Ratings the front bar
The Front Bar (Image: Channel 7)

Seven's The Front Bar won the first round of the winter sports TV battle last night. It had 614,000 national viewers (302,000 in Melbourne alone), beating the NRL game on Nine (564,000) and the first session of the Cricket World Cup on Nine Gem (208,000). 

MasterChef had a national audience of 873,000 and was the most watched program after 7.30pm. Home and Away at 7pm had 999,000, while Seven News again stunned Nine with 1.63 million nationally -- easily beating Nine News’ 1.16 million. That was a winning margin of 472,000! While Nine News beat Seven News in Sydney, Seven reversed the result in Melbourne and won the night by a margin of 50,000 at one stage, which is of the largest wins by Seven News in the slot for a while.

In regional markets Seven’s 6pm News led with 622,000, from Seven News/Today Tonight with 539,000, The Chase Australia 5.30pm with 426,000, then Home and Away with 381,000 and the 7pm ABC News with 344,000.