The ABC’s night, as it took out second place in the metro main channels behind Nine. Nine and Seven had more viewers overall, but the ABC and its News and Current Affairs line up grabbed more viewers for most of the night – certainly from 7.30pm onwards. The commercials seem to have all gone for their Easter eggs and buns early; the networks are running on autopilot this week, and it shows in the offerings. Weak — of the top ten programs last night in the metros, nine were news or current affairs programs. SBS’s audience also rose last night, which is always a sign of paucity on the commercial networks.

Seven ran a one off preview of the new series of First Dates at 7.30 pm – it won the commercial time slot with 1.10 million viewers nationally and won the younger demos. 

In the morning, Sunrise with 516,000 national and 293,000 metro viewers easily beat Today with 412,000 national and 272,000 metro viewers on the first day of school holidays in some states.

Seven dominated viewing in regional markets with Seven News again tops with 659,000 viewers, followed by Seen News/Today Tonight with 546,000, Home and Away was 3rd with 506,000, then the 5.30pm part of The Chase Australia with 458,000 and the First Dates preview was 5th with 400,000.

Despite their ratings triumph, sometimes the ABC is its own worst enemy — an example would be punishing Natasha Exelby for her blooper on Saturday night.  At around 10 o’clock on News 24, as it was still known at that time (it has now been renamed ABC news — how long did that take to think up?) Exelby was day dreaming and got caught by the camera coming back from a segment. 

News Corp claims she has since been banned from more shifts at the ABC. If this is true, what about those on duty that night in the control room who didn’t remind her that the story was ending? Did the ABC have a floor manager in the studio to help? And what about the director, assistant director — usually responsible for segment timings — or, most important, the producer?  They are all supposed to tell the host how many seconds to go till they are back on air. Who missed giving the cue? Having been there in live TV, everyone covers for each other and don’t hang one person out to dry, especially the host. It is a bad look.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (26.6%)
  2. Seven (26.0%)
  3. ABC (22.40%)
  4. Ten (17.7%)
  5. SBS (7.4%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (18.9%)
  2. ABC (17.5%)
  3. Seven (17.1%)
  4. Ten (11.9%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.9%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (4.1%)
  2. 7mat, Eleven (3.1%)
  3. GO, Gem (2.9%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.78 million
  2. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.61 million
  3. Nine News — 1.43 million
  4. Nine News (6.30pm) — 1.41 million
  5. 7pm ABC News — 1.24 million
  6. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.23 million
  7. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.18 million
  8. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.15 million
  9. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.14 million
  10. Four Corners (ABC) — 1.12 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.12 million
  2. Nine News — 1.09 million
  3. Nine News 6.30 — 1.07 million
  4. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.07 million

Losers: Ten, Nine viewers. At least Seven viewers got a flavour of a new series of First Dates. House Husbands on Nine couldn’t crack 900,000 national viewers from 8.30pm

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.12 million
  2. Nine News — 1.09 million
  3. Nine News (6.30pm) — 1.07 million
  4. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.07 million
  5. 7pm ABC News – 868,000
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) – 812,000
  7. Australian Story (ABC) — 812,000
  8. 7.30 (ABC) — 789,000
  9. Four Corners (ABC) — 786,000
  10. Media Watch (ABC) — 668,000

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) — 416,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 412,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC,  160,000 + 101,000 on ABC News ) — 261,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 232,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 187,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 152,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox Sports More (2.5%)
  2. TVHITS 2.4%)
  3.  Fox8 (2.0%)
  4. UKTV (1.8%)
  5. LifeStyle (1.7%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) — 108,000
  2. AFL: On The Couch (Fox Footy) — 76,000
  3. Monday Night With Matty Johns (Fox League) — 73,000
  4. Golf: The Masters Day 4 (Fox Sports) — 67,000
  5. NRL: 360 (Fox League) — 60,000

Peter Fray

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