The Glenn Dyer breakdown: Nine’s night, with Pay TV in second, but both saw their shares fall sharply. Nine’s dipped (on an FTA basis) to 40%, from 45.8%, on Sunday night and 51.7% on Saturday (which was high because it was the first day of competition). Pay TV’s share has fallen from 25.2% last Saturday night to 21.3% on Sunday night and 19.6% last night.

MasterChef All Stars, 826,000 metro viewers and 1.12 million nationally from 7pm on Ten. Not a bad result. However its stablemate, The Shire, had just  537,000 metro viewers and just 708,000 nationally. Hit by the Games, hurrah! Another bright idea from Ten dies a slow death.

The ABC’s line up was only mildly impacted and it had enough to just beat Ten in the main channel and overall, into third spot. Australian Story and Four Corners both had more than a million viewers each nationally last night. In fact it was the ABC’s night in many respects, given that we always knew Nine would be dominant.

Games update: Nine’s coverage averaged 2.493 million nationally from 6.50pm to 11.30pm, around half a million less than the 2.988 million for the evening sessions on Sunday night. The early evening averaged 2.681 million, averaged 2.250 million. In metro areas the coverage averaged around 1.603 million (1.819 million in the early evening and 1.514 million for the evening session).

In regional areas the early coverage averaged 862,000 and 737,000 for the evening session. Still solid. Friday looms as an interesting test when the NRL on Nine is switched to Gem for the evening. The AFL game is a blockbuster, Hawthorn v Geelong, on Seven in the AFL markets and 7mate in Sydney and Brisbane. Both will test some sporting loyalties and interest.

Commentary: The usual collection of moans and groans are emerging about the TV coverage on Nine. Well, many of the critics should get over it, because they are no different to the moans and groans heard when Ten had the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Nine had the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and when Seven had the Olympics in 2008, 2004 and back to 1992. Yes the Nine coverage focuses on Australia, because it is broadcasting to Australia, yes the commentary is variable (isn’t all commentary variable, no matter whether it is AFL, NRL, cricket or politics or TV?). But much of it we have heard before.

But some of the criticism is valid because Nine is simulcasting its main channel coverage on its digital channel, Gem, and forgoing the chance to increase the scope of its coverage. Why this is being done is a mystery. The best bet in TV land is that there is an agreement with Foxtel, its partner, not to compete via a second channel with Foxtel’s eight Olympic channels.

Other valid moans include the performance of Karl Stefanovic. When will he and Nine realise that the evening broadcasts of the Games are not the Today Show. That means the pace has to be different, not as staccato as on Today. And instead of trying to wind up commentators and experts talking about performances Karl, you let them talk a while longer. It’s why they are there.

Finally, why is Foxtel so shy in releasing daily reports on audience figures for the channels, either collective or individual? They seem to be doing well, the Pay TV business is having a good games, judging by the second place shares on Saturday, Sunday and last night behind Nine. But it seems unwilling (unlike Nine, Ten, Seven, the ABC and SBS) to detail its daily performance. So why not tell the story?

The eight channels are in a group in the Pay TV industry’s ratings as “Other subscription channels”, which are never broken out in the daily ratings received from the Pay TV industry. Until the details of the Pay TV channels ratings are released, the Pay TV rankings for the individual channels is meaningless. Why can’t Foxtel release the figures for the duration of the games through the Pay TV industry group ASTRA? Or is it scared of publicity, which is odd because it is because it has a good story. It’s time for Foxtel to grow up and join the big boys and girls in the FTA sector when it comes to the disclosure and transparency of ratings.

Tonight: More Games on Nine across the country. Ten has more MasterChef All Stars (and Being Lara Bingle). Foreign Correspondent is back on ABC 1 at 8pm. Seven has another Once Upon a Time and Winners & Losers, which needs some changing. SBS ONE has Insight and Dateline from 8.30pm

The top 10 national programs (metro & regional combined): A Current Affair was pre-empted in Adelaide, Perth and in regional markets because of the Games coverage on Nine by WIN.

  1. The Olympic Games (early evening) (Nine) — 2.681 million
  2. The Olympic Games (evening) (Nine) —   2.250 million
  3. Nine News — 2.207 million
  4. Seven News — 1.830 million
  5. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.418 million
  6. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.344 million
  7. ABC News — 1.245 million
  8. Once Upon a Time (Seven) — 1.185 million
  9. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.135 million
  10. MasterChef All Stars (Ten) — 1.120 million

The Metro Winners:

  1. The Olympic Games (early evening) (Nine) (6.50pm) — 1.819 million
  2. The Olympic Games (evening) (Nine) (8.30pm) — 1.514 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.484 million
  4. Seven News (6pm) — 1.256 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine,) (6.30pm) — 1.136 million
  6. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.097 million

The Losers: No one really … oh well. Nine viewers who want to watch sport and not the endless promotions for the network’s Spring catalogue.

Metro News & CA: Nine News won everywhere bar Perth where not even the games could help Nine beat the entrenched Seven News.

  1. Nine News (6pm)– 1.484 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.256 million
  3. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.136 million
  4. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.097 million
  5. ABC News (7pm) — 862,000
  6. Australian Story (ABC) (8pm) — 742,000
  7. Ten News (5pm) — 729,000
  8. Media Watch (ABC 1, 9.20 – 9.35 pm) — 729,000
  9. Four Corners (ABC 1, 8.30 – 9.20 pm) — 723,000
  10. 7.30 (ABC) (7.30pm) — 609,000
  11. Q&A (ABC) (9.35pm) — 543,000
  12. The Project (Ten) (6.30pm) — 536,000
  13. The Project (Ten) (6pm) — 393,000
  14. Lateline (ABC) (10.35pm) — 227,000
  15. Ten News (10.30pm) — 162,000
  16. SBS News (6.30pm) — 150,000
  17. The Business (ABC) (11.10pm) — 94,000
  18. SBS News (10.30pm) — 51,000
  19. The Drum (News 24) (6pm) — 32,000

*On News 24 simulcast

In the morning: Today is pre-empted for Nine’s games coverage which had 530,000 viewers from 6am to 9am. Mornings has also been pre-empted and the games wrap had 394,000 viewers. Ten’s Breakfast jumped to 55,000, hours before it was cut by half an hour and The Circle axed by Ten management.

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 336,000
  2. The Morning Show (Seven) (9am) — 145,000
  3. The Circle (Ten) (9am) — 52,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC) (6am) — 43,000 ( 35,000)*
  5. Breakfast (Ten) (7am) — 55,000

*On News 24 simulcast

Metro FTA: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 40.0% from Seven (3) on 22.9%, the ABC (4) was on 16.9%, just in front of Ten (3) on 16.7% and SBS (2) ended with 3.6%. Nine leads the week with 42.9% from Seven on 22.4% and Ten on 16.3%. Main Channels: Nine won with a share of 36.4% from Seven on 17.2%, ABC 1 was on 12.9%, Ten was on 11.6% and SBS ONE was on 3.1%. Nine leads the week with 39.2% from Seven on 17.2%, Ten was on 11.4% and ABC 1 was on 11.1%.

Metro Digital: 7TWO won with 3.3%, from GO on 3.1%, Eleven was on 2.7%, ONE was on 2.4%, 7mate was on 2.3%, ABC 2 was on 2.2%, ABC 3 was on 0.9%, News 24 was on 0.8% and Gem and SBS ONE were on 0.5% each. The 10 digital channels FTA share last night was 18.7%. 7TWO leads the week with 3.2% from GO on 3.1% and ONE on 2.5%.

Metro including Pay TV: Nine (3 channels) won with a share of 31.3% from Seven (3) on 17.9%, the ABC (4) was on 13.1%, as was Ten. SBS (2) ended with 2.8%. Pay TV (200 plus channels) had a share of 19.6%.

The top five pay TV channels were: The eight Foxtel Olympic channels are in the first group, but not broken out. Without knowing that we can’t give program rankings for Pay TV.

  1. Other Subscription TV Channels  — 25.5%
  2. Fox Sports 2 — 2.8%
  3. Fox 8 — 2.3%
  4. TV1 — 1.4%
  5. LifeStyle — 1.2%

Regional: WIN/NBN (3 channels) won with a share of 40.5%, from Prime/7Qld (3) on 24.5%, with SC Ten (3) on 15.5%, the ABC (4) on 15.3%, and SBS (2) on 4.2%. WIN/NBN won the main channels with 37.6% from Prime/7Qld on 16.9%%, ABC 1 was on 11.0% and SC Ten ended with 9.6%. 7TWO won the digitals with 4.7%, from ONE on 3.1%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share of 21.2%. WIN/NBN lead the week with 43.9% from Prime/7Qld on 24.5%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. The Olympic Games (early evening) (Nine) — 862,000
  2. The Olympic Games (evening) (Nine) — 737,000
  3. Nine News — 722,000
  4. Seven News — 574,000
  5. WIN News — 468,000

Major Metro Markets: As expected, Nine had another clean sweep, although the winning margins in Perth and Adelaide have narrowed noticeably. Seven was second and the ABC and ABC 1 were mostly third except in Adelaide where Ten was third overall and the main channels, and in Sydney and Brisbane where Ten was third overall. 7TWO won the digitals in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. GO won them in Melbourne and Brisbane. Nine leads the week everywhere.

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

*Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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