According to stories this morning, Bachelorette Georgina and winning beau Lee have been together for two months since The Bachelorette finale was recorded. That more than anything underlines the artificiality of the format and the need for real suspense, a live choice… a decision… And for Ten a shake up is needed after an all mighty fall in audience figures for last night’s finale – 660,000 viewers couldn’t be bothered last night compared to a year ago. That is a drop of around a third and quite a thumbs down from the core audience of young female viewers.

The winner’s announcement last night averaged 1.326 million across the country, with 972,000 in the metros and 354,000 in the regions. It was number three nationally. Last year was an out and out winner with one of the highest audiences for the year. The announcement topped the night nationally with 1.986 million: 1.522 million in the metros and 464,000 in the regions. The drop of 660,000 viewers was split between the metros where 550,000 failed to return, and the regions where around 110,000 failed to return.

The lead up part program to the winner’s announcement saw an equally big fall from 1.603 million nationally, to 1.063 million — around 540,000. The metro audience of 790,000 was down from 926,000 and the regional audience of 273,000 was down from 361,000. Now it was still the top metro program and did well in the regions, but the scale of the slide in the size of the audiences across the country, and especially in the key metro markets renders the use of the word, ‘winner’ a bit problematic. Less than a million on a weak night of viewing in the metros  is not a big win. And remember the Wednesday – Thursday screenings of The Bachelorette and The Bachelor were chosen not by audience acclaim but by Ten being forced to shift The Bachelor after the first few episodes bombed earlier in the week.

Ten’s ratings and PR announcement on The Bachelorette this morning started with news the program is returning in 2017. The ratings for the program last night weren’t mentioned until the sixth paragraph. It did well in the younger demos, especially females, as expected, but nowhere like the killer figures for 2015. A year ago Ten won the night easily in the metros and did better in the regions – last night, third place. And Seven won the night overall and in the main channels! That tells us all about how The Bachelorette really performed this year: badly. There will be some very disappointed advertisers.

But last night’s finale did have one benefit: I didn’t have to watch the latest episode of Sylvia’s Italian Table. That atrocity averaged 620,000 nationally, with 455,000 in the metros and 165,000 in the regions on the ABC at 8pm. Even the confected struggle by Georgina last night to choose the bloke she has obviously fancied for quite a while (and who, it now emerges, has obviously fancied her) was much better than anything on Sylvia’s Italian Table, or around it.

Seven withdrew its legal action against Nine this morning over just what Today is the most watched breakfast program: the five metros, not nationally or regionally. Yesterday’s ratings show Sunrise won the metros with 327,000 to 305,000 for Today, which was close. It was a very clear win in the regions: Sunrise 225,000 to Today, 166,000. Sunrise was the clear national winner with 552,000 to Today’s 471,000, and that’s the way it has been for years, with only the rare odd win by Today.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (28.4%)
  2. Nine (25.7%)
  3. Ten (123.5%)
  4. ABC (16.3%)
  5. SBS (6.1%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (18.1%)
  2. Ten (17.1%)
  3. Nine (16.9%)
  4. ABC (10.9%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.3%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.0%)
  2. GO (4.8%)
  3. Eleven (3.5%)
  4. ABC2 (3.4%)
  5. 7mate, ONE (2.9%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.478 million
  2. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.367 million
  3. The Bachelorette – Winner Announced (Ten) — 1.326 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.186 million
  5. Nine News — 1.166 million
  6. 7pm ABC News — 1.067 million
  7. The Bachelorette Finale (Ten) — 1.063 million
  8. The Big Bang Theory (Nine) — 1.040 million
  9. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.036 million
  10. The Big Bang Theory repeat (Nine) — 1.030 million

Top metro programs: No program managed a million or more viewers

Losers: The Bachelorette, a very modest ratings performance.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 927,000
  2. Seven News/Today Tonight — 910,000
  3. Nine News — 869,000
  4. Nine News (6.30pm) — 851,000
  5. ABC News – 769,000
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) – 717,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 646,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 585,000
  9. Ten Eyewitness News — 430,000
  10. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 384,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 327,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 305,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 150,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC,  88,000 + 53,000 on News 24) — 141,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 117,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 72,000


Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Grand Designs (LifeStyle) — 90,000
  2. Grand Designs Australia (LifeStyle) — 57,000
  3. Sofia The First (Disney Jr) — 57,000
  4. Play Along With Sam (Nick Jr) — 55,000
  5. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 52,000

*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.