The Glenn Dyer breakdown: Last night was the first night of Easter ratings and Seven still won as Nine went on holidays and Ten drifted with repeats. Pay TV beat Ten into third in the consolidated ratings.

Nine News had a national audience of nearly 2.2 million viewers, by far the best on the night. The Biggest Loser finished eighth nationally without the opposition from My Kitchen Rules. It averaged more than 1.3 million viewers nationally last night. Seven’s Sunday Night had another big night with more than 1.9 million viewers in metro and regional areas.

The Time Traveller’s Guide lifted last night, adding 101,000 viewers to 861,000 people, from its debut the previous Sunday on ABC1. Apart from Sunday Night, Seven was also a mass of repeats of Bones, Border Security, The Force and Castle. Next Sunday night should be the last Sunday Night for some months. Dancing with the Stars starts in the 6.30pm slot on April 15.

Ten has a boast, claiming top spot in 18 to 49s and 16 to 39s. But it is unofficial ratings, still a win is a win, no matter the timing.

Last week: Seven as the end of My Kitchen Rules, assisted by Revenge and the final of Please Marry My Boy and the AFL in southern markets on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The other networks were not in the hunt. Seven also won the regional markets and the digital markets.

But Friday night did confirm, again, that rugby league TV broadcasts are far more popular than the AFL, especially on free-to-air TV. The 7.30 rugby league game on Nine (and on WIN in regional areas) averaged 1.178 million, including the small audience in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth on Gem, one of the Nine digital channels and the regional audience on WIN. Plus 631,000 watched the 7.30 league game in Sydney and Brisbane.

The 9.30pm game was watched by another 656,000 people. All up 1.814 million people watched the two games on FTA TV in metro and regional markets on Nine’s main channel, WIN in the regionals and Gem in southern markets). No wonder Foxtel and Nine have joined to bid jointly for the NRL TV contract next year. Nine can’t afford to make a huge bid, it’s got less than a year to re-organise and its finances are weakening. Foxtel spent heavily on grabbing a big share of the five-year AFL contract and can’t do that on its own for the NRL contract. Let’s hope the Optus is struck down on appeal, otherwise the NRL contract might end up cheap and the AFL contract an overpayment by Seven and Foxtel.

The AFL coverage went for 3½ hours, the NRL coverage went for four hours. Both started at 7.30pm.

The Collingwood-Hawthorn game was watched by 955,000 million on Seven’s main channel, Prime/7Qld and on 7mate in Sydney and Brisbane (and NSW and Queensland). That’s 745,000 in the three metro markets on Seven (Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth), and a further 62,000 on 7mate (Sydney and Brisbane). Plus, 121,000 watched the game on Prime/7Qld in regional markets, the game was watched by a total of 1.076 million people in FTA TV. A further 267,400 watched on Fox Footy on pay TV, for a grand total of 1.22 million people.

Incidentally, the most-watched program on pay TV last week was last Monday night’s game between Wests and Canberra averaged 314,800. The Collingwood-Hawthorn game was next most watched. The most-watched pay TV program yesterday was the Port Adelaide-St Kilda game on Fox Footy with 259,600 people.

The problem for Nine is that the third biggest league market is regional NSW and Queensland, which does nothing for the metro ratings, which are the main game for the TV networks. The third AFL audience is Adelaide (Perth sees bigger audiences for the two teams, West Coast especially), which matters in the ratings battle. It is why Seven won the metro ratings on Friday night (helped by that big audience in Melbourne of course).

Tonight: The ABC’s line-up of news and current affairs from 7pm stands out. Seven has Revenge at 8.30, then the very tacky McDonald’s Gets Grilled at 9.30. It’s paid-for advertorial (despite what anyone at Seven says). Next can we expect Caltex Learns About Petrol Pricing, Woolies’ Not So Fresh Food and Coles: Profits Going Up, Up? Nine has a fresh Alcatraz. Will anyone notice tonight? Ten has The Biggest Loser and Bondi Rescue, both fresh.

The top 10 national programs (metro & regional combined):

  1. Nine News — 2.195 million.
  2. Seven News — 1.910 million.
  3. Sunday Night (Seven) — 1.773 million.
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.582 million.
  5. Modern Family (Ten) — 1.436 million.
  6. Border Security (Seven) — 1.413 million.
  7. The Force (Seven) — 1.402 million.
  8. The Biggest Loser (Ten) 1.385 million.
  9. Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide (ABC1) — 1.305 million.
  10. ABC News — 1.233 million.

The Metro Winners:

  1. Nine News (6pm) — 1.534 million.
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.381 million.
  3. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm).
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) (7.30pm) — 1.076 million.
  5. Modern Family (Ten) (7.30pm) –1.055 million.
  6. The Biggest Loser (Ten) (6.30pm) — 1.005 million.

The Losers: Non-ratings so bit hard to be a loser given the collection of repeats and below par shows that make their way on air from the programming vaults. Easter With the Women’s Weekly on Nine at 6.30pm, 744,000. A distant third. Ten’s NCIS repeat at 8.30pm, 405,000. “We’ve seen that one before, before, before,” the audience said!

News & CA: Nine News simply too strong in Sydney (629,000, the biggest single audience anywhere last night). Nine also won Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven won Adelaide and Perth, but that’s normal.

  1. Nine News (6pm) — 1.534 million.
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.381 million.
  3. Sunday Night (Seven, 6.30pm).
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) (7.30pm) — 1.076 million.
  5. ABC 1 News (7pm) — 831,000.
  6. Ten News (5pm) — 504,000.
  7. The Project (Ten) (6pm) — 378,000.
  8. SBS News (6.30pm) — 219,000.

In the morning: the ending of daylight saving clearly affected audience figures for Insiders, The Bolt Report, Offsiders and Inside Business. Bolt’s afternoon repeat was pre-empted.

  1. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) (8am) — 353,000.
  2. Weekend Today (Nine) (8am) — 322,000.
  3. Landline (ABC1) (12pm) — 208,000.
  4. Insiders (ABC1) (9am) — 173,00 +58,000 on News 24 simulcast.
  5. The Bolt Report (Ten) (10am) — 130,000.
  6. Inside Business (ABC1) (10am) — 119,000.
  7. Offsiders (ABC1) (10.30am) –103,000.
  8. Meet The Press (Ten) (10.30am) — 84,000.

*On News 24 simulcast

Metro FTA: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 28.5%, from Nine (3) on 25.9%, Ten (3) was on 22.2%, the ABC (4) was on 17.0% and SBS (2) ended on 6.4%. Main Channels: Seven won with a share of 22.4% from Nine on 19.3%, Ten on 15.3%, ABC 1 on 13.5% and SBS ONE on 5.1%

Metro Digital: Eleven won with 3.8% from 7TWO and GO on 3.4%, Gem was on 3.4%, ONE was on 3.0%, 7mate, 2.7%, ABC 2, 1.7%, SBS TWO, 1.3%, News 24, 1.1% and ABC 3, 0.7%. The 10 digital channels had a total share last night of 24.3%.

Pay TV: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 22.6%, from Nine (3) on 20.5%, Pay TV (200-plus  channels was third with 18.8%, in front of Ten (3) with 17.5%, the ABC (4) was on 13.5% and SBS (2) ended on 5.1%. The 15 FTA channels had a lowish viewing share last night of 81.2% because of the boost to pay TV viewing by the AFL and NRL games). The five main channels share was a low 61.9%, the 10 digital channels total was 19.3%.

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. Fox Footy (FF)– 6.7%.
  2. Fox Sports 2 (FS2) — 3.3%.
  3. Fox 8 — 2.9%.
  4. TV 1 — 2.4%.
  5. Nickelodeon — 1.8%.

The five most-watched programs on pay TV were:

  1. AFL: Port Adelaide versus St Kilda (FF) — 259,600.
  2. AFL: Western Bulldogs versus West Coast (FF) — 228,800.
  3. NRL: Gold Coast versus Canterbury (FS2) — 220,000.
  4. AFL: Pre-game Show (FF) — 175,800.
  5. AFL: After The Bounce (FF) — 137,400.

Regional: Prime/7Qld (3 3 channels) won with a share of 29.1% from WIN/NBN (3) on 26.7%, SC Ten (3) on 20.5%, the ABC (4) on 17.4% and SBS (2) on 6.3%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 21.7%, from WIN/NBN on 18.4%. The digitals were won by Eleven with 4.8% from GO on 4.3% and Gem on 4.1%. The 10 digitals channels had a total FTA share last night of 27.6%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. Nine News — 662,000.
  2. Sunday Night — 588,000.
  3. Seven News — 531,000.
  4. 60 Minutes — 507,000.
  5. Border Security — 489,000.

Major markets: A close effort in Sydney and Melbourne for Nine was undermined by increasingly weak performances in Brisbane, Adelaide and especially Perth where Nine was pushed into third behind Ten in second and Seven way out in front. Apart from Melbourne where Nine won overall and the main channels, Seven won  in Sydney (but close), Brisbane and Adelaide. In the digitals, ONE won Melbourne, GO won Adelaide, Brisbane, Eleven won Sydney and Perth.

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