It was Nine’s night as the NRL game gave the network a boost in Sydney and Brisbane. Nine News was solid with big wins over Seven News in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven News however waltzed home nationally thanks to big audiences in the regions.

The top five programs in the metros were news and current affairs programs — the now familiar sign the audience couldn’t be bothered very much about what was on after that because the networks were all running dead — Nine’s NRL game is now a Thursday night programming fixture, as are the two footy shows.

The NRL game had 796,000 viewers on Nine and Gem. But the audience for each of the footy shows fell sharply. Nine boasted about the 208,000 who watched the AFL Footy Show in Melbourne — a few weeks ago they were boasting about the season high 299,000 who watched. As I said, it is a faded shadow of itself.

But what of the NRL Footy Show — winner of the Logie for best sports program? In whose minds? Nine staff? The families of those who make the show? Last night 215,000 in Sydney watched the NRL game between the Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers while 242,000 watched in Brisbane — those are good figures, with both teams having solid fan bases on TV. 

The NRL Footy Show went to air straight afterwards and averaged, wait for it, 89,000 in Sydney from around 9.30 pm and just 61,000 in Brisbane. In other words, 58% of those who watched the NRL game in Sydney on Nine, and 75% of those who watched in Brisbane, turned off the NRL Footy Show to do anything else rather than watch the antics of the Logie winning show. That is the real judgement from the fan base, not the vote stuff that won the program the Logie.

I don’t know which ambiguity Seven Types of Ambiguity was up to last night, nor did the audience. It got 596,000 national viewers with 397,000 in the metros and 199,000 in the regions — falling, falling. This is the core core ABC audience.

In regional markets Seven News again won the night with 635,000 viewers, from Home and Away with 513,000, Seven News/Today Tonight was 3rd with 511,000, then the 5.30pm part of The Chase Australia with 435,000 and the 7pm ABC News was 5th with 340,000.

In breakfast Seven’s Sunrise won nationally (542,000 to 453,000 for Nine’s Today) and the metros (318,000 to 294,000 for Today). — Read the rest on the Crikey website

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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