Last night’s coverage of the leadership brawl in Canberra impacted ratings across the country. Seven was a narrow winner in Sydney from Nine and the ABC, with Ten stuck well back in fourth spot in both areas. The ABC pushed its usual main channel offerings onto ABC2, and most of its audience remained with the wall to wall coverage on the main channel and News 24. In the regions, Seven was a bigger winner as usual in the regions where the political events didn’t quite grab viewers as strongly as they did in the metros.

But that means the full audience data for the simulcasts on the main channel and News 24 will take a while to emerge. We have one set of combined figures for one program,  7.30. With its 100% concentration on events in Canberra, it was the second most watched program nationally (1.636 million on the main channel and News 24) and metro market with 1.192 million (and the second most watched program as well). Hundreds of thousands of viewers obviously drifted across the ABC and back to the commercial channels last night. The X Factor topped the list, but lost more than 400,000 national viewers from Sunday night’s return, and Nine’s The Block only lost around 250,000 viewers (without the glam dunny from Sunday night). Because of the leadership challenge, it made it hard to get a handle on viewing last night except that Seven won overall and the main channels from Nine. Viewing was high on News 24 because of the simulcast, so the overall audience for the ABC’s coverage was probably 150,000 or so higher than it appears (7.30’s combined figures gives us a good guide).

At 10.41pm Seven had the Turnbull/Bishop press conference live after the vote, Nine still had the Rugby League version of Footy Classified program in Sydney and the AFL version in Melbourne talking about the finals in both codes. Sky News had good figures, 162,000 for Paul Murray Live, 190,000 for coverage in what was normally a sports show, and 119,000 for Newsnight.

Good to see Julia Baird back at The Drum (416,000 nationally on ABC and News 24) last night on a big, big night — it was as though she hadn’t been away. Solid figures last night for a program at 5.30pm on the ABC and up against The new Chaser and revamped Hot Seat.

And The Chaser Australia  debuted on Seven on a very appropriate afternoon, given the political to-ing and fro-ing. The Chaser Australia had 720,000 metro viewers and 1.128 million national viewers (Nine’s Hot Seat was revamped and had a solid 620,000 metro viewers and 835,000 national) and helped Seven News to a tight win at 6pm overnight, 322,000 to 315,000. But no such joy in Melbourne (where Nine News won handsomely by 125,000 viewers) and in Brisbane where Nine was a surprisingly big winner with 153,000 margin. Will viewers return to The Chaser tonight? That’s the big question.

A new Prime Minister, late night drama meant the breakfast shows this morning were primed for a new front bench. Today’s came out of Canberra in front of Parliament House. Seven’s Sunrise was 17,000 kilometres away in London on its stunt tour of the world in five days Today was on top of it, as was ABC News Breakfast which was on the pace. But Sunrise’s international jaunt did its work yesterday with 411,000 metro viewers against 317,000 for Nine’s Today. That was Sunrise’s second largest audience of the year (the other was on the morning of a cyclone). So will viewers like Sunrise’s appearance from London this morning, as well as the events in Canberra?

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (27.6%)
  2. Nine (24.6%)
  3. ABC (27.5%)
  4. Ten (15.7%)
  5. SBS (11.5%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (20.5%)
  2. Nine (19.1%)
  3. ABC (17.1%)
  4. Ten (11.5%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.8%)

Top digital channels: 

  1. ABC News 24 (6.1%)
  2. 7TWO (4.1%)
  3. ABC2 (3.9%)
  4. GO (3.3%)
  5. 7mate (3.1%)]

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The X Factor (Seven) — 1.847 million
  2. 7.30 (ABC, 1.473 million, 163,000 on News 24) — 1.636 million
  3. Nine News — 1.616 million
  4. Seven News — 1.415 million
  5. ABC News — 1.384 million
  6. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.307 million
  7. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.302 million
  8. The Block (Nine) — 1.196 million
  9. Media Watch (ABC) — 1.189 million
  10. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.152 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The X Factor (Seven) — 1.220 million
  2. 7.30 (ABC, 1.058 million, 134,000 on News 24) — 1.192 million
  3. Nine News — 1.178 million
  4. Nine News 6.30 — 1.146 million
  5. Seven News — 1.090 million
  6. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.043 million
  7. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.018 million

Losers: Tony Abbott, Bill Shorten, voters? ABC’s coverage stood out because it took the events in Canberra seriously. Nine and Seven tried, fitfully, but had money to make in prime time from their expensive programming. That’s why they love political stories in the daylight and not at night — as it was last night (and with the knifing of Kevin Rudd).Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.178 million
  2. Nine News 6.30 — 1.146 million
  3. Seven News — 1.090 million
  4.  7.30 (ABC) — 1.058 million
  5. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.043 million
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) – 1.018 million
  7. ABC News — 988,000
  8. Media Watch (ABC) — 868,000
  9. Q&A (ABC)  — 739,000
  10. Four Corners (ABC) — 731,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 411,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 317,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 179,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  113,000 + 45,000 on News 24) — 158,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) — 104,000
  6. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  113,000 + 45,000 on News 24) — 158,000
  7. Studio 1o (Ten) — 72,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Sky News (3.8%)
  2. Fox Sports 4  (2.2%)
  3. LifeStyle  (1.9%)
  4. Fox8 (1.9%)
  5. UKTV (1.8%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. James Bracey Sportsnight  (Sky News) — 190,000
  2. Paul Murray Live (Sky News) — 162,000
  3. Newsnight (Sky News) — 119,000
  4. AFL: Open Mike (Fox Footy)— 117,000
  5. AFL: 360 (Fox) — 106,000

*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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