Tip and run cricket (AKA Twenty20) seems to have finally lost its allure for Australian viewers and last night failed to lift Nine to a win on the first night of the second week of 2017 ratings (Seven won the first week; the margins were narrow, but a win is a win.)

The Twenty20 game (the second of three, again won by Sri Lanka) averaged just 973,000 nationally (703,000 int the metros and 270,000 in regional markets). Viewers preferred Hoges, I’m a Celebrity and the Grand Designs/Midsomer Murders duo from the UK to a meaningless series scheduled just as the men’s football season is starting. Nine and Cricket Australia must have had a brain fart to program this series at this time of the year.

Seven will be very happy that there wasn’t an audience drop for the second episode of Hoges last night, which was something of a surprise. Hoges rated OK , albeit oddly, in that its audience was 1,000 more than a week ago, and that was due to a 1,000 lift in regional viewers, but not metros. Seven easily won the night in the metros and the regions and won the demos. Nine was a weak second, the ABC was third (narrowly so in the regions) and Ten fourth, again.

The top five programs in the regions last night help explain why Seven and the ABC did well. Seven News was tops with 582,000, then MKR with 563,000, Hoges Part 2 was 3rd with 481,000, the Midsomer Murders with 420,000 and Grand Designs with 397,000, which was 5th.

Insiders again did well in it’s second morning out in 2017 – 573,000 national viewers (326,000 in the metros and 147,000 in the regions), as reasoned discussion again triumphed. Notable though was the twisting and turning of Josh Frydenberg, the Environment and something else minister as he tried to justify investing in a new coal-power station and repeatedly slagged renewable energy, blaming it for the South Australian power crises in recent months. Host Barrie Cassidy pointed out a couple of the inaccuracies of his arguments, but no one on the panel called out his evasions over the NSW energy crisis (coming in a state where coal accounts for 90% of electricity generation and successive Liberal National Party governments have done nothing to increase the spare capacity), which is a pity no one else on the panel thought to make that point. But Insiders was sensible, non-partisan and free of the Sky News idea of debate – shouting.

And the ABC’s Landline is back in the saddle very nicely with 413,000 national viewers (more than Weekend Sunrise and Weekend Today), which tells us that the audience wants informative programming that fills in the stories that the mainstream ABC News and 7.30 fail to cover.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (33.2%)
  2. Nine (26.4%)
  3. ABC (17.7%)
  4. Ten (15.5%)
  5. SBS (7.2%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (24.9%)
  2. Nine (18.1%)
  3. ABC (13.8%)
  4. Ten (11.2%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.5%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7mate (3.7%)
  2. GO (3.0%)
  3. Eleven (2.5%)
  4. 7TWO, Gem (2.4%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.80 million
  2. MKR (Seven) — 179 million
  3. Nine News — 1.38 million
  4. Hoges Part 2 (Seven) — 1.32 million
  5. I’m A Celebrity – Elimination (Ten) — 1.25 million
  6. Midsomer Murders (ABC) –1.23 million
  7. I’m A Celebrity (Ten) — 1.22 million
  8. Grand Designs (ABC) — 1.15 million
  9. 7pm ABC News — 1.15 million
  10. Cricket: Sri Lanka vs Australia Twenty 20 (Nine) — 987,000

Top metro programs:

  1. MKR (Seven) — 1.23 million
  2. Seven News — 1.21 million
  3. Nine News — 1.02 million

Losers: Ten, the slippery slope awaits.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.214 million
  2. Nine News — 1.021 million
  3. 7pm ABC News – 780,000
  4. Ten Eyewitness News — 358,000
  5. SBS World News (Ten) — 151,000

Morning TV:

  1. Insiders (ABC, 326,000, 147,000 on News 24) — 573,000
  2. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) – 510,000
  3. Landline (ABC) — 413,000
  4. Weekend Today (Nine) – 378,000
  5. Offsiders (ABC) — 183,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox Sports 2 (2.5%)
  2. Fox Footy (2.3%)
  3. Fox 8  (2.0%)
  4. TVHITS  (1.9%)
  5. Foxtel Movies Premiere (1.8%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Charity Shield (Fox Sports 2) — 171,000
  2. NRL: Charity Shield Pre-Game (Fox Sports 2) — 84,000
  3. AFL: Sydney v North Melbourne (Fox Footy) – 77,000
  4. AFL:Gold Coast v Brisbane (Fox Footy) — 75,000
  5. NBA: All Stars (ESPN) — 69,000

Peter Fray

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