Apart from Nine news on Sunday night with 1.05 million, it has been a less than stirring performance by the flagship news programs for the major networks this week. From Monday night onward not one news broadcast (the two half hours for the 6 to 7pm slot which are rated separately for Nine and Seven) has managed a million metro viewers. And the ABC 7pm news hasn’t managed to climb above the 800,000 mark from Sunday to last night. Now early evening weakness (and early morning in breakfast with lower than normal figures for Sunrise and Today — below 300,000 in the metros) is normal as we approach the end of daylight saving. It happens every year. The big question is by how far will the numbers bounce once viewing after daylight saving settles down. In Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth the return of the AFL season does make a difference to news figures (teams, hamstrings and atrocities etc).

The Easts and Canterbury NRL was a fabulous game between two teams who will be around at finals time. Tonight it is another two – the North Qld Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos. Last night’s game had 637,000 on Nine and 230,000 on Fox Sports. Seven won on combined main channel and digital channel audiences, Nine won the main channels and grabbed the demos.

Ten also did well with Celebrity and its elimination in the line up and Gogglebox with all three managing more than a million viewers nationally.

In regional markets last night Seven News was tops with 545,000, Home and Away was second with 471,000, then Seven News/Today Tonight with 458,000, I’m A Celebrity – Elimination, was 4th with 360,000, then Gogglebox Australia with 351,000.

Newton’s Law (ABC 8.30pm) restored my faith in the program last night hitting just the right tone and was rewarded with 757,000 nationally — 480,000 in the metros and 278,000 in the regions. On last night’s effort it deserves another season. A big improver. — Read the rest on the Crikey website

Peter Fray

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