What weak night. Not one program (except for ABC News) after 7pm had a metro audience of a million or more viewers. That tells us how weak the offerings from the networks, especially Seven, Nine and Ten, were last night. Viewers were not given anything to really grab and watch.

Seven was weak, Nine won by default, Ten did OK, but the bolter was the debut of The Vikings on SBS ONE at 8.30pm — it averaged 769,000 national/ 465,000 metro/ 305,000  regional viewers. Nine won metro markets in all people and in the main channels, in the regions Nine won all people and Seven had a close win in the main channels. But the figures were not anything to write home about.

The MasterChef Masterclass (1.061 million national/ 764,000 metro/ 297,000 regional viewers) was boosted by Heston Blumenthal being the guide and still remains the most interesting part of the series. The lamb roast last night … hmm.

Big Brother — 1.141 million national/825,000 metro/ 316,000 regional viewers. A bit better than Wednesday night, but still well under the magic million level for metro markets. But Home and Away (1.397 million national/ 862,000 metro/ 575,000 viewers) easily accounted for Big Brother over the hour from 7 to 8pm. Catalyst on ABC1 at 8pm had a good night with 1.212 million national/ 799,000 metro/ 423,000 regional viewers. Thanks to the solid regional audience, Catalyst beat Big Brother nationally.

Seven announced this morning that now Mel Doyle has finally left Sunrise, she is going to have to work hard for her money. No only will she co-host the 4.30pm national news on Seven’s main channel with Matt White from Monday August 19, but she will start hosting the national 7pm news on 7TWO (which Mark Ferguson has been fronting this week) from this Monday.

And if you are looking at what to watch this weekend — there’s some footy (AFL and NRL), and there’s the battle of the silicon bat edges at Durham in the 4th Ashes Test on Gem. Sunday night sees  Nine starting the project Seven rejected  — Australia’s Got Talent — head-to-head at 6.30pm with The X Factor. And at 8pm Sunday Night goes head-to-head with 60 Minutes for the first time. And in the biggest PR job seen this year so far, MasterChef goes to Dubai, courtesy of Qantas, which of course is flying to  Dubai and Europe with Emirates.  How is this relevant to cooking in Australia except as a promo for a sponsor?

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (29.2%)
  2. Seven (25.1%)
  3. Ten (14.8%)
  4. ABC (12.3%)
  5. SBS (8.3%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (21.5%)
  2. Nine (18.2%)
  3. Ten (14.8%)
  4. ABC1 (12.4%)
  5. SBS ONE (7.4%)

Top digital channels: 

  1. GO (5.0%)
  2. 7TWO (3.2%)
  3. 7mate, Eleven (3.1%)
  4. ABC2 (2.8%)
  5. Gem (2.7%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.761 million
  2. Nine News — 1.733 million
  3. ABC News — 1.510 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.397 million
  5. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.217 million
  6. Catalyst (ABC1) — 1.212 million
  7. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.183 million
  8. The Footy Show (Nine) — 1.166 million
  9. Big Brother (Nine) — 1.141 million
  10. 7.30 (ABC 1) — 1.126 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.171 million
  2. Seven News — 1.152 million
  3. ABC 1 News — 1.008 million

Losers:  Please Marry My Boy on Seven at 8.30pm – 956,000 national/ 619,000/ 337,000 regional viewers. Formal Wars at 9.30pm on Seven – 762,000 national/ 495,000 metro/ 267,000 regional viewers. Please Marry My Boy is barely alive, Formal Wars is fading rapidly.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.171 million
  2.  Seven News — 1.152 million
  3. ABC News — 1.008 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) — 995,000
  5. Today Tonight (Seven) – 986,000
  6. 7.30 (ABC 1) — 763,000
  7. Ten News At Five — 619,000
  8. The Project (Ten) — 558,000
  9. SBS News — 199,000
  10. Ten Late News — 198,000

Metro morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 359,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 328,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC1, 69,000 + 31,000 on News 24) — 100,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. LifeStyle  (2.8%)
  2. Fox 8  (2.6%)
  3. TV1  (2.5%)
  4. Fox Classics (1.8%)
  5. A&E  (1.7%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. AFL: 360  (Fox Footy) – 113,000
  2. River Cottage Australia (LifeStyle) – 87,000
  3. Selling Houses Australia  (LifeStyle) — 75,000
  4. The Simpsons (Fox 8) – 66,000
  5. Family Guy (Fox 8) – 64,000

*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
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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