The Glenn Dyer breakdown: What a contrast last night: on Nine, the one day international cricket was stuck at the SGC, with no movement as play was marooned by heavy drizzle; in Melbourne, top seed Novak Djokovic was struggling to fight back in the Australian Open Tennis (which he finally did in the early hours of this morning) while on Ten, MasterChef Australia went all professional with Marco Pierre White, a top chef from London.

For Nine the no result was an inconvenience, for Seven, the 302 minute game saw the popular top seed finally move into the quarter finals, and for Ten? Will MasterChef’s early appearance last night in a familiar, but changed contest, help Ten from the trough of ratings despair and into the uplands of sunny profits in 2013? All that talk of a “nasty” side to MasterChef in Ten’s promos seems to have been a beat up. White didn’t seem like a bear last night.

Because of a ratings hiccup, Ten had to wait two hours this morning to find out that MasterChef Professionals debuted with more than OK figures in the five metro markets: 1.17 million, and top program in 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54s, so it met all the requirements. But the 1.17 million was hardly a figure to really boast about: other new programs have started with audiences several hundred thousand to a million-plus in viewers in the five metro markets, so let’s get some perspective here.

Nationally there was a handy audience of more than 1.5 million viewers for MasterChef Professionals, which is not to be sneezed at. It was Ten’s best performance since around August of last year and it managed to get up into second place, ahead of Nine.

Ten said it won the night in under 50s from 6.30 to 10.30pm. The reality is that Nine’s 6pm news had more viewers in metro and national markets (but for only half an hour), and more than 1.2 million people (nationally) watched Djokovic battle for just over five hours on Seven, which outweighed the solid national audience for the first episode of MasterChef Professionals. An average 1.293 million watched the game from 7pm to around 10.30pm, and most of that (1.208 million) stayed until just after 1am today. That recalled the final of the 2012 open won by Djokovic against Raffa Nadal.

Tonight: More tennis on Seven. The ABC has very little of interest, a repeat of QI perhaps. Nine likewise has not much of interest (two repeats of The Mentalist). Ten has MasterChef Professionals.

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

  1. Nine News — 2.188 million.
  2. Seven News — 1.745 million.
  3. MasterChef Professionals (ten) — 1.525 million.
  4. ODI cricket session one (Nine) — 1.457 million.
  5. Australian Open Tennis — Night (Seven) — 1.293 million.
  6. Australian Open Tennis — Late (Seven) — 1.208 million.
  7. ABC1 News (7pm) — 1.146 million.
  8. ODI cricket session two (Nine) — 982,000.
  9. Restoration Home (ABC1) — 964,000.
  10. Upstairs/Downstairs (ABC1) — 947,000.

The Metro Winners:

  1. Nine News (6pm) — 1.501 million.
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.243 million.
  3. MasterChef Professionals (Ten, 7.30pm) — 1.165 million.

The Losers: Anyone who don’t like cricket or cooking shows.

Metro News & CA:

  1. Nine News (6pm) — 1.501 million.
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.243 million.
  3. ABC1 News (7pm) — 761,000.
  4. Ten News (5pm) — 480,000.
  5. SBS News (6.30pm) — 177,000.

In the morning:

  1. Weekend Today (Nine, 8am) — 323,000.
  2. Weekend Sunrise (Seven, 8am) — 315,000.

Metro FTA: Seven (three channels) won with a share of 35.8%, from Nine (three) on 22.8%, Ten (three) was third on 21.8%, the ABC (four) was on 14.1% and SBS (three) ended on 5.6%. Main Channels: Seven won easily with a share of 26.4%, from ten with 16.5%, Nine was on 15.75, ABC1 was on 10.3% and SBS ONE ended on 4.6%.

Metro Digital: 7TWO won with a share of 5.1% from 7mate on 4.4%, GO was on 4.2%, ONE was on 3.1%, gem was on 3.0%, Eleven was on 2.2%, ABC2, 2.1%, News 24, 1.1%, SBS TWO, 0.7%, ABC 3, 0.6%, and NITV was on 0.3%. The 11 FTA digital channels had a total viewing share last night of 26.8%.

Metro including Pay TV: Seven (three channels) won easily with a share of 29.5% from Nine (three) on 18.8%, Ten (three) was on 17.9%, the ABC (four) was on 11.6% and SBS (three) ended on 4.6%. The 16 FTA channels had a total viewing share last night of 84.7%, made up of 22.1% for the 11 digital channels and 62.6% for the five main channels. The share of the 200 plus channels on Foxtel dipped to 15.3% last night for Pay TV.

Regional: Prime/7Qld (three channels) won easily thanks to the tennis, with a share of 35.7% from WIN/NBN (three) on 26.0%, SC Ten (three) was on 17.5%, the ABC (four) was on 14.7% and SBS (three) ended on 6.1%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 23.1% from WIN/NBN on 16.7%, SC Ten was third with 11.4% and ABC1 was on 10.4%. 7mate won the digitals with 8.1% from Gem on 4.7% and GO and 7TWO on 4.5% each. The 11 digital channels had a total FTA share last night of a very high 33.7%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. Nine News — 611,000.
  2. ODI cricket session one — 511,000.
  3. Seven News — 504,000.
  4. Australian Open tennis — night session — 410,000.
  5. ABC1 News (7pm) — 384,000

Major Metro Markets: A clean sweep for Seven, thanks to the tennis. Nine was second and Ten third everywhere bar in Brisbane when they swapped places, and in Perth where the same happened, and in Adelaide where Ten jumped to second in its best night for ages. In the digitals, GO won Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Meanwhile, 7mate won Melbourne, but 7TWO had a huge win in Perth with the tennis which pushed it to the top of the pile in the five metro markets.

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

Source: Oztam, TV Networks data

Peter Fray

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