Ladies and Gentlemen … Roll up, roll up roll up, preeesentinggg… The 2016 Australian TV Fight To The Finish, with in the Seven (Red Corner), House Rules, a fading champ; in the Blue Corner, Nine’s The Voice, (another champ drifting in performance coming back for another tilt at fame); while in the neutral corner, Masterchef Australia, a faded high flyer now on looking to extend its 2015 recovery for another year.

And judging by last night’s performance, there will be tears and fears for all three networks over the next three months. Perhaps the most misty-eyed will be Nine and Ten over the weak reception regional audiences last night gave The Voice and the latest series of Masterchef Australia. While they did well in the metros, the performance in the regionals will see plenty of head scratching at Nine and Ten (and especially as they change regional affiliates in a month’s time — that will impact audiences of both programs by confusing viewers with the networks switching dials dial from July 1. This change will hit audiences figures for both programs until viewers adjust).

But The Voice had a very solid return with 1.906 million national and 1.4 million metro viewers for its launch last night. Masterchef Australia had 1.205 million national and 1.1013 million metro viewers, which is OK. House Rules house reveal last night had 1.373 million national and 830,000 metro viewers, which is a lot better than last week, and with more competition, so go figure!

In regional markets Seven News was tops with 575,000 viewers, Sunday Night was next with 564,000 viewers, The Voice had 505,000, House Rules had 497,000 and Nine News had 467,000. (Masterchef did not make it).

In the morning, ABC’s Insiders scored one of its biggest non-post election audiences with a total of 616,000 viewers tuning in: 458,000 nationally on ABC and 158,000 on News 24, which will be News 24’s most watched program this week). In fact Insiders beat Ten’s 5pm News which could only manage 421,000 national viewers, with a worrying 280,000 in the metros (Insiders had 322,000 on ABC alone). 60 Minutes also bombed in the regions with 297,000. It was on the nose before Beirut, last night’s figures will come as a surprise to Nine this morning. Sunday Night won nationally with a convincing margin of 335,000 people.

Seven won last week thanks to the final eps of My Kitchen Rules, and later in the week the strength of the AFL over Nine’s NRL.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (28.8%)
  2. Seven (26.7%)
  3. Ten (18.5%)
  4. ABC (17.8%)
  5. SBS (8.2%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (22.4%)
  2. Seven (18.7%)
  3. Ten (14.1%)
  4. ABC (13.5%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.9%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7mate (4.1%)
  2. 7TWO (2.9%)
  3. ABC 2, GO (2.7%)
  4. ONE (2.6%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The Voice – Launch (Nine) — 1.906 million
  2. Nine News — 1.749 million
  3. Seven News — 1.744 million
  4. Sunday Night (Seven) — 1.354 million
  5. House Rules (Seven) — 1.327 million
  6. Masterchef Australia  (Ten) — 1.305 million
  7. ABC News — 1.287 million
  8. Grand Designs (ABC) — 1.208 million
  9. Midsomer Murders (ABC) — 1.167 million
  10. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.019 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The Voice – Launch (Nine) — 1.400 million
  2. Nine News — 1.283 million
  3. Seven News  1.169 million
  4. Masterchef Australia (Ten) — 1.012 million

Losers: One of those nights – House Rules actually did better with increased competition than with weaker opposition last Wednesday and Thursday. The problem for Nine and Ten will be the weak regional reaction to this year’s for another year (and in Perth). Masterchef was very weak in the regions – 293,000. House Rules had 497,000, close behind The Voice on 505,000, which was not the top audience in the regions, but Number 3 after Seven News (575,000) and Sunday Night (564,000).

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.283 million
  2. Seven News — 1.169 million
  3. ABC News – 852,000
  4. Sunday Night (Seven) — 791,000
  5. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 722,000
  6. Ten Eyewitness News — 280,000
  7. SBS World News  — 183,000

Morning TV:

  1. Insiders (ABC, 322,000, 93,000 on News 24) — 415,000
  2. Weekend Today (Nine) – 319,000
  3. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) – 298,000
  4. Landline (ABC) — 298,000
  5. Offsiders (ABC) — 204,000


Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Cronulla v Brisbane (Fox Sports 1) — 258,000
  2. A League: Grand Final, Adelaide v Western Sydney (Fox Sports 4) — 237,000
  3. AFL: West Coast v Collingwood (Fox Footy) — 214,000
  4. NRL:Gold Coast v Melbourne (Fox Sports 1) — 211,000
  5. AFL: Brisbane v Sydney (Fox Footy) – 186,000

*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.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey