Never underestimate the value of pre-publicity. It helps — last night’s TV ratings underline that simple fact. Nine debuted its semi-controversial Married At First Sight last night and the publicity ahead of the program (which I don’t especially like — I am the wrong demo, I think) did the trick and it had nearly 1.6 million national viewers. Nine won the metros last night quite easily and almost tied the regionals with Seven, where Ten again finished a weak fourth behind the ABC (although ABC was just behind Ten’s main channel), reversing the placings in the metros. Despite that, Ten is still well above the lows of last year. Masterchef Australia did well, out-rating Married at First Sight, Reno Rumble and House Rules in metro markets, but not in the regionals. House Rules easily beat Reno Rumble in the regions, 504,000 to 276,000 (Reno Rumble’s house reveals are tonight, not last night, as reported yesterday). Masterchef Australia had 305,000, so the 446,000 viewers for Married At First Sight was a solid start.

And 7.30 and host Leigh Sales can thank Malcolm Turnbull and his intemperate attack on her on The Bolt Report on Ten on Sunday for a nice to boost to viewing last night. 7.30 saw around 180,000 extra viewers tune in last night —  its national figure was 1.221 million and a top 10 program (1.042 million a week ago, and out of the top 10) and its metro audience was 852,000 against 732,000 a year ago. Last night’s national audience was also nearly 400,000 more than the audience for 7.30’s post-budget discussion last Tuesday night and 170,000 more than Joe Hockey’s speech. Thanks Mal. Obviously TV viewers don’t share your sensitivity, you politician, you.

Turnbull also criticised the interviewing techniques of Lateline host, Emma Alberici. But there was no impact on Lateline’s audience last night on ABC and News 24 which totalled 440,000, down 8,000 from last week. But Lateline’s audience depends more on the size of the audiences for ABC programs ahead of it. And the ABC cut the budget and split the broadcasting schedule of Lateline to 9.30pm on News 24 and then a repeat an hour later on ABC.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (29.2%)
  2. Seven (24.8%)
  3. Ten (21.2%)
  4. ABC (19.4%)
  5. SBS (5.4%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (21.8%)
  2. Seven (17.3%)
  3. Ten (15.6%)
  4. ABC 1 (15.4%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.3%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (4.2%)
  2. GO (3.9%)
  3. Gem (3.5%)
  4. 7mate (3.3%)
  5. Eleven (3.0%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Nine News – 1.771 million
  2. Married At First Sight (Nine) — 1.580 million
  3. Seven News — 1.523 million
  4. Masterchef Australia (Ten) – 1.434 million
  5. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.406 million
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.348 million
  7. ABC News — 1.339 million
  8. House Rules (Seven) — 1.283 million
  9. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.221 million
  10. Nine News 6.30 — 1.184 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.275 million
  2. Nine News 6.30 — 1.184 million
  3. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.172 million
  4. Seven News — 1.171 million
  5. Married At First Sight (Nine) — 1.134 million
  6. Masterchef Australia (Ten) — 1.129 million
  7. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.097 million

Losers: Anyone who stayed with Married At First Sight until the end. Even though it did very well in the ratings, it left a sad thought in my mind. Now will people return next week? They probably will. It had more than decent support in regional markets as well. Next Nine returns Farmer wants A Wife (truly) after canning it last year in favour of the passion bus approach to marriage.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.275 million
  2. Nine News 6.30 — 1.184 million
  3. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.172 million
  4. Seven News — 1.171 million
  5. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.097 million
  6. ABC News  – 950,000
  7. Australian Story (ABC) — 903,000
  8. 7.30 (ABC) — 852,000
  9. Four Corners (ABC) — 753,000
  10. Ten Eyewitness News — 689,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 336,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 292,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 161,000
  4. Mornings (Nine) — 130,000
  5. News Breakfast (ABC,  92,000 + 37,000 on News 24) — 129,000
  6. Studio 1o (Ten) — 52,000

Top pay TV channels:

  1. Fox Sports 1 (3.4%)
  2. showcase, Fox 8 (2.4%)
  3. TVHITS, UKTV (1.9%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Many v Penrith (Fox Sports 1) – 236,000
  2. Game of Thrones (showcase) – 209,000
  3. Monday Night With Matty Johns (Fox Sports 1) – 162,000
  4. Game Of Thrones (showcase) – 159,000
  5. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) – 113,000

*Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2015. 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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