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Test cricket on Gem, The Block on Nine’s main channel — end of night, with Nine the easy and only winner. Apart from that, a night to forget. Steve Smith’s heroics came too late for most people to see, as did the battle between  and Chris Froome in the Tour de France (me included). The cricket (well, the first session) with an assist from The Block, also lifted Nine to a big win in regional markets as well.

The Block dominated with an average of 1.579 million national viewers for the program proper from 7pm to 8pm and then the silly unlocked part from 8pm to 8.30pm. The combined Block had 1.108 million in metro markets and 471,000 in regional markets, which was far and away better than anything else on TV, including the Test cricket.

The Second Ashes Test, session one on Nine had 1.217 million national/ 807,000 metro/ 410,000 regional viewers, and 433,000 watching on Fox Sports 2 for a total countrywide figure of 1.650 million. Session two, when England got on top and James Pattinson and some of the other bowlers lost their way in “level 3 heat” (didn’t they see the ODI in Perth last summer where the temperature was close to 40 degrees? Heat at Lords, hurumph!) only brought in 599,000 national/ 391,000 metro/ 208,000 regional viewers and just 199,000 on Fox Sports 2. The national figure for session two was 798,000 — which was a more than halving of the first session figures. Australians can be such fickle fans, can’t we?

Cricket is often called the national sport, but on TV? Compare these figures with the 4.2 million-plus people who watched game three of the rugby league State of Origin on Wednesday night on Nine and Gem across the country. Yes, a lot of people will watch over the three, four or five days of a Test, but many of those will be the same people, and it’s much tougher to get big audiences when the games are being played offshore and up against high-rating programs elsewhere. There’s nothing like those big football games, especially Origin and the NRL grand final, and the AFR grand final, plus big World Cup Soccer games, to lift viewing numbers.

So don’t forget all the sport over the weekend, all the way through to early Monday morning.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (39.1%)
  2. Seven (23.5%)
  3. ABC (15.6%)
  4. Ten (15.2%)
  5. SBS (6.6%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (22.0%)
  2. Seven (18.1%)
  3. ABC1 (11.5%)
  4. Ten (10.7%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.9%)

Top digital channels: 

  1. Gem (12.9%)
  2. GO (4.1%)
  3. 7TWO (3.5%)
  4. Eleven (3.0%)
  5. ABC2 (2.4%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.880 million
  2. The Block (Nine) — 1.871 million
  3. Seven News — 1.810 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.519 million
  5. ABC1 News — 1.313 million
  6. The Block Unlocked (Nine) — 1.287 million
  7. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.263 million
  8. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.236 million
  9. Test Cricket: session 1 (Gem) — 1.217  million
  10. The Football Show (Nine) — 1.104 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.317 million
  2. The Block (Nine) — 1.276 million
  3.  Seven News — 1.192 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.042 million
  5. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.010 million

Losers:  Viewers of Seven and Ten.Metro news and current affairs:

  1.  Nine News — 1.317 million
  2. Seven News — 1.192 million
  3. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.042 million
  4. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.010 million
  5. ABC1 News — 918,000
  6. 7.30 (ABC1) — 681,000
  7. Ten News — 680,000
  8. The Project (Ten) — 467,000
  9. Ten Late News — 186,000
  10. Lateline/World News Australia (ABC 1, SBS ONE) — 177,000

Metro morning TV:

  1. Today (Nine) – 389,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) – 363,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC1, 60,000, News 24, 29,000) – 89,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox Sports 2 – (6.7%)
  2. Fox 8, Fox Sports 3  – (2.5%)
  3. LifeStyle – (2.4%)
  4. TV1 – (1.9%)
  5. Foxtel Movie Premiere – (1.7%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Cricket: Second Ashes Test, session 1 (Fox Sports 2) – 433,000
  2. Cricket: Second Ashes Test, session 2 (Fox Sports 2) – 199,000
  3. Cricket: Second Ashes Test, pre-match show (Fox Sports 2) – 170,000
  4. The Simpsons (Fox 8) – 101,000
  5. River Cottage Australia (Lifestyle) – 95,000

*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.) Plus network reports.

Peter Fray

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