Brisbane beat Cronulla in the first NRL game of the year, while Fox Sports finally rebranded its main league channel as Fox League (years after the Fox Footy channel started for the AFL). It is long overdue and confirms that Fox Sports and Foxtel have basically ignored NRL fans in favour of an all singing all dancing approach to promoting the AFL.  Will it be enough to offset declining subscriber numbers for Foxtel? The season will tell, but Foxtel will not release accurate subscriber numbers, so don’t take their word for it.

And how did the NRL game do last night? A solid 896,000 viewers (on preliminary figures) on Nine and Gem across the country – according to Nine that was up 9% on a year ago. The game attracted 231,000 viewers on Foxtel, – so a total TV audience for the first game of around 1.12 million people.

Nine won the night, with Ten second and Seven, who ran dead, really, coming third. Ten had a double departure from Celebrity – it was the most watched non-news program across the country with an average 1.12 million viewers.

And the ABC’s 7.30 had a better outing last night – it topped 800,000 national viewers with 807,000 and reached 532,000 in the metros. But Newton’s Law managed just 707,000 nationally – 455,000 in the metros and 252,000 in the regions.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (28.2%)
  2. Seven (26.7%)
  3. Ten (23.2%)
  4. ABC (16.0%)
  5. SBS (5.9%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (20.6%)
  2. Ten (17.6%)
  3. Seven (17.3%)
  4. ABC (11.0%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.2%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (3.8%)
  2. ONE (3.7%)
  3. GO (3.4%)
  4. 7mate (2.9%)
  5. ABC 2 (2.8%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.42 million
  2. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.29 million
  3. I’m A Celebrity Elimination (Ten) — 1.15 million
  4. Nine News 6.30 — 1.18 million
  5. Nine News — 1.11 million
  6. I’m A Celebrity (Ten)— 1.09 million
  7. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.04 million
  8. Gogglebox Australia (Ten) — 1.02 million
  9. 7pm ABC News — 1.01 million
  10. The Chase Australia 5.30pm (Seven) — 905,000

Top metro programs: None with a million or more viewers.

Losers: Viewers – Netwton’s Bore on the ABC. Seven’s The Investigator…snoringly dull

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News —913,000
  2. Nine News — 884,000
  3. Seven News/Today Tonight — 869,000
  4. Nine News 6.30pm — 840,000
  5. 7pm ABC News – 680,000
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) — 556,000*
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 532,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 517,000
  9. Ten Eyewitness News — 443,000
  10. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 299,000

*Pre-empted in some markets by the NRL game.

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) —525,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 421,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC,  147,000 + 74,000 on News 24) — 221,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 207,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 164,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 138,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Cronulla v Brisbane (Fox League) — 231,000
  2. The Late Show With Matty Johns (Fox League) — 110,000
  3. NRL: Thursday Night Football (Fox League) — 105,000
  4. AFL: Pre-Season, Footscray v Brisbane (Fox Footy) — 79,000
  5. NCIS (TVH!TS) — 52,000

Peter Fray

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