Nine won overall thanks to the NRL and the AFL Footy Show.  The big story from last night was that just as viewers turned off and tuned out of Scott Morrison’s budget speech on Tuesday night, so too they gave a wide berth to last night’s offering from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Last night’s offering was watched by 465,000 nationally on the ABC’s main channel and News 24/ABC News (or whatever it is called these days). That consisted of 346,000 in the metros and 168,000 in the regions. His 2016 Budget reply speech was watched by 798,000 people nationally, perahps  boosted by the impending long election campaign.

More than 900,000 people watched North Queensland beat the soft as lard Canterbury side in the NRL on Nine and Fox Sports. The top five programs in regional areas were: Seven News with 635,000, Seven News/Today Tonight with 511, Home and Away was 3rd with 471,000, then the 5.30pm part of The Chase Australia with 533,000, and Masterchef was 5th with 332,000.

And that brings up a final point about last night – Masterchef did well with more than 1.2 million national viewers and over 870,000 in the metros, but it seems like it is only capable of doing well without any opposition. As soon as Nine or Seven program The Voice or House Rules against it, Masterchef weakens. In Breakfast Today beat Sunrise for the 4th morning in a row in the metros, 287,000 to 272,000, while Sunrise had a narrower than usual win nationally.

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Network channel share:

  1. Nine (27.5%)
  2. Seven (27.1%)
  3. Ten (23.5%)
  4. ABC (14.6%)
  5. SBS (7.3%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (24.1%)
  2. Ten (17.4%)
  3. Seven (16.5%)
  4. ABC (9.6%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.7%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (4.5%)
  2. ONE (3.5%)
  3. 7mate (3.3%)
  4. GO (3.1%)
  5. ABC 2 (2.9%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.65 million
  2. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.46 million
  3. Nine/NBN News — 1.28 million
  4. Nine/NBN News (6.30pm)  — 1.23 million
  5. Masterchef Australia (Ten) — 1.20 million
  6. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.12 million
  7. ACA (Nine) — 1.03 million
  8. The Chase Australia 5.30pm (Seven) — 1.02 million
  9. 7pm ABC News — 1.01 million
  10. The Project (Ten) — 959,000

Top metro programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.018 million

Losers: Viewers, except for fans of Masterchef

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.018 million
  2. Nine News — 969,000
  3. Seven News/Today Tonight — 957,000
  4. Nine News (6.30pm) — 913,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 736,000
  6. 7pm ABC News – 687,000
  7. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 643,000
  8. Ten Eyewitness News — 433,000
  9. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 372,000
  10. Budget: Opposition Leader’s Reply (ABC) — 327,000

Morning (national) TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 492,000
  2. Today (Nine) —460,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC,  173,000 + 88,000 on News 24) — 158,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 210,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 197,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 140,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Canterbury v North Qld. (Fox League) — 202,000
  2. The Late Show With Matty Johns (Fox League) — 112,000,000
  3. Grand Designs Australia (LifeStyle) — 84,000
  4. NRL: Thursday Night League (Fox League) — 77,000
  5. Railroads Australia  (Discovery), AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) — 59,000

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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