and Ten third in both measures. In Sydney, Nine was second and Ten third overall, but Nine fell to a weak third and Ten moved up to a strong second. In the digitals, GO win Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 7TWO won Adelaide and 7mate won Brisbane. Nine leads Seven and Ten in Sydney, Seven leads Nine and Ten in the rest and should not win the week after looking weak after Sunday and Monday nights.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The race stopped the nation in the afternoon whilst the Nine network performed as though it had hit a brick wall. So bad was its performance in prime time — compared to Sunday and Monday nights — that Ten, which had looked brain dead on Sunday and Monday nights, went past it on the important main channels had a strong second placing.

Seven’s weakish night was made to look like a ratings triumph (which it wasn’t). Truly it was an example, once again, of Nine snatching defeat from the jaws of impending victory.

The bottom line is that without its best program (Packed to the Rafters), Seven won dominantly and Nine and Ten couldn’t close the gap. That spells bad news for both networks for 2012.

The Melbourne Cup figures understate the total audience considerably because it doesn’t include people watching in pubs, clubs, bars, eateries of all kinds, halls etc (the same applies to the AFL and NRL Grand Finals which are also under measured).

The metro Cup audience yesterday was the third highest since 2004 after the 2.707 million who watched Americain win the 2010 Cup and the 2009 Cup when 2.672 million watched Shocking win. That means that two of the three biggest audiences in the past seven years have been for Cups dominated and won by imported horses.

The five most watched programs nationally were:

  1. Melbourne Cup (the race) — 3.608 million
  2. Melbourne Cup (presentation) — 2.688 million
  3. Melbourne Cup (mounting yard) — 2.312 million
  4. The X Factor — 2.200 million
  5. Seven News —  1.996 million

Last year the Race averaged 3.663 million viewers nationally

Tonight: The ABC is the place to be with Spicks & Specks and Gruen Planet, and maybe The Hamster Wheel. Nine has Young Doctors. Ten has Glee. Seven has The One: Australia’s Most Gifted Psychic.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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