The Glenn Dyer breakdown: Seven won the night, but the evening audience for the tennis dipped to just over 720,000 from 7pm to around 10.30pm in metro markets and just over 1.1 million nationally. A weak night and the lowest of the first three days so far. Ten once again ran fourth behind the ABC. The ABC’s repeat of the Queen special at 8.30pm averaged 630,000 metro and 914,000 national viewers.

Ten obviously figures that with Keith Urban recruited to the judging panel of American Idol, the program can get some traction here. Ten management of course haven’t explained to local writers in their PR screeds that American Idol is under growing pressure in the US because of disappearing viewers. In fact the program lost a quarter of its regular season audience in 2012, while the final was watched by an average of just over 21 million people, down nearly 30% from 2011 and well under the 38.1 million all time high in 2003.

And there is the unspoken reason for Ten’s boosting of Idol. It is produced by Fox (and Ten has an exclusive production contract with the network). Fox is of course owned by News Corp, of which Ten chairman and shareholder, Lachlan Murdoch is a director and major shareholder, along with the rest of his family. News Corp (through Fox and Shine) already supply the greater part of Ten’s major programs (Modern Family, MasterChef Australia, for example).

Ten is effectively a satellite broadcaster of the Murdoch family and News Corp, so giving Idol a higher profile here seems commercially sensible from their point of view. All In The Family was the name of a US sitcom from the 1970’s, so we can’t really use it to refer to the Ten-News-Fox-Murdoch axis, can we?

Tonight: Ten of course has American Idol, Seven has the tennis, with Roger Federer on court. Bernard Tomic is due to play the last game on centre court leading up to the 6pm news. Nine has nothing but repeats (it’s running dead), the ABC has Nigella going all Italian in Nigellissima at 8.30pm and then has The Hour at 9.30pm.

The top 10 national programs (metro & regional combined): Remember, there is no Today Tonight, it’s really the second half of the hour-long news special, with a weak TT report thrown into the mix.

  1. Seven News — 1.784 million.
  2. Nine News — 1.626 million.
  3. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.276 million.
  4. ABC1 News — 1.1192 million.
  5. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.181 million.
  6. Big Bang Theory Ep 2 (Nine) — 1.130 million.
  7. Seven’s Tennis: Night 3 — 1.119 million.
  8. Big Bang Theory Ep 1(Nine) — 1.092 million.
  9. 7.30 Summer (ABC1) — 1.026 million.
  10. QI (ABC1) — 966,000.

The Metro Winners:

  1. Seven News — 1.235 million.
  2. Nine News — 1.140 million.
  3. Today Tonight (Seven, 6.30pm) — 1.006 million.

The Losers: Seven continues with the 6 to 7pm news special con. But what was interesting last night was the 230,000 turn off from the news at 6 to 6.30pm to the putative Today Tonight (in reality one weak story around 6.50pm) from 6.30 to 7pm.

Metro News & CA: Remember, there’s no Today Tonight at the moment.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.235 million.
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.140 million.
  3. Today Tonight (Seven, 6.30pm) — 1.006 million.
  4. ABC1 News (7pm) — 837,000.
  5. A Current Affair (Nine, 6.30pm) — 829,000.
  6. 7.30 Summer (ABC1, 7.30pm) –664,000.
  7. Ten News  (Ten, 5pm) — 630,000.
  8. The Project (Ten, 6.30pm) — 456,000.
  9. ABC Late News (ABC1, 10.30pm) –370,000.
  10. SBS News (6.30pm) — 141,000.
  11. SBS Late News (10.30pm) 102,000.
  12. The Drum (News 24, 10pm repeat) — 34,000.

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven, 7am) — 360,000.
  2. Today (Nine, 7am) — 297,000.
  3. Mornings Summer (Nine, 9am) — 149,000.
  4. News Breakfast (ABC1, 7am) — 54,000 + 27,000 on News 24.

Metro FTA: Seven (three channels) won with a share of 29.1% from Nine (three) on 27.0%, the ABC (four) was on 20.1%, Ten (three) ended with 16.5% and SBS (three) was on 7.3%. Seven leads the week with 31.3% from Nine on 26.7%, the ABC is on 18.8%, and Ten is on 16.4%. Main Channels: Seven won with a share of 21.6% from Nine on 18.9%, ABC1 was on 15.0%, Ten was on 9.6% and SBS ONE, 6.0%. Seven leads the week with 24.1% from Nine on 19.3%, ABC1 on 13.4% and Ten on 10.0%.

Metro Digital: Gem won with a share of 4.9% from Eleven on 4.0%, 7mate on 3.9%, 7TWO on 3.5%, ABC2, 3.2%, GO, 3.1%, ONE, 2.9%, SBS TWO, 1.2%, News 24, 1.1%, ABC3, 0.7% and NITV, 0.1%. The 11 digital channels had an FTA share last night of 28.6%. 7TWO still leads with week with 4.0%, from Gem, on 3.8% and GO on 3.7%.

Metro including pay TV: Seven (three channels) won with a share of 22.8% from Nine (three) on 21.1%, the ABC (four) was on 15.7%, Ten (three) ended with 12.9% and SBS (three) was on 5.7%. The 16 FTA channels had a total viewing share last night of 79.9%. The 11 digital channels share was 22.6%, the five main channels share was 57.3%. Pay TV’s share jumped to 20.1% thanks to the 200 channels or more on Foxtel where viewing was again dominated by a Big Bash cricket game, this time the semi-final (rain-affected) won by the Perth Scorchers off the last ball against the Melbourne Stars. It averaged almost 370,000 viewers

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. Fox Sports 2 — 6.8%.
  2. Fox8 — 3.7%.
  3. Disney — 2.1%.
  4. TV1 — 2.0%.
  5. LifeStyle — 1.9%.

The five most-watched programs on pay TV were:

  1. Cricket: Big Bash (Fox Sports 2) — 369,000.
  2. Cricket: World Series Classics (FS2) — 137,000.
  3. Cricket: Before The Bash (FS2) — 115,000.
  4. Coronation Street (UKTV) — 71,000.
  5. The Simpsons (Fox8) — 57,000.

Regional: Prime/7Qld (three channels) won with a share of 33.3% from WIN/NBN (three) on 28.9%, the ABC (four) was on 19.0%, SC Ten (three) ended with 12.7% and SBS (three) was on 6.2%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 22.6%, from WIN/NBN on 20.3%, ABC1 was on 13.5% and SC Ten ended with 6.2%. The digitals were won by 7mate on 6.4%, Gem with 5.8%, 7TWO was next with 4.3%. The 11 digital channels (including NITV) had a total FTA share last night of a high 32.6%. Prime/7Qld leads the week with 32.9% from WIN/NBN on 30.7%, the ABC on 16.7% and SC Ten on 13.9%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. Seven News — 551,000.
  2. Nine News — 488,000.
  3. ACA — 447,000.
  4. Tennis Night 3 — 395,000.
  5. Big Bang Theory Ep 1 — 366,000.

Major Metro Markets: A clean sweep for Seven bar the main channels in Brisbane where Nine, but Seven won the main channels. Apart from that Nine and the ABC/ABC1 made up the minor placings. The digitals were won by Gem with wins in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Meanwhile, 7mate won Adelaide. Seven leads the week everywhere from Nine and the ABC except Brisbane where Ten still clings to third spot.

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

Source: Oztam, TV Networks data

Peter Fray

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