The Glenn Dyer breakdown: Call it the curse of the Murdochs, call it bad luck, call it bad management, but whatever the reason, the Ten Network is being strangled by the dud performance of the Murdoch family TV production arms, Shine and Fox. Last night was yet another chapter in this sorry story for 2013. American Idol, the flagship in the US for Fox, has been an unmitigated disaster for Ten here. It averaged just 329,000 metro and 437,000 national viewers last night. When it started it was getting more viewers in the metro markets than its national audience last night.

The night before, Glee, a former high-flier for Ten from Fox, averaged 269,000 metro and 371,000 national viewers. MasterChef: The Professionals has been a declining performer for Ten (It’s from Shine, the TV production arm Daddy Murdoch bought from daughter Liz). Ten finished fourth in all people in metro and regional markets last night and copped a pasting in the major demographics from Seven and Nine. The ABC is doing better in all people (which isn’t Ten’s target), but the national broadcaster is simply programming and scheduling smarter than Ten.

Some of the figures for Glee and Idol are no better than Everybody Dance Now (hosted by Sarah Murdoch), which was Ten’s big disaster in 2012, and I Will Survive, a local production that flopped last year. Shine was of course the producer of The Renovators, Ten’s big flop of 2011.

Ten’s board and management can take some of the blame for this, but ultimate responsibility must lie with chairman Lachlan Murdoch. The related-party production deals with Shine and Fox are costing Ten well over $120 million a year, and at the moment, they are not delivering.

Elsewhere last night, Seven won easily, with My Kitchen Rules averaging more than 1.8 million metro and 2.7 million national viewers. And that was the night.

Tonight: There will be what looks like a good documentary on SBS ONE called The Christchurch Earthquake at 8.30pm. Better Homes and Gardens is on Seven. The Dr Blake Mysteries is on ABC1, and The Living Room on Ten at 9.30pm, pushed out to an unfriendly time by the dud known as American Idol. Nine has movies after The Block All Stars. Watch the Australia India Test on pay TV.

Saturday: A terrible night. Go out, go to sleep or read a book. Watch the Super Rugby or the Australian India Test on Pay TV.

Sunday: The morning chats. Landline at Noon. Watch the Australia India Test on Pay TV.  Midsomer Murders will be on ABC1. Downton Abbey airs on Seven after Sunday Night. Nine has 60 Minutes and The Block All Stars. MasterChef: The Professionals will be on Ten, and then Elementary.

Over in the US, on Wednesday night Fox won the US ratings, but American Idol fell to a new all-time low of 14.24 million (on an overnight basis). No wonder Fox’s ratings this year are down around 18%.

And still on ratings, US reports say that ratings group Nielsen will be including streaming in its statistics from September. A meeting in New York on Tuesday of TV executives and Nielsen agreed to include the streaming of programs from services such ads Netflix and Amazon Instant Video for the new 2013-14 season’s ratings. Nielsen has already tried the system on Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. Tablets and other mobile devices can’t be measured as yet, but Nielsen and others are working on technology to try and capture some of their use.

Although streaming is not a big deal in Australia, it is growing. Nielsen does the ratings here for Oztam (owned by Seven, Ten and Nine). We could get the new measurement system in 2014 once the technology is bedded down. That will be vital for advertisers and the networks and program makers in measuring the performance of programs, placement of ads and finding out just who is watching, where and when.

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

  1. My Kitchen Rules (Seven) — 2.727 million.
  2. Nine News — 1.634 million.
  3. Seven News — 1.607 million.
  4. The Block All Stars (Nine) — 1.466 million.
  5. Home and Away (Seven) — 1353 million.
  6. ABC1 News — 1.340 million.
  7. Bones (Seven) — 1.338 million.
  8. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.161 million.
  9. 7.30 (ABC 1) — 1.082 million.
  10. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.052 million.

The metro winners:

  1. My Kitchen Rules (Seven, 7.30pm) — 1.862 million.
  2. Nine News (6pm) — 1.118 million.
  3. Seven News  (6pm) — 1.063 million.

The losers: Ten, just terrible. Nine’s Hot Property at 8 pm, it returned to just 564,000 metro and 835,000 national viewers. An average performance and it failed to lever off The Block. Maybe it will lift next week if viewers realise it is there.Metro news  and current affairs: Nine News whipped Seven News in Melbourne by a huge 194,000, 438,000 to 244,000, offsetting Seven’s 119,000 margin in Perth.

  1. Nine News (6pm) — 1.118 million.
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.063 million.
  3. Today Tonight (Seven, 6.30pm) — 933,000.
  4. A Current Affair (Nine, 6.30 pm) — 889,000.
  5. ABC1 News (7pm) — 870,000.
  6. 7.30 (ABC1) — 656,000.
  7. Ten News(5pm) — 578,000.
  8. The Project (Ten, 6.30pm) — 414,000.
  9. Ten Late News (10.30pm) — 190,000.
  10. Lateline (ABC 10.30pm) — 187,000.
  11. SBS ONE News (6.30pm) — 165,000.
  12. The Business (ABC1, 11.05pm, rot) — 111,000 + 24,000 on News 24.
  13. SBS ONE Late News (SBS ONE, 10.30pm) — 80,000.
  14. The Drum (News 24, 10pm, rot) — 59,000.

Metro including Pay TV:

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. Fox 8, TV1 — 2.8%.
  2. LifeStyle — 2.5%.
  3. A&E — 2.4%.
  4. Sky News — 1.8%.
  5. Discovery, UKTV — 1.7%.

The five most-watched programs on pay TV were:

  1. The Simpsons (Fox 8) — 112,000.
  2. Family Guy (Fox 8) — 89,000.
  3. Chicago Fire (Fox 8) — 66,000.
  4. Coronation Street (UKTV) — 65,000.
  5. Futurama (Fox 8) — 64,000.

In the morning: A win for Today, again.

  1. Today (Nine, 7am) — 374,000.
  2. Sunrise (Seven, 7am) — 362,000.
  3. The Morning Show (Seven, 9am) — 143,000.
  4. Mornings (Nine, 9am) — 129,000.
  5. News Breakfast (ABC1, 7am) — 51,000 + 37,000 on News 24.


Metro free to air: Seven (three channels) won with a share of 34.4% from Nine (three) on 26.1%, the ABC (four) was on 17.5%, Ten (three) ended on 16.4% and SBS (three) was on 5.6%. Seven leads the week with 33.5%, from Nine on 27.6%, the ABC is on 17.8 % and Ten is on 15.3%.

Main channels: Seven won with a share of 27.2%, from Nine on 19.4%, ABC1 was on 12.4%, Ten was on 9.5% and SBS ONE ended on 4.9%. Seven leads the week with 27.3%, from Nine on 22.3%, ABC 1 14.1% and Ten on 10.7%.

Metro digital: GO won with 4.2%, from 7TWO on 4%, Eleven on 3.5%, ONE on 3.4%, 7mate on 3.2%, ABC2 on 3%. Gem was on 2.5%, News 24 ended on 1.2%, ABC3 had 1%, SBS TWO, 0.6% and NITV was on 0.1%. The 11 channels had an FTA share last night of 26.7%. So far 7TWO leads the week with 3.5%, from Gem on 2.7% and GO and 7mate on 2.6%.

Metro including pay TV: Seven (three channels) won with a share of 28.4% from Nine (three) on 22.3%, the ABC (four) was on 14.5%, Ten (three) ended on 13.5% and SBS (three) was on 4.6%. The 16 free-to-air channels had a viewing share last night of 84.7% with the 11 digital channels’ share totalling 22.0% and the five main channels share totalling 62.7%. Pay TV’s share was 15.3% based on the 200-plus channels on Foxtel.

Regional: Prime/7Qld (three channels) won with a share of 38.9% from WIN/NBN (three) on 26.8%, the ABC (4) was on 16.6%, SC Ten (three) ended on 12.6% and SBS (three) was on 5.1%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 28.1%, from WIN/NBN on 19.7%, ABC 1 was on 12.1% and SC Ten was on 6.5%. The digitals were won by 7mate with 5.6%, from 7TWO with 5.2% and GO on 4.8%. The 11 digital channels had a free-to-air share last night of a high 29.4%. Prime/7Qld leads the week with 36%, from WIN/NBN on 28.6%, the ABC is on 16.6% and SC Ten is on 14.5%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. My Kitchen Rules — 864,000.
  2. Seven News — 546,000.
  3. Nine News — 516,000.
  4. Bones — 487,000.
  5. The Block All Stars — 485,000.

Major metro markets: A clean sweep for Seven (overall and the main channels) with Nine second and the ABC/ABC1 third everywhere bar overall in Adelaide, where Ten hung on. GO won the digitals in Sydney and Melbourne, ABC 2 won Brisbane, 7TWO won Adelaide by a big margin, as did ONE in Perth. Seven leads the week everywhere, Nine is second and Ten and the ABC are fighting it out for third spot.

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

Source: Oztam, TV Networks data