That’s it, the Nine Network is in desperate trouble. Its main channel finished third last night behind Seven and the ABC and just in front of Ten. The culprit was the appalling Reno Rumble. It was swamped by My Kitchen Rules (1.985 million national,1.327 million metro, 658,000 regional viewers). As a result Seven won all people in the metros and regional, with daylight second and third, and Nine somewhere in the distance, ahead of a solid ABC and Ten.

In regional markets MKR topped the night with 658,000 viewers; followed by Downton Abbey with 498,000; Home and Away third with 487,000; Australian Story on 407,000 and Nine News was fifth with 402,000.

A very solid night on the ABC (and MKR was all picture food and small serves and fried stuff). Four Corners lived up to the hype and showed how lucky reporter Linton Besser and his crew were to escape Malaysia. Media Watch had a good final interview with retiring ABC boss Mark Scott, whose realism about the outlook for commercial TV and newspapers won’t be appreciated. They know in private anyway that times are going to get tougher for them, not easier. News Corp will not grasp the essential problem for them: the ABC isn’t causing their pain, it’s the loss of ad revenues and incompetent management of the company and newspapers in the face of the challenge from the digital word. And Q&A was at least relevant on technology, but long winded in places and failed to recognise that we have heard this all before in the late 1990’s as the world hurtled towards the tech wreck in 2000-2001 that flattened many of the high fliers of the time, but allowed the likes of Apple and Google to emerge and grow.

But the star program was again Australian Story with a powerful story about Victorian Labor minister Fiona Richardson and the terrible childhood she and her family had at the hands of a very, very nasty and abusive man who sounds like a deviant and abuser of the worst kind. It was very brave of her to talk about her story, as was the story Geelong AFL player Jimmy Bartel revealed in the Melbourne media at the weekend.

Sunday night’s performance by Reno Rumble forced Nine’s hand yesterday and made the network admit that it has lost the confidence of viewers. Reno Rumble could only hold 430,000 metro viewers and just 593,000 nationally  on Sunday (last night it was 548,000 national and 370,000 metro). Not good enough, seeing Seven had given MKR the night off for Easter Sunday (too hard making all those Easter eggs and buns?). Without the competition on Seven on Monday night from MKR, the way was open for Reno Rumble to prove to us that it was an attractive viewing option for viewers. It flopped. Reno Rumble should have been able to beat the stand in programs on Seven. So Reno Rumble is gone from 7.30 pm, replaced by a fresh series of Married at First Sight, with double epispdes of The Big Bang Theory being used for support. Nine will air remaining episodes of Reno Rumble at 8.50pm on Mondays and 8.40pm on Tuesdays. That will further weaken its ratings for the next few weeks. There are eight episodes for Married At First Sight, and then a black hole.

The morning programs benefited from the holiday. Seven’s Morning Show and Today Extra on Nine both saw viewer numbers jump sharply to more than 200,000 across the metro markets. But ABC’s News Breakfast saw its audience fall from around 140,000 last week to 101,000 yesterday. Fewer people wanting news as they get ready for work and school, and slept in or went out. And earlier in the morning, Nine’s Today had a big win over Seven’s Sunrise in breakfast: 305,000 metro viewers to 271,000.

And on pay TV, a big, big win for the NRL over the AFL with a head-to-head clash between the two codes on Fox Sports. The two NRL games — Cronulla v Melbourne (319,000 viewers last night) and Wests v Parramatta (307,000 yesterday afternoon) — outdrew the Geelong v Hawthorn blockbuster at the MCG with 293,000 viewers. That is a telling outcome for the holiday Monday clash and again underlines how vital the NRL is to the fortunes of the Murdoch empire’s pay TV businesses compared to the AFL.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (35.9%)
  2. Nine (21.3%)
  3. ABC (19.2%)
  4. Ten (18.5%)
  5. SBS (5.2%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (26.0%)
  2. ABC (14.9%)
  3. Nine (13.3%)
  4. Ten (12.3%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.6%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (4.7%)
  2. 7mate (4.0%)
  3. ONE (3.5%)
  4. GO (3.4%)
  5. ABC 2, Eleven (2.6%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. MKR (Seven) — 1.985 million
  2. Seven News — 1.579 million
  3. Nine News — 1.427 million
  4. Downton Abbey (Seven) — 1.374 million
  5. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.247 million
  6. ABC News — 1.242 million
  7. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.184 million
  8. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.172 million
  9. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.152 million
  10. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.085 million

Top metro programs:

  1. MKR (Seven) — 1.327 million
  2. Seven News — 1.265 million
  3. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.114 million
  4. Nine News — 1.028 million

Losers: Nine and Reno Rumble – simply rotten.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.265 million
  2. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.114 million
  3. Nine News  1.028 million
  4. Nine News (6.30pm) — 980,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 904,000
  6. ABC News – 883,000
  7. Australian Story (ABC) — 841,000
  8. 7.30 (ABC) — 777,000
  9. Four Corners (ABC) — 658,000
  10. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 603,000

Morning TV:

  1. Today (Nine) – 307,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) – 271,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 234,000
  4. Today Extra (Nine) — 211,000
  5. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  59,000 + 42,000 on News 24) — 101,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 71,000


Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Cronulla v Melbourne (Fox Sports 1) – 319,000
  2. NRL: Wests v Parramatta (Fox Sports 1) — 307,000
  3. AFL: Geelong v Hawthorn  Fox Footy) — 293,000
  4. Monday League Central (Fox Sports 1) – 203,000
  5. AFL: Monday Night Footy on Fox (Fox Footy) – 194,000

*Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2016. 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.

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