(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.

And with SBS managing to average the same for the two hours from 7.30pm (for Everyone’s Family Has A Secret, 405,000, and Insight, 263,000), it meant Seven and SBS were running equal last at times.

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Ten was third, averaging 358,000 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm with a Prince William special averaging 404,000 and the repeat of Ambulance Australia with 304,000.

But it should be pointed out that the ABC’s total people and main channel shares were down from a week ago — 17.3% and 10.7% respectively last night against 19.7% and 15.3% a week earlier. So ScoMo and his promising treasurer did bore for Australia so far as the ABC audience is concerned.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (32.2%)
  2. Seven (24.5%)
  3. ABC (17.3%)
  4. Ten (17.0%)
  5. SBS (9.0%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (23.0%)
  2. Seven (14.7%)
  3. ABC (10.7%)
  4. Ten (9.6%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.7%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 10 Bold (4.3%)
  2. 7mate (4.1%)
  3. 7TWO (3.5%)
  4. ABC Kids/Comedy (3.1%)
  5. Gem (2.9%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.541 million
  2. Seven News 6.30 — 1.510 million
  3. The Block (Nine) — 1.223 million
  4. Nine/NBN News 6.30  — 1.206 million
  5. Nine/NBN News   — 1.169 million
  6. A Current Affair (Nine)  —- 1.095 million
  7. 7pm ABC News — 1.054 million
  8. Home and Away (Seven) — 913,000
  9. The Chase Australia 5.30pm (Seven) — 873,000
  10. Halifax-Retribution (Nine) — 809,000

Top metro programs:

  1. Seven News 6.30 — 1.000 million

Losers:  Seven — still weak.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News 6.30 — 1.000 million
  2. Seven News — 995,000
  3. Nine News 6.30 —899,000
  4. Nine News  — 888,000
  5. ACA (Nine) — 803,000
  6. 7pm ABC News — 714,000
  7. The Treasurer’s Budget Speech (ABC) — 518,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 470,000
  9. Budget Chat and Analysis (ABC) — 470,000
  10. Ten News First — 388,000

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) — 403,000/231,000
  2. Today (Nine) — 284,000/194,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC, ABC News) — 275,000/188,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 234,000 
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 164,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 59,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Paul Murray Live (Sky News) —93,000
  2. Budget Live (Sky News) — 74,000
  3. Credlin-Budget (Sky News) — 61,000
  4. Credlin (Sky News) — 58,000
  5. PML Later (Sky News) —  52,000