(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Budget night 2021. Was it as much fun as Big Brother (823,000 nationally), MasterChef (742,000) or Lego Masters (934,000)? For the obsessed, perhaps, but the numbers tell us that Josh Frydenberg’s third budget acted as a viewer deterrent. 

His speech on the ABC averaged 615,000 nationally for the half hour of plod. The horizontal hour of analysis from 8pm averaged 413,000 and the 90 minutes or so of stunningly obvious reaction from 9pm to 10.30pm averaged 227,000. Every year sees more cases of Stockholm Syndrome, where many of those pundits who have been in the budget lockup or studying the budget day after day get too close to their captors and can’t see the spin for the rant.

All this was after the 7pm ABC news averaged 959,000 -- a big turn off for Josh. In other words it bored Australia. Thursday night sees Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese giving his reply from 7.30pm. The best analysis will come at 6.55pm with Sammy J and his weekly team talk -- it will be far more illuminating.