If Seven’s 6pm news bulletin beats Nine tonight in Sydney then it will have scored a rare Monday to Friday win over its rival in the country’s most competitive TV market, in the most competitive timeslot and in the most competitive part of the business -- network news. This may sound like a side show, a non-event, but it isn’t. Sydney is HQ for the media companies and networks, it is the biggest revenue market by far and it dominates network thinking and ad selling. And with Seven’s share price slowly sinking, and Nine’s on the rise, this week’s performance is a rare ray of light for Seven towards the end of a bad year.
Seven won last night because The Good Doctor again delivered -- 1.49 million national viewers -- lower than the debut earlier in the week with 1.64 million, but as viewing levels are much lower on a Thursday evenings than Tuesday evenings, it was a more dominant ratings outcome for Seven, as the ratings show. Ten’s Gogglebox was again funny (and insightful) and got 871,000 nationally. Nine snuck the Stan series, Wolf Creek into the schedule at 9.30pm; it got 302,000 and deserved less. Ten started yet another comedy panel series, Cram! hosted by The Project's Peter Helliar. 770,000 nationally, which is OK, but how many will return next week?