(Image: ABC)

One figure tells the story of last night. One of the most powerful signs of summer is the combined share for the networks’ non-main channels, 38.0%. It's a much larger than main channel shares for any of the networks.

Even though there was a heap of repeats and dross on the non-primary channels, the main channels' offerings forced viewers to look elsewhere (so far no one has produced figures on the diversion of people to streamers Netflix or Stan).

The exceptions last night were again Hard Quiz (894,000 and the most watched non-news program) and Gruen (884,000). That saw the ABC dominate prime time from 7pm (helped by ABC News, 885,000 7.30, 767,000) onwards while the commercial networks showed their hands by screening low cost rubbish. It's programming by bean-counters.