ABC news breakfast
(Image: ABC News Breakfast)

Once again the continuing high level of interest in COVID-19 news saw viewing of the evening news and current affairs programs jump by 1.27 million from a week ago, when interest in the story was starting to accelerate.

Nine News’ average audience hit a five-year high — 1.60 million across the hour. But for yet another night, Seven’s audience was much higher — 1.90 million for the hour. Big rises were enjoyed by Ten’s 5pm and SBS’ 6.30pm news — up a combined 138,000. The 7pm part of The Project saw a jump of 123,000 alone.

The ABC cracked the million viewer level in the metros for the first time in a long while, ACA enjoyed a sharp improvement from a week earlier.

But the most intriguing outcome came in breakfast. More than 1.4 million people watched Seven’s Sunrise, ABC News Breakfast and Today. For the first time ever, News Breakfast had more viewers nationally — 411,000 — than Today — 400,000 — for a second morning in a row. News Breakfast also won the metros with 280,000 to 276,000. 

On Foxtel, Sky News is seeing higher figures, especially for Paul Murray Live, but Sky News is not dominating like the news and current affairs programs are for the free to air networks. Paul Murray Live (104,000) followed the top programs Gogglebox Australia (187,000) — a season high — and Selling Houses Australia (142,000).

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (32.5%)
  2. Seven (23.3%)
  3. ABC (20.7%)
  4. Ten (15.7%)
  5. SBS (7.9%)


Network main channels:

  1. Nine (25.8%)
  2. Seven (16.5%)
  3. ABC (14.4%)
  4. Ten (9.0%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.3%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 10 Bold (4.3%)
  2. ABC News (3.7%)
  3. Gem (3.3%)
  4. 7TWO (2.7%)
  5. 10 Peach (2.4%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.943 million
  2. Seven News 6.30 — 1.884 million 
  3. Nine/NBN News  — 1.626 million
  4. Nine/NBN News 6.30   — 1.607 million
  5. MAFS (Nine) — 1.602 million
  6. 7pm ABC News —1.442 million
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.282 million, ACA (Nine) — 1.282 million
  8. Hard Quiz (ABC) — 1.145 million
  9. Nine News COVID-19 — 1.068 million

Top metro programs: 

  1. Seven News — 1.277 million
  2. Nine News —    1.260 million
  3. Seven News 6.30 — 1.238 million
  4. Nine News 630 — 1.215 million
  5. MAFS (Nine) — 1.206 million
  6. 7pm ABC News — 1 million

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.277 million
  2. Nine News  —   1.260 million
  3. Seven News 6.30 — 1.238 million
  4. Nine News 6.30 —  1.215 million
  5. 7pm ABC News — 1 million
  6. ACA (Nine) — 940,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 888,000
  8. Nine COVID-19 Special —809,000
  9. Seven News: The Latest — 603,000
  10. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 602,000

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Sunrise: National: 585,000, Metro: 351,000 
  2. News Breakfast (ABC, ABC News) — 411,000
  3. Today: National: 400,000, Metro: 251,000 
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 354,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) —232,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 99,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Gogglebox Australia (LifeStyle) — 187,000
  2. Selling Houses Australia (LifeStyle) — 142,000
  3. Paul Murray Live (Sky News) —104,000
  4. The Bolt Report (Sky News) — 79,000
  5. Credlin (Sky News) — 70,000

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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