It was one of those increasingly common nights where TV viewing should be confined to a sealed box somewhere and thrown into deep hole. It was boring. Newton’s Law on the ABC again confirmed that one of the real Newton’s law  – for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction – remains valid so far as TV viewing is concerned. In this case, I started watching Newton’s Law, quickly got bored and switched channels.

So did everyone else – the program lost viewers for the third Thursday night in a row. Not as dramatic a drop as a week earlier, but it was still a loss and a sign to the ABC the audience is unhappy with what is on their screens.

Nine won the night in the metros and regions, Ten was also a winner (in the regional main channels, Nine won the main channels in the metros). Seven though ran dead, again. It doesn’t need to spend money on new programming for Thursday nights. The much touted UK program The Investigator managed just 291,000 for Seven at 9.30 pm in the metros and 406,000 nationally. That’s a big thumbs down. Viewers look, don’t like, channel channels, watch something else. Newton’s Law again.

I’m a Celebrity was the most watched non-news program nationally (1.30 million) and in the metros (870,000) – but not in the regions. That was Home and Away.

In breakfast, another big win for Sunrise – 554,000 nationally to Today’s weak 419,000. But Today’s metro weakness continues – it managed 283,000 in the metros yesterday, Sunrise had 343,000. That margin is starting to look a worry for Today and Nine. Is Karl Stefanovic past his use by date?

And if you are wondering about the audience for day 1 of the first India vs Australia test on Foxtel – I can’t bring it to you. It’s on the Fox Sports More 507 channel which is lumped into what Foxtel charmingly calls “Other Subscription TV channels.” That group had a share yesterday of 7.9% and that was because of the unknown audience for Channel 507. Interesting though that the Pay TV industry lumps all the barely watched channels into one group ad then reports that as a share, instead of showing us the tiny figures the unknown number of channel would normally get).

But Fox Sports, Foxtel and the industry reporting group, ASTRA, didn’t provide a breakdown of the audience watching the Test in the top 100 programs list for pay TV yesterday and last night. It must have been close to or over 100,000 people at times. So Fox Sports 507 would have been the most watched channel. That’s why there are no Pay TV channel shares – they are not correct. The top 5 programs on pay TV is also not there today because that is also misleading. Imagine the uproar if a free to air broadcaster did that (especially from the newspapers associated with the owners of Fox Sports and 50% of Foxtel). — Read the rest on the Crikey website

Peter Fray

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