The ABC’s heavy political night got the thumbs up from viewers around the country last night, especially in the supposedly more conservative regional markets.The figures were not as high as the previous Monday night when the deed was done and Tony Abbott was skewered — but they were very solid numbers in metro and regional markets which gave a high national audience.

In terms of performance, the ABC programs were lifted nationally by better viewing figures from the regions, proportionately, compared with the bigger metro markets. Australian Story did best with its reworking of the 2009 story on Malcolm Turnbull — it was second nationally — fifth in the metros and fourth in the regions. It had 1.492 million people across the country, including 1.051 million metro and 441,000 regional viewers. The most watched program across the country last night was the Monday episode of The X Factor — with 1.813 million viewers in another solid performance.

Four Corners’ attempt to explain the replacement of Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull managed 1.391 million national viewers: 994,000 in the metros and 397,000 in the regions. 7.30 with Leigh Sales’ interview with Malcolm Turnbull averaged 1.379 million national viewers — 970,000 in the metros and 409,000 in the regions, managing equal fourth there with ABC News. And Media Watch did very well with 1.275 million national viewers, 908,000 in the metros and 366,000, which was a top 10 finish. Q&A with “Zinger” Bill Shorten did well with 923,000 national viewers — 679,000 metro and 245,000 regional (a 10.35pm finish is late for a lot of people in the regions where they are up early to work on farms or mines etc). For supposedly more conservative viewers, (all those National party and Liberal party-held seats), regional viewers were quite interested in the ABC’s news and current affairs line up and its concentration on the events of the past week. In fact the two programs featuring Malcolm Turnbull — 7.30 and Australian Story did best of all in the regions, along with the ABC News, where the new PM featured heavily with the reshuffle.

In the metros the 6pm Nine News did surprisingly poorly, losing over 100,000 viewers from previous levels to average 993,000 viewers against the 1.072 million viewers for Seven News. Seven News had a small 4,000 (and very rare) win over Nine News in Melbourne, but lost Brisbane and Sydney. Seven News though had the usual big wins in Adelaide and Perth. The 5.30 part of The Chaser Australia averaged 638,000 to Hot Seat (Nine) with 545,000 in the metros. In the morning, Sunrise is back in Australia and managed a smaller (than last week) win over Today in the metros, 348,000 to 318,000.

And my apologies for omitting the return of Dr Who to the ABC on Sunday night — it has 984,000 national viewers and was Number 8!(Blind old bat I am). But what was interesting from the return of this series in the UK is that UK viewers are right off the Dr. The debut of this series on Saturday night was the weakest for 10 years ,since the current version returned after that long hiatus. The 5 million average on Saturday night on the BBC was a large 2 million down on last year. And on Sunday Night the debut of the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey on ITV was also very weak, the lowest start for any of the series so far with 7.6 million viewers (not to be sniffed at though), around 100,000 short of the first ever series debut episode with 7.7 million.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (28.8%)
  2. Nine (26.2%)
  3. ABC (23.0%)
  4. Ten (16.7%)
  5. SBS (5.3%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (20.1%)
  2. Nine (19.1%)
  3. ABC (18.6%)
  4. Ten (12.2%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.6%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.0%)
  2. GO (4.5%)
  3. 7mate (3.7%)
  4. ABC 2 (2.8%)
  5. Gem (2.6%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The X Factor (Seven) — 1.813 million
  2. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.492 million
  3. Nine News — 1.417 million
  4. Four Corners (ABC) – 1.391 million
  5. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.379 million
  6. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.357 million
  7. Seven News — 1.341 million
  8. ABC News — 1.303 million
  9. Media Watch (ABC) — 1.275 million
  10. The Block (Nine) — 1.251 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The X Factor (Seven) — 1.132 million
  2. Nine News 6.30 — 1.076 million
  3. Seven News 1.072 million
  4. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.056 million
  5. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.051 million

Losers: Anyone who didn’t at least watch one of the ABC’s current affairs programs last night — they would have learned something.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News 6.30 — 1.076 million
  2. Seven News — 1.072 million
  3. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.056 million
  4. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.051 million
  5. Four Corners (ABC) — 994,000
  6. Nine News — 993,000
  7. A Current Affair (Nine) – 988,000
  8. 7.30 (ABC) — 970,000
  9. Media Watch (ABC) — 908,000
  10. ABC News  – 894,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 348,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 318,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 168,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  97,000 + 56,000 on News 24) — 153,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) — 136,000
  6. Studio 1o (Ten) — 81,000

Top  pay TV channels:

  1. Fox8  (2.8%)
  2. Nick Jr  (1.8%)
  3. TVHITS, UK TV (1.7%)
  4. Disney Jr, LifeStyle  (1.6%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) – 97,000
  2. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 78,000
  3. AFL: On The Couch (Fox Footy) — 71,000
  4. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 58,000
  5. Alvin!!! And The Chipmunks (Nick Jr) – 58,000

*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.Ratings we

Peter Fray

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