ABC news breakfast
(Image: ABC News Breakfast)

A bit of minor TV history was made last week — ABC’s News Breakfast finished second nationally to Seven’s Sunrise in the Monday to Friday battle, which means Nine’s expensive Today was third, for the first time.

The figures (five morning averages) were: Sunrise, 615,000, News Breakfast, 409,000 and Today, 400,000 (which is not to be sneezed at).

But it is the first time this realignment in breakfast has happened on a weekly measure (News Breakfast beat Today on four mornings, nationally and in the metros last week, a first as well).

It is a sign of the still enormous power of legacy TV to connect people that an average of 1.4 million people were watching these three programs every morning last week. That’s more than 5% of the entire Australian population.

For Nine though last week’s results confirm that while COVID-19 has helped lift the Karl Stefanovic-led Today out of the mire, the program still doesn’t yet have the credibility to match Sunrise, or  News Breakfast.

Sunday night, Nine won easily with MAFS, 1.585 million at the start of its last week.

The various news programs showed little change from a week ago as public interest stayed at high levels because of COVID-19. Nine News added around 100,000 viewers, Seven News dipped 7000 from a week ago (but still had 2.038 million viewers and over 200,000 ahead of Nine). 60 Minutes’ audience fell more than 100,000 from a week earlier.

Audiences for The Project and Ten’s news were a touch higher. Insiders on ABC TV, up to 880,000 from 861,000 the previous Sunday and another national top 10 finish over the entire day’s viewing. Landline on the ABC at 12.30pm added nearly 200,000 viewers from the previous Sunday to average 584,000, probably an all-time high. 

Weekend Sunrise and Weekend Today also added viewers, as did Offsiders and Sports Sunday on the ABC and Nine respectively, despite no sport.

In regional markets Seven News with 706,000, Nine News, 439,000, MAFS, 424,000, 7pm ABC News, 421,000, The Latest Seven News, 378,000.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (35.1%)
  2. Seven (25.6%)
  3. ABC (17.3%)
  4. Ten (16.4%)
  5. SBS (5.6%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (26.8%)
  2. Seven (19.2%)
  3. Ten (11.7%)
  4. ABC (10.9%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.0%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. ABC News (3.8%)
  2. 7mate (3.6%)
  3. GO, Gem (3.3%)
  4. 10 Bold (2.8%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News — 2.038 million 
  2. Nine/NBN News   — 1.811 million
  3. MAFS (Nine) —1.585 million
  4. 7pm ABC News — 1.442 million
  5. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.386 million
  6. Seven News Ben Cousins Special — 1.156 million
  7. Nine News COVID-19 Special — 1.149 million
  8. Seven News  The Latest — 1.050 million
  9. Dancing With The Stars – Winner Announced (Ten) — 921,000
  10. Insiders (ABC, ABC News) — 880,000

Top 10 Metro programs

  1. Nine News — 1.372 million
  2. Seven News 1.332 million
  3. MAFS (Nine) — 1.161 million
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.017 million
  5. 7pm ABC News — 1.001 million

Metro news and current affairs

  1. Nine News — 1.372 million
  2. Seven News — 1.332 million
  3. 60 Minutes 1.017 million
  4. 7 pm ABC News — 1.001 million
  5. Nine News COVID -19 Special  —854,000
  6. Seven News The Latest — 673,000
  7. The Sunday Project (Ten) — 466,000
  8. 10 News First — 432,000
  9. The Project 6.30pm —371,000
  10. SBS World News — 191,000

Losers: None on yet another day and night dominated by just one story.

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Insiders (ABC. ABC News) — 880,000
  2. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) — 638,000
  3. Landline (ABC) — 584,000
  4. Weekend Today (Nine) — 418,000
  5. Offsiders (ABC) — 396,000
  6. Sports Sunday (Nine) — 329,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Paul Murray Live (Sky News) — 82,000
  2. Outsiders (Sky News) — 81,000
  3. Outsiders (Sky News) 
  4. Sharri (Sky News) — 74,000
  5. Outsiders (sky News — 72,000

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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