The Glenn Dyer breakdown: The grand final of The Biggest Loser finally clicked for Ten, right at the end of an awfully long campaign that started in late January. The winner announcement at 9.30pm grabbed 1.365 million in the metro markets (1.834 million nationally). The lead up to the winner, from 8pm averaged 1.348 million (1.852 million nationally). There was a winner’s boost in the important metro markets, but nationally, there was a small turnoff. That is the ultimate insult for a reality style program such as The Biggest Loser.

Last year The Biggest Loser finished on a Monday. But rather than run it against Nine’s The Voice on Monday night, it was shifted to last night, which tells us all about the level of confidence at Ten in this format. To have been a ratings smash the final should have grabbed more than three million viewers nationally; to have been an ordinary success, it should have topped two million viewers across metro and regional markets.

Contrast that the three million-plus figures for series finals for My Kitchen Rules and The Block (and The Voice, even before the grand final, and previous grand final of MasterChef Australia) and you see that The Biggest Loser is weak and desperately in need of revival if Ten is going to return it to its schedule in 2013.

Ten claimed it was “number one for the night in total people, 18 to 49s, 25 to 54s and 16 to 39s (6pm to 10.30pm).” The figures show that Seven had more viewers and a share from 6pm to midnight. That’s the basis of prime time ratings. The 6 to 10.30pm is the zone one of prime time ratings. No matter, with the final of The Biggest Loser and MasterChef in the schedule, Ten should have won the night, regardless of the timeslots chosen. It forgot to tell us how it was third in regional markets, as The Biggest Loser and MasterChef failed to grab viewers. Ten finished second to Seven from 6pm to midnight and pushed Nine into third.

MasterChef though could only average 1.078 million from 7 to 8pm, which was a poor result. It should have really done much better if it is the ratings powerhouse of old. The competition wasn’t that tough last night. The Block averaged 1.2 million at 7pm. Tonight is different.

The ABC’s budget coverage from 7.30pm averaged 1.127 million nationally (metro and regional, ABC 1 and News 24), while the 7.30 Budget Analysis averaged 1.246 million, for an average across the hour of 1.186 million. The figures were a bit more than I thought it would, given the weak standing of the federal Labor government.

News 24 did well with some big audiences for late edition of The Drum plus 7.30‘s budget analysis and Lateline, whose audience was boosted by more than 50% by the 80,000 people who watched the simulcast on News 24. In metro markets, News 24 had a high (for it) share of 1.8%; in the regionals it was higher, 2.2%. SKY News did well on pay TV, finishing second in prime time.

The second episode of Seven’s reborn The Price Is Right at 5pm slumped to 402,000, from its debut 536,000. Not good, but completely justified by this sad old turkey.

Tonight: The second episode of Randling on ABC1 at 8.30pm. How many will return? The same applies to Laid at 9pm. Ten has another MasterChef audition ( 7 – 8.10pm), plus MasterChef: Where Are They Now for 20 minutes, then Offspring and then The Good Wife. Not a bad line up. But MasterChef faces 90 minutes of Australia’s Got Talent on Seven tonight. Seven then has a fresh Bones at 9 pm. Nine has The Block and then 90 minutes of Celebrity Apprentice from 8pm. So another tough night for MasterChef.

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

  1. Seven News — 1.956 million
  2. The Biggest Loser (finale, Ten) — 1.852 million
  3. The Biggest Loser (winner, Ten) — 1.852 million
  4. Packed to the Rafters (Seven) — 1.780 million
  5. Nine News — 1.757 million
  6. The Block (Nine) — 1.713 million
  7. The Force (Seven) — 1.667 million
  8. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.666 million
  9. The Big Bang Theory (Nine) — 1.526 million
  10. MasterChef Australia (Ten) — 1.470 million

The Metro Winners:

  1. The Biggest Loser (Ten) (9.30pm) — 1.365 million
  2. The Biggest Loser (Ten) (8pm) — 1.348 million
  3. Seven News (6pm) — 1.302 million
  4. Nine News (6pm) — 1.208 million
  5. The Block (Nine) (7pm) — 1.200 million
  6. Packed to the Rafters (Seven) (8.30pm) — 1.178 million
  7. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.160 million
  8. The Force (Seven) (8pm) — 1.109 million
  9. The Big Bang Theory (Nine) (8.30pm) — 1.106 million
  10. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.091 million
  11. MasterChef Australia (Ten) (7pm) — 1.078 million

Metro News & CA: Nine News won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane again, Seven news won the rest. A Current Affair won Sydney and Melbourne, Today Tonight won the rest.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.302 million
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.208 million
  3. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.160 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.091 million
  5. ABC 1 News (7pm) — 930,000
  6. 7.30 Budget Special (ABC 1) (8pm) — 711,000 (+89,000)*
  7. Ten News (5pm) — 697,000
  8. Budget 2012: The Treasurer’s Speech (ABC1) (7.30pm) –654,000 (+91,000)*
  9. The Project (Ten) (6.30pm) — 610,000
  10. TEN News Special Bulletin (10.15pm) — 466,000
  11. The Project (Ten) (6pm) — 421,000
  12. SBS News (6.30pm) — 205,000
  13. Insight (SBS ONE) (8.30pm) — 190,000
  14. Lateline (ABC 1) (10.35pm) 144,000 (+80,000)*
  15. Dateline (SBS ONE) (9.30pm) — 135,000
  16. The Drum (News 24) (10pm) — 110,000
  17. The Business (ABC1) (11.10pm, repeat) — 93,000
  18. Nine News Special Presentation (11.30pm) — 90,000
  19. SBS late News (10.30pm) — 65,000

In the mornings: Today beat Sunrise for the second morning running. Ten’s Breakfast was again weak.

  1. Today (Nine) (7am) — 351,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 347,000
  3. The Mornings Show (Seven) (9am) — 139,000
  4. Mornings (Nine) (9am) — 110,000
  5. The Circle (Ten) (9am) — 44,000
  6. ABC News Breakfast (6am) — 36,000 (+22,000)*
  7. Breakfast (Ten) (7am) — 31,000

Metro FTA: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 28.2%, from Ten (3) on 26.8%, with Nine third (3) on 23.9%. The ABC (4) finished with 16.1% and SBS (2) was on 4.9%. Nine leads the week with 31.3% from Seven on 26.4% and Ten on 21.8%. Main Channels: Seven won with 22.9% from Ten on 21.7%, Nine was on 19.3%, ABC1 was on 11.3% and SBS ONE was on 4.0%. Nine leads the week with 25.2% from Seven on 21.3% and Ten on 16.5%.

Metro Digital: Eleven won with a share of 3.0% from 7mate on 2.8%, GO and 7TWO were on 2.5% each, ABC2 was on 2.3%, Gem ended on 2.1%, ONE was on 2.0%, News 24 jumped to 1.8%, and SBS TWO was on 0.9%, with ABC3 finishing with 0.7%. That’s a total FTA share last night of 20.6%. GO leads the week with 3.5% from Eleven on 3.0% and 7TWO on 2.8%.

Metro including Pay TV: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 23.8%, from Ten (3) on 22.5%, with Nine third (3) on 20.2%. The ABC (4) was on 13.6%, Pay TV (200 plus channels) ended with 13.5%, and SBS (2) was on 4.1%. The 15 FTA channels had a viewing share last night of 86.5%. The five main channels share was 69,0%, the 10 digitals share totalled 17.5%. The budget helped boost Sky News last night.

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. Fox 8 (3.2%)
  2. Sky News (2.87%)
  3. TV1 (2.06%)
  4. Fox Classics (1.74%)
  5. Lifestyle (1.73%)

The five most-watched programs on pay TV were:

  1. Family Guy (Fox 8) — 97,000
  2. The Simpsons (Fox 8) (7.10pm) — 88,000
  3. The Simpsons (Fox 8) (5.55pm) — 84,000
  4. Futurama (Fox 8) — 82,000
  5. Paul Murray Live (Sky News) (10pm) — 81,000

Regional: Ten’s offerings failed outside the metro markets. The Biggest Loser failed to make the top five programs. So Prime/7Qld (3) won with a share of 30.0% from WIN/NBN (3) on 24.6%, SC Ten (3) was third with 23.4%, the ABC (4) was on 17.3% and SBS (2) ended on 4.7%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 24.9%, with WIN/NBN on 18.3% and SC Ten on 17.9%. GO won the digitals with 3.6%, Eleven was second with 3.4% and 7TWO was third with 2.9%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share last night of 23.3%. WIN/NBN still lead the week with 30.4%, from Prime/7Qld on 28.8%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. Seven News — 653,000
  2. Packed to the Rafters — 602,000
  3. A Current Affair — 575,000
  4. The Force — 560,000
  5. Nine News — 550,000

Major Metro Markets: Ten might have claimed the night, but in the five metro markets it wasn’t as smooth as that. Ten won Sydney overall, but lost the main channels to Seven. In Melbourne Ten won overall and the main channels from Seven and Nine. But in Brisbane, it was Seven overall and the main channels, from Nine and Ten. In Adelaide it was Seven from Ten and Nine and that was the same order in Perth. In the digitals, Go won Sydney, 7mate won Brisbane, but 7mate and Eleven shared Melbourne and Perth and 7TWO and Eleven won Melbourne. Nine leads Seven and Ten in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven leads Nine and Ten in Adelaide and Perth.

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

*Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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