It was a dead game so far as the result was concerned, but last night’s third and final international T20 game between Australia and Sri Lanka was notable, not for the Australian win (Sri Lanka won the series 2-1) but for the low ratings (again) and the fact that it was beaten by a collection of programs in various time slots on other networks that would normally place well behind night cricket games. 

The game on Nine had 849,000 national viewers, but 7.30 on the ABC managed 874,000, the 7pm bit of The Project had 876,000 on Ten and Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery managed 856,000 at 8pm on the ABC. Of Course’s Seven’s MKR with 1.74 million easily accounted for the tip and run game, as did Bride and Prejudice at 9pm on Seven with 1.04 million (which replaced an episode of Uncovered that was withdrawn on Monday for legal reasons. It was going to cover the Melbourne gang wars – remember Underbelly?). 

Ten’s I’m a Celebrity  also gave the cricket a right pasting with 1.25 million, further underlining the silliness of programming this series so late in summer. The top Australian cricket side is in India (first test on a dry turner starts this arvo with ball one just after 3pm eastern summer time). The NRL season proper starts a week tonight.

The outcome was a very easy win for Seven last night in metros and especially regional markets. Seven also scooped up the demos. Ten did better than a week ago and ended up third, pushing the ABC back to 4th. Nine was a weak second as a result of the cricket audience vanishing to other networks. — Read the rest on the Crikey website

Peter Fray

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