With more people watching free-to-air TV because of COVID-19 you’d expect that the finale of MAFS last night would have rated its socks off. Well, think again. Think the lowest audience in three years.

The audience last night plunged 20% from a year ago to 1.95 million. Now that’s still a very solid national figure and second place on the night, but a year ago it was a night-leading 2.45 million. The loss of nearly 500,000 viewers is a signal that viewers are over the tosh and soulless rubbish portrayed as ‘reality’ TV by Nine. Nine still won the night, it will continue with MAFS in 2021, but you can be certain that its days are numbered. Such was the loss of viewers that last night’s audience was less than the 2.40 million who watched the 2018 finale.

Nine’s Monday morning boast-a-thon about MAFS failed to mention those salient points.

Insiders on ABC TV was a very different story — another record audience — with 946,000 viewers nationally yesterday, eighth nationally on the day. The program is going from strength to strength thanks to its solid discussion of COVID-19 and David Speers’ no nonsense interviewing style.

In regional markets Seven News, 651,000, Seven News — The Ruby Princess, 486,000, MAFS, 474,000, Nine News, 440,000, 7pm ABC News, 410,000.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (38.5%)
  2. Seven (26.5%)
  3. ABC (16.7%)
  4. Ten (11.7%)
  5. SBS (6.6%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (31.5%)
  2. Seven (18.2%)
  3. ABC (11.2%)
  4. Ten (6.8%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.8%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7mate (4.0%)
  2. 10 Bold (2.9%)
  3. Gem, ABC Kids Comedy (2.7%)
  4. 7TWO, ABC News (2.3%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.96 million 
  2. MAFS (Nine) — 1.95 million
  3. Nine/NBN News — 1.76 million
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.47 million
  5. 7pm ABC News — 1.33 million
  6. Seven News Special — The Ruby Princess — 1.32 million
  7. Nine News COVID-19 — 946,000
  8. Insiders (ABC, ABC News) — 932,000
  9. Grand Designs NZ (ABC) — 797,000
  10. Border Security (Seven) — 764,000

Top Metro programs:

  1. MAFS (Nine) — 1.48 million
  2. Nine News — 1.32 million
  3. Seven News — 1.31 million
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.10 million

Metro news and current affairs: 

  1. Nine News — 1.32 million
  2. Seven News — 1.31 million
  3. 60 Minutes — 1.102 million
  4. 7pm ABC News — 916,000
  5. Seven News — The Ruby Princess — 834,000
  6. Nine News COVID-19 Special — 718,000
  7. The Sunday Project (Ten) — 409,000
  8. 10 News First — 405,000
  9. The Project 6.30pm — 384,000
  10. SBS World News — 249,000

Losers: MAFS — three year low for the finale.

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Insiders (ABC, ABC News) — 932,000
  2. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) — 612,000
  3. Landline (ABC) — 585,000
  4. Weekend Today (Nine) — 429,000
  5. Offsiders (ABC) — 342,000
  6. Sports Sunday (Nine) — 238,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Outsiders (Sky News) — 90,000
  2. Outsiders (Sky News) — 89,000
  3. Paul Murray Live (Sky News) — 60,000
  4. Selling Houses Australia (LifeStyle) — 49,000
  5. Sunday Agenda (Sky News) — 47,000

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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