Seven won a close night again in the metros, and did well in the demos. Ten was pushed back to a close-ish 4th behind the ABC for a second night in a row, but will move back to third tonight. MKR (1.61 million) was toppled as the most watched program nationally by Seven News (1.62 million) while Married at First Sight was third nationally for Nine with 1.55 million.

The ABC was 3rd, largely because of Ten’s weak programming outside of Celebrity which managed 1.05 million. The ABC News averaged 1.21 million and it was all downhill from there, for yet another Monday night. Yes, MKR, Married and Celebrity are making it hard, but you can’t help feeling that 7.30, Australian Story, Four Corners and Q&A are going through the motions. Australian Story’s stories so far this year could have bored for Australia in the boring TV Olympics. Only Media Watch seems to have any spark, but it (and to an extent Q&A) have been let down by the weak figures for the programs ahead of it. After the news, 7.30 lost 232,000 viewers nationally to average 978,000, Australian Story averaged 824,000, Media Watch averaged 801,000, Four Corners averaged 747,000 and Q&A 670,000. Now, those figures used to be fine just for the five city metros, but they are very low for national figures. It’s no doubt hoped at the ABC that audiences will pick up with MKR, Married and Celebrity finish. But I wouldn’t be wholly confident that they will. Q&A especially is now so predictable that it is boring viewers. I know the ABC doesn’t chase ratings (the programming style says otherwise), but the goal should be  to attract and hold audiences. At the moment Midsomer MurdersDeath in Paradise and Grand Designs – two average UK crime dramas and a building program – are the most watched ABC programs!

In regional markets Seven News was again the most watched program with 561,000 viewers, MKR was second with 490,000, the Seven news/Today Tonight with 487,000, Home and Away was 4th with 468,000 and Married at First Sight was 5th with 455,000

The mix up at the end of the Oscars will probably ensure a bounce in the 2018 broadcast after the weakest figures in nine years. A total of 32.9 million people watched, down from 34.4 million for last year which was an eight year low. Now we have a nine year low and the third lowest this century according to the trainspotters at US entertainment websites. The Oscars beat the Golden Globes by 12.9 million viewers. Still the Oscars will still be the highest non sport audience for US TV this year. The Oscars figure on one network – ABC -, though down, is still higher than the 30.6 million people who watched Tump’s inauguration on 12 broadcast and cable TV networks.

In Australia, it’s was a case of ‘who cares?” The broadcast is on live on Nine during the day, the big set piece replay on Monday nights is a thing of the past thanks to the interview and news reports. The Oscars managed 494,000 viewers from 12.30 pm to well after 4 pm and 229,000 on Gem from 7.30pm. — Read the rest on the Crikey Website


Peter Fray

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