Last night we had another reminder that for genuine news breaking, the ABC does it better than the increasingly risk averse commercial TV Network. Seven, Nine and Ten have all but abandoned the sort of reporting we saw from Four Corners last night, and 7.30 last week on the Anglican child abuse ring in Northern NSW.

And for all the confected outrage at the News Ltd tabloids about the ABC (and about last year’s Four Corners report on greyhounds by the same reporter as last night, Caro Meldrum-Hanna) it is clear the Murdoch outlets are only interested in gainsaying and responding to what narks. shills and partisan nurks claim, not breaking news, or examining issues dispassionately.

Support from the viewing audience for Four Corners last night was OK, but not brilliant: 991,000 national viewers, with 723,000 metro and 269,000 regional viewers. You would have hoped for 300,000 more. Q&A followed and featured a fortuitous guest, Human Rights Commissioner, Gillian Triggs. She and the rest of the panel were asked to comment by an audience member and it was the highlight of the night and pushed the story forward to this morning’s Royal Commission decision announced by the PM. Q&A averaged 800,000 national people (574,000 metro and 225,000 regional viewers).

Masterchef’s finale’s first part had 1.936 million national, 1.441 million metro (tops in both) and 494,000 regional viewers (top 5). It is only the warm up for tonight’s finale of the finale and the winner’s announcement should top the 2 million viewer level. Seven and Nine were not in the hunt last night by choice. The ABC tried, as did Ten and they grabbed the spoils.

In the regions, Seven News was again top with 649,000 viewers, followed by Seven News/Today Tonight with 577,000, Home and Away was third with 563,000, Masterchef Australia was fourth with 494,000 and Highway Patrol (7) was on 475,000.

In breakfast, Today won the metros with 328,000 people from Sunrise’s 322,000.

Network channel share:

  1. Ten (26.6%)
  2. Seven (26.4%)
  3. Nine (22.7%)
  4. ABC (19.6%)
  5. SBS (4.7%)

Network main channels:

  1. Ten (21.9%)
  2. Seven (18.7%)
  3. Nine (17.0%)
  4. ABC (14.8%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.1%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (3.4%)
  2. ABC 2 (3.2%)
  3. 7mate (2.9%)
  4. ONE (2.5%)
  5. Eleven (2.2%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Masterchef Australia (Ten) — 1.936 million
  2. Seven News  — 1.886 million
  3. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.741 million
  4. Nine News — 1.448 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.370 million
  6. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.346 million
  7. Highway Patrol (Seven) — 1.238 million
  8. ABC News — 1.238 million
  9. Nine News 6.30 — 1.234 million
  10. The Chase Australia 5.30pm (Seven) — 1.200 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Masterchef Australia (Ten) — 1.441 million
  2. Seven News — 1.237 million
  3. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.163 million
  4. Nine News — 1.071 million
  5. Nine News 6.30 — 1.015 million

Losers: Seven, Nine and Ten, even though the first part of the finale of Masterchef did well. All paled next to Four Corners.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.237 million
  2. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.163 million
  3. Nine News  1.071 million
  4. Nine News (6.30pm) — 1.015 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 970,000
  6. ABC News – 856,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 809,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 803,000
  9. Media Watch (ABC) — 757,000
  10. Australian Story (ABC) — 740,000

Morning TV:

  1. Today (Nine) — 328,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) – 322,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 193,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC, 91,000 + 60,000 on News 24) —  151,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) —  150,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 73,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Souths v Manly (Fox Sports 1) —  249,000
  2. Monday Night With Matty Johns (Fox Sports 1) —  127,000
  3. The Kettering Incident (showcase) —  115,000
  4. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) — 112,000
  5. AFL: On The Couch (Fox Footy) — 81,000

*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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