(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Once again the ABC showed the commercials that in-depth coverage of the most important budget for decades was worth it in terms of TV ratings performance.

The ABC’s two-hour coverage of the treasurer’s speech (745,000), the interview with the treasurer and some chat (560,000) and then a second round of analysis and comment (370,000) paid off. It was second from 7.30pm to 9.30pm behind Nine and The Block (1.22 million) and Halifax - Retribution (809,000). 

Seven had yet another episode of America’s Got Talent (417,000, how deep is that well?) and then an hour-long news special to cover the budget (256,000). From 7.30pm to 9.30pm the ABC averaged 558,000, and from 7.30pm to 10.15pm, Seven averaged 334,000. That’s barely enough to keep the lights on in the studio.