The NRL was on Nine last night, and the AFL kicks off on Seven and Foxtel tonight, but there was another blood sport on show yesterday and last night — frenetic lemming-like charge of the electronic media to cover the leadership brawl (which many had been egging on for days, helped by the analogue print media, such as Fairfax’s Peter Hartcher). Brawling over the the leadership of the ALP and the Australian government is always ugly and immensely coverable by the TV and radio networks (which journalist asked the government spokesman  after the caucus meeting the apology question when all the journos wanted was stuff from the party room? Talk about a dopey question), and it was no different yesterday. Ten best exemplified that. While the PM was calling the party meeting for 4.30pm, it was showing Ready Steady Cook from 2pm, then it went to Judge Judy (that’s right, not Judge Julia), and then suddenly out came news releases telling the world there would be a special 4.30pm news broadcast and the 5pm news would start later and end around 6.30pm. Stop the presses, shock horror looms, Ten discovers news as content and pre-empts The Bold and the Beautiful (and saw its 4.30pm to 5pm audience drop from over 400,000 normally to 237,000 in metro markets).

The ABC, News 24, Seven, Nine and Sky News went crazy with blanket coverage that added nothing to our understanding until Kevin Rudd said he wasn’t standing, and then there were all these hours of TV time to fill with what ifs and what happened, who’s stuffed and who’s been stiffed. The one stand-out was Insiders host Barry Cassidy, who, on News 24, rightly tore apart Simon Crean’s arabesque with pike, coolly nailed Rudd’s lack of the numbers (all well before 4.30pm) and all but told us to take a Bex and not worry.

More important was the solid debut for The Checkout on ABC1 at 8pm. It had million 1.169 million/ 795,000 metro/ 373,000 regional viewers, which isn’t bad for a program like this on a Thursday night. It zipped along, was entertaining, and stuck the knife in (especially to the TGA and Swisse vitamins group).

Down in Victoria, fans of the Melbourne Storm watched their TVs in the vain hope that somehow someone at Nine would flick a switch and they could watch their team hold out a fast-finishing Canterbury (and moan about some appalling refereeing decisions). But to no avail.

Network share:

  1. Nine (29.4%)
  2. Seven (28.4%)
  3. ABC  (19.4%)
  4. Ten (17.2%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.7%)

Main channels: 

  1. Nine (22.0%)
  2. Seven (21.1%)
  3. ABC1 (13.5%)
  4. Ten (10.9%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.0%)

Top five digitals:

  1. GO (5.0%)
  2. 7TWO (4.1%)
  3. 7mate, ABC 2 (3.3%)
  4. Eleven (3.2%0
  5. ONE (3.0%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  – 1.624 million
  2. Nine News – 1.526 million
  3. Home and Away (Seven) 1.359 million
  4. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.217 million
  5.  ABC1 News — 1.195 million
  6. Bones (Seven) — 1.185 million
  7. The Checkout (ABC1) — 1.169 million
  8. 7.30 (ABC1) — 1.076 million
  9. The Footy Shows (Nine) — 1.038 million
  10. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.037 million

Metro winners:

  1. Seven News — 1.074 million
  2. Nine News — 1.024 million

Losers: No one really — no, the network newsrooms, which wondered what all the rushing around earlier in the day was all about. Put the ABC at the top of the list for overkill-itis. the ABC was saved by The Checkout and Kangaroo Dundee. 

Metro/Regionals: Nine won the metros thanks to big wins in Sydney and Melbourne. Seven won the rest, including NRL-mad Brisbane. Nine won the regions thanks to the NRL rating well for WIN/NBN. The ABC was third and Ten (SC Ten) was again fourth.

News and current affairs:

  1. Seven News – 1.074 million
  2. Nine News – 1.024 million
  3. Today Tonight (Seven) — 983,000
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) – 896,000
  5. ABC1 News  – 798,000
  6. 7.30 (ABC 1) — 710,000
  7. Ten News 534,000
  8. The Project (Ten) –489,000
  9. Lateline (ABC1) — 222,000
  10. Ten Late News — 150,000

Morning TV:

  1. Today (Seven) – 349,000
  2. Sunrise (Nine) – 347,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC1) – 57,000 + 20,000 on News 24

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Sky News – 3.3%
  2. LifeStyle – 2.8%
  3. Fox 8  – 2.4%
  4. TV1 – 2.1%.
  5. Discovery – 1.6%

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Paul Murray Live (Sky  News) – 83,000
  2. Grand Designs (LifeStyle) – 81,000
  3. PM Agenda  (Sky News) – 77,000
  4. PM Agenda (Sky News) – 77,000
  5. Showbiz (Sky News) – 72,000

Tonight: AFL on Seven and Foxtel, Better Homes and Gardens on Seven in non-AFL markets. NRL on Nine in the north, in AFL markets Nine has three repeats of The Big Bang Theory and a tired movie repeat. ABC1 has Dr Blake’s Mysteries. Ten has The Living Room and then double episodes of American Idol (don’t worry about it, it’s dying on air). Seven has a certain horse running at half-time in the AFL. Foxtel also has the Test cricket from India, Super Rugby  and A-League soccer.

Saturday: AFL on Seven in various markets and Foxtel. ABC1 has The Paradise and Inspector Gently returns. NRL is on Foxtel, as is the fourth Test cricket, the A-League soccer and the Super Rugby. Fresh Bondi Vets on Ten. Nine has movies to ignore, as does Seven.

Sunday: Morning chats (The Bolt Report and Meet The Press are back on Ten). NRL on Nine and Foxtel, A-League soccer on Foxtel, Super Rugby and the fourth cricket Test (hopefully) as well. Sunday Night and Downton Abbey for Seven. 60 Minutes for Nine. Call The Widwife returns to ABC1 at 8.30pm, and Ten has Elementary, and if you can withstand the pain, The Biggest Loser.


*Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2013. The data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM. (All shares on the basis of combined overnight 6pm to midnight all people) Plus network reports.