A close night in metros with Nine and Seven neck and neck overall and Nine in front in the main channels and in the demos. Seven was an easy winner in the regionals where Nine’s line up just doesn’t click these days, especially Big Brother. And nor did Ten’s line up go down well in regional markets — it was again a very distant fourth.

Second most watched nationally was the second part of the Australian Story two parter on Bob Hawke with 1.474 million national viewers. The ABC had four top 10 programs nationally, underlining its popularity with viewers and the degree to which the Abbott government and putative Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull remain out of touch on budget cuts to the national broadcaster.

I must say Malcolm Turnbull did himself no favours with his tap dancing and evasions on Q&A last night. Forget that it was a mostly rusted-on ABC supporters, they were still entitled to less spin from the Communications Minister who is looking more and more like a dogsbody for the Prime Minister than an independent, likeable politician, which was always his appeal. The only unfair thing about last night is that the real architect of these cuts to the ABC and SBS  — Abbott, his chief of staff Peta Credlin and others at News Corp Australia — don’t have the guts to appear on Q&A and be quizzed by the public for the broken promises and lies. You can give Turnbull a big tick for having the guts to at least appear in public. The solid support from the TV viewing audience last night for Q&A with 1.130 million national viewers easily beat Big Brother on Nine which had 900,000 kiddiwinks watching and addling their brains with the tosh that passes for entertainment. It helped give the ABC a very solid night. The News Corp-aligned Ten Network suffered, again. From 7pm onwards the ABC was either second or first until past 10.30pm. That will no doubt provide more grist for the anti-ABC mill at News Corp.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (27.6%)
  2. Seven (27.5%)
  3. ABC (23.2%)
  4. Ten (18.0%)
  5. SBS (3.7%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (19.6%)
  2. Seven (18.3%)
  3. ABC1 (17.8%)
  4. Ten (11.7%)
  5. SBS ONE (2.9%)

Top digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.7%)
  2. GO (4.9%)
  3. 7mate (3.5%)
  4. ABC2, ONE (3.3%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The Big Bang Theory episode 2 repeat (Nine) — 1.507 million
  2. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.474 million
  3. The Big Bang Theory episode 1 repeat (Nine) — 1.468 million
  4. Nine News  – 1.443 million
  5. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.365 million
  6. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.243 million
  7. Four Corners (ABC) — 1.243 million
  8. Seven News 1.223 million
  9. Nabbed (Seven) — 1.216 million
  10. ABC News 1.207 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The Big Bang Theory ep 2 repeat (Nine) — 1.046 million

Losers: People who missed Q&A, people who watched Big Brother.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Australian Story (ABC 1) — 995,000
  2. Nine News — 987,000
  3. Nine News 6.30 – 971,000
  4. Seven News — 924,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 912,000
  6. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 902,000
  7. Four Corners (ABC) — 857,000
  8. ABC News — 837,000
  9. Q&A (ABC1, 730,000, 90,000 on News 24) — 820,000
  10. Media Watch (ABC1) — 986,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 413,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 284,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 177,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC1,  70,000 + 50,000 on News 24) — 120,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) — 115,000
  6. Studio 1o (Ten) — 65,000

Top pay TV channels:

  1. LifeStyle  (2.5%)
  2. Fox 8  (2.4%)
  3. UKTV , TV1HITS (2.0%)
  4. Nick Jr (1.7%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. The Walking Dead (Fx) – 90,000
  2. The Walking Dead (Fx) – 75,000
  3. Family Guy (Fox8) – 69,000
  4. Family Guy (Fox8) – 69,000
  5. Doc McStuffins (Disney Jr) — 59,000

*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.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey