(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

It was Seven’s night with the Thursday night AFL game pulling in 739,000 national viewers. Nine rested after the State of Origin win the night before, Ten battled — with MasterChef Australia attracting 717,000. A long weekend in most states so lots of sport — AFL Big Freeze game on Monday from Sydney the highlight.

Q&A was up to 464,000, up from 351,000 a week ago, and Foreign Correspondent pulled in 610,000 — up from 525,000.

Nine boasted on Thursday that the first 2021 State of Origin game “achieved a live average national audience of 2,988,000 people across linear broadcast on Channel 9 and BVOD streaming on 9Now, making it the most-watched program of the year to-date in Australia and exceeding all expectations. On Channel 9, the national average audience was up 12.7% on game one of the 2020 series with 2.7 million people. On 9Now, the live BVOD audience was up by a massive 56% year-on-year with 280,000 (including co-viewing) — the largest live BVOD audience ever recorded on any CFTA BVOD platform in Australian history.”

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And yes, that’s all true. But as we pointed out on Thursday, the comparison with 2020’s series is misleading because it was played in November at the end of the regular NRL season instead of in the middle. 2019 was the last series where it was at its normal timing and the combined linear and streaming audience fell far short of the 3.2 million — all on Nine’s free-to-air channel. That’s more evidence State of Origin is getting stale in the eyes of fans. Game one in 2018 averaged 3.45 million — so the 2.98 million was even weaker on comparison three years ago.

In breakfast it was: Sunrise, 461,000 nationally and 272,000 metro; Today, 350,000 and 228,000; News Breakfast, 278,000 and 179,000.

In the regions it was: Seven News, 627,000; Seven News 6.30, 595,000; The Chase Australia 5.30pm, 386,000; Home and Away, 326,000; 7pm ABC News, 317,000.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (33.9%)
  2. Nine (22.9%)
  3. Ten (17.9%)
  4. ABC (17.3%)
  5. SBS (8.0%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (22.5%)
  2. Nine (16.3%)
  3. Ten (11.7%)
  4. ABC (11.0%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.3%)

Top 5 digital channels:

  1. 7TWO (5.0%)
  2. 7TWO (4.4%)
  3. ABC Kids/Comedy/Plus (3.7%)
  4. 10 Bold (3.1%)
  5. 10 Peach (2.5%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.65 million
  2. Seven News 6.30 — 1.57 million
  3. Nine News — 1.30 million
  4. Nine News 6.30 — 1.22 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.02 million
  6. 7pm ABC News — 1.00 million
  7. The Chase Australia 5.30pm (Seven) — 891,000
  8. 7.30 (ABC) — 805,000
  9. Home and Away (Seven) — 770,000
  10. Seven’s AFL — 739,000

Top metro programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.02 million
  2. Nine News — 1.01 million

Losers: Masterchef, Q&A

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.02 million
  2. Nine News —1.01 million
  3. Seven News 6.30 — 978,000
  4. Nine News 6.30 — 928,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) — 733,000
  6. 7pm ABC News — 688,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 550,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 440,000
  9. Ten News First — 417,000
  10. Foreign Correspondent (ABC) — 400,000

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) — 461,000/272,000
  2. Today (Nine) — 350,000/2283,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC) — 281,000/185,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 267,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 226,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 52,000


Top 5 pay TV programs:

  1. AFL: Port Adelaide v Geelong (Fox Footy) — 198,000
  2. AFL: Thursday Night Footy On Fox (Fox Footy) — 130,000
  3. Credlin (sky News) — 80,000
  4. The Bolt Report (Sky News) — 70,000
  5. AFL: Thursday Night Footy On Fox (Fox Footy), Aussie Gold Hunters (Discovery) — 66,000

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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