I’m a Celebrity departed with a jump in viewers, enabling Ten to push a weak ABC line up back into 4th for the first time this year on a Monday night. Celebrity’s winner announcement had 1.40 million national viewers  (Up from 1.34 million for the lead in episode). From those figures there was a small increase for the winner, but not much. It is a high cost program and with its viewing numbers being what they were over the series, it will have been lucky to have turned a satisfactory profit. Ten’s impending loss announcement supports that contention.

The Biggest Loser: Transformed starts tonight on Ten at 7.30 and will last for 8 weeks. In that time the future of the Ten network could very well be decided. Ten will report a loss for the half year to February 28 and forecast something similar for the year to August, as well as a large asset impairment. Some sort of refinancing deal is also likely to help the company, because as it stands Ten owes too much money and has too little cash to pay it off without refinancing or new loans. The Biggest Loser: Transformed has a lot riding on it.

Nine’s Married at First Sight (1.51 million nationally) again did well, toppling My Kitchen Rules (1.44 million) and pushing it into 4th place nationally and under a million viewers in the metros – 968,000. That is not good this late in the series.

The ABC’s line up might have been overtaken by the end of Celebrity on Ten, but the two networks do not share many viewers (the ABC and Seven and to an extent Nine do), so the national broadcaster cannot blame the Celebrity finale for a weak Monday night.

Australian Story managed just 808,000 nationally – a year or so ago that would have been a weak metro figure. Q&A showed the worth of politician-free episode, but could only manage 480,000 nationally. Low compared to when blathering pollies are on, but the quality of the chat last night was more interesting. And Foxtel/Fox Sports really misses having a live NRL game on Monday nights – that used to get them more than 200,000 viewers. Fox Sports has a game on Friday night for itself at 6pm and the co-broadcasting rights with Nine of all NRL games, but there is a massive hole left in the Monday night figures that can’t be disguised.

Monday’s public holiday in Victoria and the ACT cut the audiences for the breakfast and morning programs. But that should not camouflage another weak metro effort from Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson at Nine’s Today. Sunrise won nationally, 472,000 to 395,000. In the metros Sunrise won narrowly 273,000 to 268,000. That metro performance is poor. — Read the rest on the Crikey website

Peter Fray

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