Sunday Night claims year as #1 public affairs programme

Sunday Night has declared a win as “Australia’s number one public affairs programme” for 2017.

It claims an average of 845,000 metro viewers and 1.3 million viewers nationally (incl. regional) every week.

While the show’s key rival is Nine’s 60 Minutes, the shows don’t always compete head to head. Last night Sunday Night aired at 7pm, while 60 Minutes as scheduled at 8:30pm. Nine has also screened some episodes as late as 10pm (following The Voice) which it codes as 60 Minutes Late. Seven comparative info includes those, regardless.

Executive Producer, Hamish Thomson, said: “Sunday Night is committed to delivering landmark investigations and the exclusive stories and interviews that matter most to Australians. This ratings result for the programme is fitting recognition for outstanding journalism and the team’s passion for storytelling. We look forward to telling more powerful stories in 2018.”

Sunday Night returns in 2018 for its 10th season, with Melissa Doyle, Steve Pennells, Denham Hitchcock, Alex Cullen, Angela Cox and Matt Doran.

Sunday Night increased its audience on the 2016 survey year by seven per cent for combined viewers, and nine per cent in metro markets. The programme also tracked growth in 2017 across women (seven per cent) and men (six per cent).

Some of those landmark investigations this year have included the exclusive, first interview with Anu Singh two decades after she orchestrated one of the most bizarre killings in Australian criminal history; an enquiry into the charity fundraising activities of marketing company Appco, following which several charity organisations terminated their contracts with the company; and an eight-month undercover investigation that exposed the monstrous child sex slavery operation in Haiti, resulting in the direct rescue of 30 children. This investigation earned reporter Matt Doran a nomination in the upcoming Walkley Awards.

Sunday Night was also recognised with the 2017 United Nations Association of Australia Media Award for Promotion of Gender Equality: Empowerment of Women and Girls for its multi-platform investigation ‘The Hunting Grounds’, which exposed the prevalence and handling of sexual assaults at Australian universities.

Then there’s the remarkable Australians who sat down exclusively with Sunday Night to share their stories, including Brenda Lin, the sole survivor of the horrific Lin family massacre, and Candice Hedge, who survived the London terror attacks.

Sunday Night’s special documentary to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the Princess of Wales, Diana, Our Mother; Her Life and Legacy, was the most-watched news and public affairs programme of 2017 with two million viewers nationally.

The biggest names in the world of showbusiness also chose to tell their stories first on Sunday Night, including Rebel Wilson, Ed Sheeran, Melissa George, Paul Hogan, Goldie Hawn, Carol King and Jimmy Barnes.

Source: OzTAM (Metro), RegionalTAM (Regional). Total Individuals. Combined: Metro + Regional. Date: Survey YTD 2017 (Wks 7-48, excl Easter). *60 Minutes incl. 60 Minutes – Late/Sun. Men/Women growth based on combined average audience. Data: Consolidated (Live + As Live + TSV7) prior to 2017 Wk 43 2017, Consolidated (Live + As Live + TSV7) for Wks 43-46, Overnight (Live + As Live) for Wk 47-48.


  1. David, when they claim Number 1, which metric are they using? 5 city metro and/or national? I think their publicists are purposefully not telling us. I’d presume the latter, seeing as 60 Minutes more than not still pips it and knowing Seven’s dominant regional affiliates.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.