(Image: AAP/Dave Hunt)

It was NSW v Queensland; the State of Origin v the ABC and its core viewers. Who will win the great battles of Wednesday night? Well, on the field, the newbies of Queensland pulled off another famous win, beating the hotly faved NSW Blues 18-14 after trailing 10-0 at half time.

While Queensland was triumphant, the game did OK for Nine. There will be a long post mortem today as it was not the rating bonanza many might have thought. In fact it was a bit like the US elections: a bit of a letdown. The ratings were not very good compared to past series. Perhaps it was the shift from the mid-season timing because of COVID-19.

Origin averaged 2.37 million, the lowest national figures since they started being recorded in 2003 (previously there had been metro figures only). It was also around 25%, or 800,000 viewers, down on the 3.20 million people who watched game one in 2019, while the metro figure of 1.59 million was the lowest since game one of 2001 (and also down sharply from the 2.17 million for 2019).

The regional audience of 780,000 was well down on previous years as well. The regional audience last year was 1.02 million. It will be a series for core viewers. Brisbane’s audience fell to just 513,000 last night because their fans thought the cane toads had no change. Last year it was 746,000.

On the box, it was the ABC running second from 7pm behind Origin (and boring us at times with the chat) with back-to-back coverage of the US elections after most of the world was battling incredulity at the outcome. But that’s a bit unfair. The ABC easily won the battle of the coverage — in the day it was well ahead of Seven (260,000) and Nine (198,000). The ABC’s audience during the day (on the main channel alone) was double that, more including the audience on the News channel.

The ABC averaged more then 750,000 from 7pm to well-past 11pm — it started at 924,000 for the 7pm news and finished off with 417,000 for the two hours and more ofPlanet Americaas we waited the Raver in Chief to appear at 2.20am Washington time to make his outrageous claim of having won the vote when the count was not finished.

The ABC’s (deluded) rival Sky News was left far, far behind (unlike its US parent Fox News which topped the night for US TV ratings). Its coverage during the day peaked at 75,000. From 6pm The Bolt Reporttopped the night with an average 101,000. Sky News and Foxtel were flattened by the ABC’s election coverage and the Origin game on Nine.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (37.6%)
  2. ABC (23.6%)
  3. Seven (18.5%)
  4. Ten (13.5%)
  5. SBS (6.9%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (31.0%)
  2. ABC (13.7%)
  3. Seven (12.1%)
  4. Ten (8.6%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.7%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. ABC News (7.8%)
  2. 7TWO (3.5%)
  3. Gem (2,2%)
  4. 10 Bold (4.0%)
  5. GO (2.8%)
  6. 10 Peach (2.7%)
  7. ABC Kids/Comedy (2.5%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Origin Game 1 (Nine) — 2.378 million
  2. Seven News — 1.534 million
  3. Seven News 6.30 — 1.526 million
  4. Origin – Pre-Match (Nine) — 1.135 million
  5. Nine/NBN News  6.30 — 1.035 million *
  6. Nine/NBN News — 994,000
  7. Home and Away (Seven) — 952,000
  8. ABC News 7-8pm  — 924,000
  9. US Votes (no Hard Quiz) (ABC)   —- 845,000
  10. US Votes (no Gruen)  (ABC) — 825,000

Top metro programs: 

  1. State of Origin – Game 1  — 1.598 million

Losers: With Origin and the US election results coverage, everyone not named Nine or the ABC.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News 6.30 — 1.051 million
  2. Seven News  — 1.049 million
  3. Nine News — 772,000
  4. Nine News 6.30  —768,000 *
  5. ABC News 7-8pm — 641,000
  6. ABC News 8.30 – 9pm — 601,000
  7. ABC News – 8-9pm 7pm — 596,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 466,000
  9. The Project 6.30 (Ten) — 324,000
  10. Ten News First — 318,000

 Morning (National) TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) — 460,000/264,000
  2. News Breakfast (ABC, ABC News) — 339,000/242,000
  3. Today (Nine) — 318,000/212,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 218,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 191,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 53,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. The Bolt Report(Sky News) — 101,000
  2. Credlin (Sky News) — 87,000
  3. Paul Murray (Sky News) — 86,000
  4. Kenny (Sky News) — 84,000
  5. PML Later (Sky News) — 77,000

Peter Fray

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today and get your first 12 weeks for $12.

Cancel anytime.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW