The ratings for struggling Ten have collapsed to levels not seen since the crisis of 2013. Ten ended 4th last week behind the ABC despite a boost at the start of the week from a solid ending to I’m a Celebrity. The Biggest Loser started on Wednesday and down went Ten’s ratings and audience numbers. Last night was a miserable experience. In fact The Biggest Loser: Transformed saw its audience shrink even further to just 423,000 national viewers – 305,000 in the metros and 118,000 in the regions. It averaged 611,000 for its launch last week, so it is a very serious slide.

With the network in talks now since last August to try and restructure its debts (which are dominated by the $200 million revolving credit from the Commonwealth Bank, of which more than $65 million has been drawn down (and it also owes capitalised interest and guarantor fees of more than $26 million), the ratings for last week and last night won’t convince financiers that the network is a safe bet to extend credit to.

In further bad news for the network, last week’s ratings also confirmed the alarming slide of Family Feud. The Monday to Friday version had an average audience last week of 372,000, almost half the 711,000 from the same week a year ago.

It was a similar  story for Seven’s My Kitchen Rules – it was the top rating program a year ago last week with 2.09 million. Last week it’s Wednesday episode managed 1.62 million – a nasty 25% fall.

In the regions last night, Married at First Sight and Seven News tied for top spot with 502,000, followed by MKR with 446,000 Nine News with 446,000, and NBN News with 424,000.

Vera on the ABC last night at 8.30 pm was based Anne Cleeves’ The Moth Catcher and, as an adaptation, left an awful lot to be desired. The TV version changed the order, identity and location of victims and the ultimate identity of the killer.  That wasn’t as much artistic licence as an artistic battering – it ended up so far wide of the mark that it was lost in the wilds of northeast England. Still, the program was the most watched non-news, non-reality program on the night and the story was OK (if you hadn’t read the book).  

In the morning Insiders again dominated with 544,000 national viewers on the ABC and News 24. On Nine, Sports Sunday was resurrected from the dead after years of neglect and averaged a respectable 254,000 national viewers from 10.30 am, half an hour after Offsiders on the ABC which averaged 247,000.  — Read the rest on Crikey website

Peter Fray

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