Nine’s night, thanks to the revamped AFL Footy Show and the absence of any credible competition on the other channels — although The Bachelor grabbed 1.02 million national viewers for Ten and helped fight off an average offering from the ABC.

A slimline Eddie McGuire returning to The Footy Show’s return was just more of the same — the attempted revamp was an really attempt to recover to past glories. It managed 622,000 national viewers, 381,000 of those in Melbourne. In fact it was all about the Melbourne market — while audiences in Perth (70,000) and Adelaide (78,000) were the best for a year or more, it could only grab 93,000 regional viewers. The NRL game last night (Souths and Canterbury) averaged 213,000 in the regions. In the metros it grabbed 336,000, well behind the 529,000 in the metros – with that boosted by Melbourne. The NRL game managed 786,000 viewers on Nine (579,000) and Foxtel (207,000).

But I reckon Seven would have been quietly happy with The Front Bar figures — 304,000 nationally and 180,000 in Melbourne. Yes, it was easily beaten by Nine’s offering, especially in Melbourne but on a cost to income basis, Seven would be smiling. TV is no longer bigger, better and brighter (and a case of damn the budget) but all about cost to revenue, reach, social engagement. The Front Bar will hang in there, but will the Melbourne viewers return for more of the same helping of the Eddie McGuire they now know so very well?

The big test is who many of last night’s viewers turn up next week and the week after — and past the end of this year, whether Eddie McGuire returns in 2018. He is no longer the fresh-faced former Ten and print journo with a love of Collingwood who fronted the first program back on March 24, 1994.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (31.0%)
  2. Seven (26.0%)
  3. Ten (18.4%)
  4. ABC (17.1%)
  5. SBS (7.5%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (23.9%)
  2. Seven (16.2%)
  3. Ten (12.9%)
  4. ABC (11.3%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.6%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (4.1%)
  2. ABC 2 (3.8%)
  3. GO (3.3%)
  4. 7mate, ONE (3.1%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.595 million
  2. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.417 million
  3. Nine/NBN News (6.30pm) — 1.245 million
  4. Nine/NBN News — 1.236 million
  5. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.146 million
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.117 million
  7. 7pm ABC News — 1.042 million
  8. The Bachelor (Ten) — 1.029 million
  9. The Chase Australia 5.30pm (Seven) — 997,000
  10. Make You laugh Out Loud (Seven) — 929,000

Top metro programs:

    1. Seven News —971,000
    2. Nine News —931,000
    3. Nine News 6.30 — 926,000
    4. Seven News/Today Tonight — 909,000

Losers: Seven, Ten (but not The Bach). Common Sense on Ten – 410,000. Not good enough – 600,000 less than The Bach.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News —971,000
  2. Nine News —931,000
  3. Nine News 6.30 — 926,000
  4. Seven News/Today Tonight — 909,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 789,000
  6. 7pm ABC News – 701,000
  7. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 581,000
  8. 7.30 (ABC) — 512,000
  9. Ten Eyewitness News — 426,000
  10. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 346,000

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 470,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 387,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC,  183,000 + 80,000 on News 24) — 263,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 211,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 156,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 127,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox 8  (%)
  2. LifeStyle  (%)
  3. TVHITS  (%)
  4. UKTV, Fox Classics (%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Souths V Canterbury (Fox League) — 207,000
  2. The Late Show With Matty Johns (Fox League) — 90,000
  3. Thursday Night League (Fox League) — 87,000
  4. Aussie Gold Hunters (Discovery) — 78,000
  5. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) – 70,000

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW