A very close night last night in the metros. Nine, Seven, Ten and the ABC were neck-and-neck in the main channels, which is where the real competition happens each night. In the regions, Seven was the easy winner, with the ABC slipping into second in total people and the main channels with its solid news and current affairs offering.

No one can really moan there was nothing on air for them last night. Even Pay TV had the odd hook to keep them on the line. Masterchef was the best non-news program of the night with a very tasty 1.506 million national viewers, including 1.131 million in the metros.

The switch by Nine to Southern Cross has seen a boost to the national audience figures for Nine’s 6.30pm broadcast and A Current Affair, compared to when they were on WIN. The increase could be up to 300,000 viewers on some nights (like last night, the second most watched night of the week).

In the regions Seven News was the most watched program with 678,000 viewers, followed by The Chase Australia 5.30pm on 523,000, Home and Away was third with 522,000, Seven News/Today Tonight was on 511,000 and the first episode of Highway Patrol (Seven) was on 476,000.

Today won Monday morning breakfast in the metros with 318,000 viewers to 302,000 for Sunrise. Surprisingly News Breakfast on the ABC and News 24 didn’t get the usual big boost – the audience was up by a few thousand viewers from the past few weeks. Complicating matters is the school holidays in much of the country.

The night after the day after the hangover started. And surprisingly, there was an appetite for election-related headache causing content on TV yesterday and last night. In fact the ABC had its strongest Monday night for some weeks.

There was Anthony Albanese on 7.30, the ABC’s election report on the 7pm News, Bill Shorten on The Project, Ebenezer Scrooge on Lateline (AKA Eric Abetz), and his soulmate, Cory Bernardi, the frothmaster from Adelaide. Then there was Peta Credlin venting in time to Andrew Bolt’s blusterings and Q&A with a collection of talking heads including death stare Senator Hanson-Young, Chris Bowen of the ALP, Josh Frydenberg from the Libs, Holly Ransom, an independent non-aligned  millennial’ and his greyness, Paul Kelly, the non-musical editor at large of The Australian

Everyone had their line to push or corral: Leigh Sales on 7.30 and Tony Jones on Q&A, and particularly Andrew Bolt. All were of course predicated on one point: that confusion after the poll is a bad thing and shows Big Lessons We All Have To Learn From! Go back to the wake of the 2010 poll and the 2013 poll and you will find Big Lessons We All have to Take On Board And Learn From — and all were mostly as meaningless forth and bubble as we saw last night — especially on Q&A. Everyone wanted to join the dots by linking what happened in Australia to Brexit and Donald Trump and small people feeling alienated by the ‘elites’. This from the usual posse of elites (suspects) rounded up by Sky News and the ABC on any night of the week. Sheesh! Only a few made the point that if Malcolm Turnbull had not stuffed up with the Double Dissolution, we probably would not be talking about the likes of Derryn (free lunch) Hinch, Pauline Hanson and other independents. That is the hardest thing for the Coalition members to grasp as they put themselves about defending the campaign, the result, and the PM, while desperately treading water on Sunday, last night and this morning.

One point was clear on Q&A: The Greens are desperate for relevance and want to try and hook the ALP as their partner (helped by a big Dorothy Dixer from the crowd that would have troubled Bronwyn Bishop when she was speaker of the Reps). Chris Bowen soon settled that (as John Frydenberg nicely observed, in a Paul Keating manner). The ABC’s desperate attempt (along with Fairfax Media) to get a “Challenge To Shorten” story running since late on Saturday night from Albo was put to bed on 7.30 when the man in question made the very good point that Shorten was safe because he is a winner (something Josh Frydenberg, Eric Abetz, Corey Bernadi and Peter Dutton still seem unaware of. And yet Fairfax Media claimed in an online report that Shorten was safe “for now’ in a desperate attempt to keep the clickbait running to the website last night. Even though Albo appeared on 7.30 (between 7.30 and 8pm), that was too late for the Sydney Morning Herald print edition this morning. The SMH is still laughingly a newspaper, but with deadlines that close before the average fish and chip shop does each night.

The 7pm ABC News did well with more than 1.33 million viewers — close to its best for some weeks. 7.30 popped into the top 10 nationally for the first time in a week or more with 1.273 million and Q&A managed 964,000 national viewers and won the 9.30 – 10.30 timeslot. On pay TV, the post election prattling saw The Bolt Report (78,000) and Paul Murray Live (76,000) have good nights pushing an alternate world view of the Saturday election. As a result, Sky News was the most watched channel on Foxtel last night.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (26.9%)
  2. Nine (24.9%)
  3. ABC (21.4%)
  4. Ten (20.9%)
  5. SBS (6.2%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (18.1%)
  2. Seven (17.0%)
  3. Ten (16.8%)
  4. ABC (16.4%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.5%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.5%)
  2. ABC 2 (3.2%)
  3. 7mate (2.9%)
  4. GO (2.7%)
  5. ONE (2.2%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1.  Seven News — 1.902 million
  2. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.618 million
  3. Nine News — 1.603 million
  4. Masterchef Australia (Ten) — 1.506 million
  5. Nine News 6.30 — 1.406 million
  6. 7pm ABC News — 1.334 million
  7. A CurrentAffair (Nine) — 1.320 million
  8. The Chaser Australia 5.30pm (Seven) — 1.278 million
  9. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.276 million
  10. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.273 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.230 million
  2. Seven News — 1.224 million
  3. Nine News 6.30 — 1.186 million
  4. Masterchef Australia (Ten) — 1.131 million
  5. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.107 million

Losers: No one really. Well, Eric Abetz, Cory Bernardi, Josh Frydenberg, Malcolm Turnbull, Andrew Bolt, Peta Credlin. Get over it and take a chill pill. There’s more to life than obsessing about an election. Life goes on.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.230 million
  2. Seven News — 1.224 million
  3. Nine News (6.30pm) — 1.186 million
  4. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.107 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 999,000
  6. ABC News – 908,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 890,000
  8. Australian Story (ABC) — 762,000
  9. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 715,000
  10. Four Corners (ABC) — 705,000

Morning TV:

  1. Today (Nine) – 318,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) – 302,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 190,000
  4. Today Extra (Nine) — 178,000
  5. News Breakfast (ABC,  105,000 + 55,000 on News 24) — 160,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 96,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Sky News (2.6%)
  2. Fox 8Sports 1 (2.5%)
  3. Fox Sports 4  (2.1%)
  4. TVHITS  (1.9%)
  5. Fox 8, UKTV (1.6%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Manly v St George (Fox Sports 1) — 2234,000
  2. Monday Night With Matty Johns (Fox Sports 1) — 115,000
  3. The Kettering Incident (showcase) — 115,000
  4. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) – 89,000
  5. The Bolt Report (Sky News) — 78,000

*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.

Peter Fray

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