The Glenn Dyer breakdown: As expected, a big win to Nine thanks to the first rugby league State of Origin game from Melbourne. In fact it was an all time high audience, nationally, in the five metro markets and in regional areas. As a result, Nine had huge winning margins in Sydney, Brisbane and regional NSW and Queensland. Nothing else managed to do well in the glare of the game.

Game 2 is in Sydney on June 13. That will be a big one for Nine and the League. If Queensland wins, it’s another series down the drain for NSW and a smaller audience for Game 3 which is in Brisbane on July 4.

A record 3.951 million people watched across the country, a record 2.510 million watched in the five metro markets and a record 1.442 million watched in the regional markets. 533,000 watched in regional Queensland and a further 768,000 watched the game in regional areas of NSW. Even 101,000 watched in regional Victoria and 40,000 watched in Tasmania.

The 2.510 million viewers in the five metro markets was the biggest so far recorded. It topped the 2.492 million (the previous record) who watched Game 3 last year which was the final game for Darren Lockyer, the long time Queensland star and captain. 1.087 million people watched that game in Sydney v 1.153 million last night. The Brisbane audience last night was 906,000 against the 899,000 who watched game 3 last year. The 313,000 who watched in Melbourne was lower than the 338,000 who watched Game 3 last year. In Brisbane Nine had a 57.7% share, which is huge, but wasn’t as big as the 63% share for Game 3 of last year which was Lockyer’s last appearance for Queensland.

It also topped the 2.227 million who watched Game 1 in 2011 and the 2.159 million who watched Game 2

The previous high for regional areas was 1.363 million for Game 1 in 2003. Adding the Melbourne and regional Victorian audiences, around 420,000 people watched the game in the AFL dominated state, which was a fair result. 57,000 people watched in Adelaide and 80,000 in Perth.

Tonight: Well, after last night, it’s either an anti-climax or a night when families regain control of their TV’s from their males. Nine has more sport in the shape of the AFL and NRL Footy Shows from 9.30pm, plus The Block. Seven has a mixture of Australia’s Got Talent, Better Homes and Gardens and Grey’s Anatomy. The ABC has Silks. Ten has MasterChef and then the increasingly weak Glee.

The top 10 national programs (metro & regional combined:

  1. State of Origin (the game) (Nine) — 3.951 million
  2. State of Origin (post match) (Nine) — 3.205 million
  3. State of Origin (pre match) (Nine) — 2.496 million
  4. Seven News — 2.011 million
  5. The Block (Nine) — 1.880 million
  6. Nine News — 1.801 million
  7. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.440 million
  8. ABC News — 1.410 million
  9. MasterChef (Ten) — 1.314 million
  10. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.304 million

The Metro Winners:

  1. State of Origin (the game) (Nine) — 2.510 million
  2. State of Origin (post match) (Nine) — 2.009 million
  3. State of Origin (pre match) (Nine) — 1.565 million
  4. Seven News (6pm) — 1.399 million
  5. The Block (Nine) (7pm) — 1.354 million
  6. Nine News (6pm) — 1.285 million
  7. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.233 million
  8. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.170 million

The Losers: Nothing, the State of Origin black hole dominated the night.

Metro News & CA: Seven News won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, lost Melbourne and Brisbane, but finished on top nationally. Today Tonight won because of big margins in Adelaide and Perth as A Current Affair won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.399 million
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.285 million
  3. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.233 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.170 million
  5. ABC News (7pm) — 998,000
  6. Ten News (5pm) — 713,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) (7.30pm) — 644,000
  8. The Project (Ten) (6.30pm) — 622,000
  9. The Project (Ten) (6pm) — 463,000
  10. Lateline (ABC) (10.30pm) — 219,000
  11. SBS  News (6.30pm) — 167,000
  12. The Business (ABC) (11.05pm) — 127,000
  13. SBS News (10.30pm) — 51,000
  14. The Drum (News 24) (6pm) — 36,000

In the morning: Today nipped past Sunrise, again and Ten’s Breakfast is now back around its highest, but still behind News Breakfast.

  1. Today (Nine) (7am) — 358,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 352,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) (9am) — 160,000
  4. Mornings (Nine) (9am) — 111,000
  5. The Circle (Ten) (9am) — 60,000
  6. News Breakfast (ABC) (6am) –43,000 (+44,000)*
  7. Breakfast (Ten, 7 – 9 am) — 44,000

*On News 24 simulcast

Metro FTA: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 40.6%, from Seven (3) on 23.5%, Ten (3) was on 18.8%, the ABC (4) ended with 12.3% and SBS (2) ended on 4.8%. Nine now leads the week with 32.8% from Seven on 28.3% and Ten on 14.7%. Main Channels: Nine won with a share of 35.8% from Seven with 17.0%, Ten was on 13.9%, ABC 1 was on 8.5% and SBS ONE ended on 3.9%. Nine leads the week with 27.5% from Seven with 22.1% and Ten on 14.7%.

Metro Digital: Eleven and 7TWO shared the night with 3.5% each. 7mate was on 3.0%, ABC 2 and GO were on 2.6% each, Gem ended on 2.2%, ONE was on 1.4%, SBS ONE was on 0.9%, News 24 was on 0.7% and ABC 3 was on 0.6%. The 10 digital channels FTA share was 21%. 7TWI and 7mate lead the week with 3.1%, from GO on 2.9% and Eleven with 2.8%.

Metro including Pay TV: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 35.1%, from Seven (3) on 20.3%, Ten (3) was on 16.3, Pay TV (200 plus channels) was on 11.1%, the ABC (4) ended with 10.6% and SBS (2) ended on 4.1%. The 15 FTA channels share of viewing last night was a very high 88.9%, thanks to the Origin game. The five main channels share was a very high 73.0%, the 10 digital channels total share was 15.9%.

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. Fox 8 (2.6%)
  2. TV1 (2.0%)
  3. Lifestyle (2.0%)
  4. Sky News (1.8%)
  5. UKTV (1.6%)

The five most-watched programs on pay TV were:

  1. Family Guy (Fox 8) — 73,000
  2. AFL: AFL 360 (Fox Footy) — 65,000
  3. ICarly (Nickelodeon) — 60,000
  4. House of Anubis (Nickelodeon) — 60,000
  5. The Simpsons (Fox 8) — 59,000

Regional: Origin had a much bigger impact in regional areas because of the rugby league dominance of regional NSW and Queensland. As a result WIN/NBN (3 channels) had a share of 47.2%, with Prime/7Qld on 22.8%, SC Ten (3) was on 14.6%, the ABC (4) was on 10.6% and SBS (2) ended on 6.0%. WIN/NBN won the main channels with a high 42.7%, with Prime/7Qld well back in second with 14.8%. 7TWO won the digitals with 4.1%, with 7mate on 3.8% and Eleven with 3.3%. the 10 digital channels total FTA share last night was 21.3%. WIN/NBN now leads the week with 35.0%, from Prime/7Qld with 28.5%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. State of Origin (the game) — 1.442 million
  2. State of Origin (post match) — 1.195 million
  3. State of Origin (pre match) — 931,000
  4. Seven News — 613,000
  5. The Block — 526,000

Major Metro Markets: The State of Origin gave Nine a win, with victories in Sydney and Brisbane, overall and the main channels. In Melbourne, Seven won overall, but Nine got up in the main channels, thanks to The Block and the Origin game. Seven naturally had big wins in Adelaide and Perth, overall and the main channels. Eleven won Sydney and Brisbane, 7TWO and 7mate won Melbourne, 7TWO and GO won Perth and 7TWO won Adelaide. Nine leads the week in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and will win the week nationally, despite Seven’s big leads in Adelaide and Perth.

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

*Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey