How to describe last night in one or two words? Summer programming and the networks don’t really care what they show, with the exception of the ABC and SBS which at least make an attempt to show something interesting. I can tell you that Insiders and Offsiders were missed yesterday, as was the West Indian cricket team. Did they turn up?

On the 7pm ABC news last night, a curious story that popped up out of nowhere — a RAAF Group Captain (a senior rank) talking about why Australia’s rules of engagement in Iraq should not be changed. In his comments he extolled the Malcolm Turnbull version of the Middle East intervention, not the ideas of the new Middle East affairs editor of The Australian, Tony Abbott. What was odd about the ABC story was how it just popped up last night. The debate over the rules of engagement in the current bombing campaign has hardly been front page news lately, except in the minds of Editor Abbott and his acolytes. That story was repeated on ABC News 24 again this morning.

If anyone is interested, Nine narrowly won metro Total People, Seven easily won the metro main channels, and in the regions Seven won easily, again.

Tonight, watch Back Roads on the ABC at 8pm and after that, Foreign Correspondent, for one of the highlights of what has been a long year: the final report from the outstanding Stephen McDonell, the ABC’s outgoing China Correspondent who is leaving Aunty for the BBC. He’s been there a decade and the ABC, for whatever reason, felt it could not leave him there (no doubt some of the big and emerging beasts of ABC News and Current Affairs wanted the post to add to their war stories, regardless of the fact that they will not do the job as well as McDonell). This will prove to be one of the dopiest decisions ABC management — news and current affairs and the board — have made for some time. Australia will be the poorer as a result. Fairfax Media’s China coverage has gone downhill since John Garnaut was returned to Australia (he has departed Fairfax). Big losses.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (27.2%)
  2. Seven (26.8%)
  3. ABC (20.2%)
  4. Ten (16.4%)
  5. SBS (9.4%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (18.8%)
  2. Nine (15.9%)
  3. ABC (14,5%)
  4. Ten (10.33%)
  5. SBS ONE (6.1%)

Top digital channels:

  1. GO (5.1%)
  2. 7TWO (4.4%))
  3. ABC 2 (3.7%)
  4. 7mate, 9Life (3.6%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.420 million
  2. Nine News — 1.247 million
  3. ABC News — 1.106 million
  4. The Force (Seven) — 1.048 million
  5. Sunday Night – Summer (Seven) — 1.041 million
  6. 60 Minutes – Summer (Nine) — 986,000
  7. Inspector George Gently (ABC) — 917,000
  8. Kevin McCloud’s Escape To The Wild (ABC) — 882,000
  9. Blind Spot (Seven) — 873,000
  10. A Penguin’s Life (Nine) — 598,00

Losers: … snore … zzzzzzMetro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 940,000
  2. Nine News — 897,000
  3. ABC News – 743,000
  4. 60 Minutes Summer (Nine) — 698,000
  5. Sunday Night – Summer (Seven) — 663,000
  6. Ten Eyewitness News — 351,000
  7. SBS World News — 154,000

Morning TV:

  1. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) – 285,000
  2. Weekend Today (Nine) – 250,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox 8  (2.9%)
  2. TVHITS, LifeStyle  (2.5%)
  3. Foxtel Movies Premiere (2.4%)
  4. Foxtel Movies Action (2.1%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Supergirl (Fox8) – 97,000
  2. Unbroken (Foxtel Movies Premiere)– 84,000
  3. Selling Houses Australia (LifeStyle) — 69,000
  4. Fresh Off The Boat (Fox8) – 64,000
  5. Nick Jr Unwrapped (Fox8) – 61,000

*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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