Race that tops the nation

Week 45 saw Seven launch its new digital channel, and the Melbourne Cup delivering it their biggest audience all year. And there were celebrations in Community Television.

cup2Week 45 saw Seven launch its new digital channel 7TWO with a mix of broad entertainment offering. It addressed the Nine / GO! combo that had upstaged it in the last few months. In sheer audience figures the 2009 Melbourne Cup‘s record 2.67m viewers was the week’s top story. It was even Seven’s biggest audience all year. But the real news of the week was actually a lot more humble: the government’s lifeline to Community Television. After a lengthy campaign it will begin to dual-cast on analogue and digital some time in 2010.

The Seven Network convincingly won with 30.8% over Nine’s 26.1% and TEN’s 20.1%. The ABC had 17.5% and SBS 5.5%.

GO! took 2.7% ahead of 7TWO on 1.7%, ABC2 1.4%, ONE 1.1% and SBS TWO on 0.4%.

Seven won 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54. It also led on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Nine took Monday and Thursday.

The Melbourne Cup figure actually only tallies OzTAM households, overlooking the fact plenty more would have been watching in workplaces, pubs and parties. Whilst it didn’t tally into evening shares it did drive the network through to a strong Tuesday, capped off by the Packed to the Rafters wedding on 2.07m viewers. Also strong this week were RSPCA Animal Rescue, Last Chance Surgery, The Force, Border Security, Bones, Seven News, Today Tonight, Highway Patrol, Medical Emergency, Better Homes and Gardens and Beauty and the Geek Australia. With a big lead-in, the return of Private Practice was strong at 1.15m, but with Cup Eve in Melbourne, Destroyed in Seconds and FlashForward dropped. Ghost Whisperer isn’t doing anywhere near as well as its follower, Beauty & The Geek Australia. Better news with City Homicide winning its slot on Wednesday. Two weeks ago this site tipped Border Security repeats might replace Coastwatch -this week it topped Wednesday nights. 7TWO’s best for its inaugural week was Ugly Betty on 105,000.

Monday night’s Two and a Half Men was yet again best for Nine on 1.36m viewers. Against the Cup it was a tough week for Nine. The Big Bang Theory, 20 to 1, Getaway were the only other shows to pass the 1.2m mark -although The Mentalist was line ball. CSI, A Current Affair, and Nine News followed -the latter had 2 weeknights under the 1m mark. Also below the magic million were 60 Minutes, The Apprentice Australia, Money for Jam, RPA Where Are They Now?, Australia’s Funniest Home Videos and The Secret Millionaire. Nine’s Sunday night movie The Conspiracy tanked at 648,000 while Aussie Ladette to Lady slumped to 688,000. On GO! The Big Bang Theory reached 269,000 and Wipeout hit 259,000.

A repeat of NCIS was TEN’s top show on 1.26m and the network also fared well on Wednesday with Celebrity Masterchef‘s 1.22m and A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne on 1.05m. Under 1m were Glee, Rush, Good News Week, Australian Idol, Lie to Me, new Simpsons, Burn Notice and Rove. Disappointments came from Jamie’s American Road Trip at 625,000 and Electric Dreams on 592,000. The 7PM Project rose to 766,000 on Cup day but was 569,000 on Friday -a night whenTEN couldn’t improve past TEN News at Five. Saturday’s share was worse. FIA Formula One Pre-Race took 106,000 on ONE.

A knockout 1.42m ensured ABC’s Friday night Midsomer Murders beat anything on Nine and TEN all week. That left Spicks and Specks, Australian Story, ABC News, The Bill, Taggart and Collectors to do the rest of the heavy lifting. Hungry Beast, John Safran’s Race Relations and Four Corners all dipped this week. The last Q & A for 2009 rose to 585,000. Junkyard Wars took 149 on ABC2 as the channel’s best. ABC beat TEN on Friday and Saturday.

Top Gear settled for 674,000 on SBS followed by 426,000 for Man Vs Wild. Who Do You Think You Are? took 382,000, Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 307,000, Iron Chef 265,000, Mythbusters 264,000, Trawlermen 256,000, Shintaro! 241,000, RocKwiz 240,000, Insight 222,000, Hardcore Profits 175,000 and East West 101 171,000.

Just 3 more weeks of survey remain.

Week 45


19 Responses

  1. I agree Hoople. You can Never compare a 3-5 minute coverage to a 3 hr sports coverage. The only way you can do that is if you look at the AFL peak. AFL GF will always be bigger than Melb Cup sorry Jerome.

  2. @ Dan – I disagree with you and over Ape overlords – I think OneHD has served to prove two points – a) Given the choice between sport and general entertainment – the bulk of the television audience will choose the latter b) Sport itself in this country is fragmenting, for all of FTA’s protestations about anti-siphoning and keep sport free, there are now only 5 mass audience sports during the year: Summer Cricket, Tennis, AFL, NRL, Melbourne Cup Carnival. That’s it, nothing else pulls huge ratings unfortunately.

    I think Ten will keep OneHD but OneSD is toast, they’ll use that space to compete with GO! and 7TWO because Ten (the mothership) is haemorrhaging viewers to the new upstarts.

  3. i really do get that the melbourne cup was hugely successful – but lets keep in mind it was 5 minutes of content!
    its not really comparable to a whole game of sport… but a great result all the same.

  4. 7TWO’s share will no doubt rise when viewer awareness becomes more prevalent. If I’m ever talking to someone about TV and I happen to mention that there’s a new channel called 7TWO, most people have no clue what I’m talking about…

  5. i think one hd will stay.

    it will be interesting to see how bad idol rates tonight again. i wonder if they will ask a contestant to quit like they did last week. dont tell me they didn’t ask him to quit

  6. OneHD is a long-term investment strategy that will still be around long after 7TWO and Go! have disappeared. With TV moving towards content on demand, with direct downloads and other similar distribution methods, sport will remain viable on TV because it’s something people want to watch live.

    When the uprising takes place and this becomes a Planet of The Apes, our ape overlords will still be able to watch Grand Slam tennis events from Ape City live on OneHD.

  7. Seven won Saturday as correctly noted here and incorrectly noted in Saturday figures, now corrected. Apologies.

    Bogues: 7TWO had advertising as soon as it started as noted here. If you mean promotion for the channel, there was still quite a bit of media on it. It’s a good start and it will pick up.

  8. Just how committed is Ten to maintaining OneHD as a 24hr sports channel? 7two is already beating it in share and One has been on the air the longest… surely the cost of all the sports rights would outweigh any advertising revenue that might be coming in…

  9. The spotlight this week will be on the Australian Masters golf, which returns to Channel Nine after a 30-year break. The Victorian Government reportedly paid $3.3 million to lure Tiger Woods to play at the tournament. Will it translate to a big audience on Nine and Foxtel (which has the rights for this year and next year)? In the US, golf tournaments that feature Tiger Woods generally rate well on TV.

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