While Nine is crowing about the return of The Voice, let’s sound a note of caution — it is not as popular as last year, based on the first two nights. The national audience for Monday’s return was 1.62 million, down 14.7% on the 1.90 million for 2016, and the metro audience of 1.10 million was down 21% from the 1.4 million of a year ago. Tuesday night saw the national audience dip to 1.59 million, down 17% from last year, with the metro audience down 17.2% to just 1.18 million. In both cases it has failed to top the night as it did a year ago. It is suffering (as all so-called reality programs do) from rising voter apathy and an interest only in the finals. That finals interest is the kind My Kitchen Rules is currently enjoying — it had 1.82 million national viewers, 233,000 more than The Voice.

So, who watched The Life of Alan Bond on Nine on Monday and Tuesday nights? Not too many people it seems. Part 1 had 907,000 national viewers (613,000 in the metros) and 914,000 for last night’s part 2 (657,0000 in the metros). I hope most of those were cheering when Bond got his comeuppance last night. Paul Barry’s book might have been the source for the Nine two parter, but his three stories at Four Corners, especially the 1993 report, Rich Man Poor Man, and the one the year after, Bondy’s Benefactorgave us a far better idea of the man’s essential grubbiness than what we saw on Nine this week. Nine’s Bond biopic helped the network win both nights. 

In regional markets, Seven news topped the night with 743,000 viewers, MKR was second with 609,000, then Seven News/Today Tonight with 601,000, Home and Away was 4th with 526,000 and Nine/NBN News was 5th with 458,000.

Sunrise (307,000) and Today (306,000) were neck and neck in the metros – but Sunrise was well ahead nationally (535,000 to 466,000). The AFL game between Essendon and Collingwood had a solid 1.157 million viewers on Seven and 7mate, which gave Seven’s News a big push well past 2.2 million national viewers. A further 382,000 watched the game on Fox Footy.

Tonight its MKR up against The Voice, with Nine depending on Britain’s Got Talent for the post Voice kick, while  and on Seven a new series — The Aussie Property Flippers — which is all about these canny folk who buy cheap, renovate and sell at a higher price, a bit like The Block with pictures. At a time of rising concerns about housing affordability, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, it comes across as a lightweight reminder of the stupidities of the property game, as seen by mainstream commercial media. I suppose these flippers get interest only loans, pay minimal capital gains tax (gee that 50% discount is just wonderful) and negatively geared? Everything that’s wrong about the current housing market in a no-questions asked program on commercial TV. Legendary. — Read the rest on the Crikey Website

Peter Fray

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