Pink ball test sag, which lessened as the first day’s play from Adelaide continued and the Australian side made a good fist of its bowling effort. So will viewers return this afternoon and evening after the new look Australian team didn’t tank?  Nine won the night, as it was expected to do. The figures were down on the pink test (the first) against the Kiwis a year ago, but not to be sneezed at. The third (evening session) averaged 1.389 million viewers nationally (1.486 million in 2015), with 948,000 metro (1.041 million metro), and 441,000 in the regions (437,000). That was the best performance of the three sessions. Session two averaged 896,000 (1.079 million in 2015) nationally, with 597,000 in the metros (796,000) and 299,000 in the regions (310,000 a year ago). And session one saw 542,000 national viewers, against 778,000 a year ago. There were 355,000 metro viewers (503,000 and 187,000 regionally (225,000).

What these figures show is that as news spread of the successes Australia had with the ball, and the prospect of Australia batting in the final session, viewers turned on. That can be seen by national deficits in viewers for each session. For session one it was 230,000, 183,000 for session two and just 97,000 for session three. Nine and Cricket Australia will be hoping desperately for a good batting performance from Australia this afternoon and evening. Another mass folding and viewers won’t return.

But Seven’s 6 to 7pm news hour more than out-rated the cricket in nationally and in the metros and regionally. Thankfully Silvia’s Italian Table ended last night. Finito. 522,000 people nationally (388,000 in the metros and 134,000 regionally) watched (I bet many didn’t). It was excruciating.

The top five regional programs were: Seven News, 571,000, Seven News/Today Tonight, 479,000, Home and Away was third with 457,000, Session 3 of the Test was fourth with 441,000 and Nine News was fifth with 390,000 (it went to air at 7pm after the second session). — Click here for Glenn Dyer’s full TV Ratings.