Thump, whack crack — cricket noises. The first couple of balls of Shane Watson’s innings despatched to the boundary — then yes, the Wobble, as usual. Still, there’s always tonight and the first session will be vital for us fans and for the Nine Network. A fightback and a lead over England will boost Nine’s coverage. If there’s the now usual capitulation and that’s it for Winter and then the return series in summer.

I wondered yesterday if the cricket on GEM would better the ratings for the weak The Mole on Seven. Better? Buried is more like it. The first session of the cricket on GEM averaged 963,000 national/627,000 metro/336,000 regional viewers from around 7.30pm to just after 10pm (around 10.10pm). The Mole at 7.30pm on Seven: 559,000 national/353,000 metro/206,000 regional viewers. A bit like the Australian top-order batting. The second session in the Test from around 10.30pm averaged 467,000 national/314,000 metro/153,000 regional viewers.

The cricket on Fox Sports 2 saw 428,000 watch the first session (a pretty good audience given pay TV only has a 30%-or-so penetration compared to 100% for GEM). The second session had 211,000 viewers — which was also a high figure. All up, 1.391 million people watched the first session of the Test on GEM and Fox and 678,000 watched the second session. That big drop from the first to the second session tells us that Test cricket from the Old Dart in winter is really a one-session wonder because of the time difference — although if Australia was near winning the series in a later Test late at night, the audience would be higher.

Nine’s top order (AKA its main channel) held up against the competition on GEM: The Block at 7.30pm averaged 1.922 million national/1.345 million metro/577,000 regional viewers) and Arrow averaged 861,000 national/558,000 metro/303,000 regional in the non-AFL markets. In the AFL markets Nine showed the meaningless (outside Melbourne) but annual EJ Whitten AFL kick-and-giggle game — it had 645,000 national/497,000 metro/248,000 regional viewers as it slotted neatly into the first session of the Test on the main channel. In fact, it probably cost Nine’s Test coverage in the first session a lot of viewers in AFL markets. How stupid!

Nine naturally won all metro markets and in the regional markets.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (39.2%)
  2. Seven (22.1%)
  3. Ten (17.3%)
  4. ABC (15.6%)
  5. SBS (5.8%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (23.4%)
  2. Seven (15.0%)
  3. Ten (12.9%)
  4. ABC1 (11.1%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.1%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. GEM (12.2%)
  2. 7mate (3.7%)
  3. Go (3.6%)
  4. 7TWO (3.4%)
  5. ABC2 (2.9%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The Block (Nine) — 1.922 million
  2. Nine News — 1.857 million
  3. Seven News — 1.822 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.332 million
  5. ABC1 News — 1.309 million
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.288 million
  7. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.274 million
  8. Hot Seat (Nine) — 1.162 million
  9. MasterChef Australia (Ten) — 1.075 million
  10. 7.30 (ABC1) — 1.001 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The Block (Nine) — 1.345 million
  2. Nine News — 1.235 million
  3. Seven News — 1.201 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.079 million
  5. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.013 million

Losers: The Mole on Seven (see above). The cricket made it hard to assess other programs last night. People who watched the EJ Whitten game on Nine’s main channel instead of the Test cricket.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.235 million
  2. Seven News — 1.201 million
  3. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.079 million
  4. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.013 million
  5. ABC1 News — 905,000
  6. 7.30 (ABC1) — 664,000
  7. Ten News — 681,000
  8. The Project (Ten) — 564,000
  9. SBS News –170,000
  10. Ten Late News — 159,000

Metro Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 327,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 320,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC1) – 57,000 + 41,000 on News 24

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox Sports 2 (7.2%)
  2. Fox 8 – (3.2%)
  3. LifeStyle – (2.2%)
  4. TV1 – (2.0%)
  5. Disney Channel (1.8%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Test Cricket: session 1 (Fox Sports 2) – 428,000
  2. Test Cricket: session 2 (Fox Sports 2) – 211,000
  3. Test Cricket: Pre-match Show  (Fox Sports 2) – 149,000
  4. NCIS  (TV1) – 89,000
  5. Test Cricket: session 3 to 2am (Fox Sports 2) – 89,000

*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.) and network reports.

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Peter Fray
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