ABC audiences turning to politics

ABC has sent through some numbers on its audiences as events continue to unfold in Canberra.

Yesterday ABC’s primary channel had a 12.2% share with ABC News at 2.7%. On Tuesday night ABC News won its timeslot.

Here is how ABC saw it:

ABC: ABC had a metro daytime share on Wednesday of 7.1% and a primetime share of 10.3%
ABC News Channel: With an average 24-hour reach of 5.1% of the metro population on Wednesday, the ABC News Channel is by far Australia’s leading source of 24-hour news coverage

ABC News Digital: Yesterday saw 1.6 million visitors to the ABC News website and 271,000 users of the ABC App – a record number of app users for the year to date.

Over the past two days, seven of the top 10 ABC News online articles have related to the leadership crisis. In total, related articles have generated over 3.8 million page views for ABC News

Source: Oztam Overnight 5 city metro (22nd August 2018); Webtrends (22-23 August 2018)

Today’s coverage highlights:

ABC and simulcast on ABC NEWS channel: From 7pm AEST Leigh Sales will host a one-hour news special with the ABC’s best political commentators, including Barrie Cassidy, Greg Jennett, Laura Tingle, Andrew Probyn and Antony Green, as well as special guests

ABC NEWS channel: Directly afterwards from 8pm AEST Stan Grant will host a Leadership Crisis special. There will also be special editions of The Drum and The Business.

Watch rolling coverage on the ABC NEWS livestream at

Follow the live blog at or download the ABC App


  1. And did in all their hours of coverage did they predict that Morrison and Fryberg be leading the country? The ABC should thank Turnbull. If he had called a spill with notice on Tuesday it would have been all over before lunch. Instead we got days with 1 or 2 pieces of news, and an awful lot of false rumours, speculation and ABC staff’s op-ed. But people loved it.

    • I can’t imagine many LNP politicians would have Laura Tingle, Andrew Probyn, Virginia Trioli or Barrie Cassidy on speed-dial…… hence we had hours of talking and ultimately not much in-depth insight on the ABC

      • Turnbull’s favourite Laura Tingle would have had the scoop. Pity most Australians only get their political coverage from the Abbott/Dutton hating ABC and Nine’s Chris Uhlmann (former ABC employee). Great to see parts of regional Australia are set to get Sky News on FTA (much to the annoyance of the left, Uhlmann and the ABC) as it will give many Australians a new opportunity to see news from another prospective and form their own opinions opposed to the North Korean state style news that the ABC spills out where those who dare to challenge the extremity of climate change or have traditional values should be exiled and sent to hell.

        • Actually Katherine Murphy and Chris Uhlmann are Turnbull’s favourites…. given Tingle has never had much positive to say the LNP it is no surprise she was still thinking Turnbull was here till the election

  2. ABC television, particularly ABC News channel, are providing brilliant coverage of the coalition’s leadership crisis with the incomparable Greg Jennett steering the ship, backed up by the deep political knowledge and experience of Andrew Probyn, Michael Rowland, Virginia Trioli, Barrie Cassidy, Patricia Karvelas and Laura Tingle et al. With ABC News channel’s tiny ratings isn’t it time that this valuable and vital free news outlet was promoted more vigorously, particularly on the main ABC channel, to awaken more viewers to the existence of this excellent 24-hour news outlet, paticularly in the wake of Sky New’s new free-to-air presence due to start on Sunday,

    • There was an internal push a while back to make the ABC News Channel the main news channel – moving 7.30 there and establishing a solid 7pm – 8pm block each night. But that was overturned because the view is that ABC TV (or ABC 1 as it was once known) is the main channel and that’s where the “important” stuff should be. It’s a bit old-fashioned “analogue” thinking in this digital age, but given the average age of the ABC’s audience, it’s probably still going to be the way for the forseeable future and the other digital channels s are going to continue to be seen as “secondary”.

      • I know people explain it away as ‘old folk don’t understand’ – but, since it’s been attempted and failed multiple times world-wide, I think it’s more “habit”.

        BBC, I think – might’ve been OFCOM – had a paper on it after they tried & failed which showed it was basically all demos who tended to ignore separate news channels. The only counter-examples were self-describe “news tragics”, and a small % of other demos who switched overwhen something big was happening. Everybody else just waited for a newsbreak…

  3. This is why any faint whiff of dissatisfaction for any political party is met by an avalanche of speculation and conflagration by all the media. Anything they can do to fan the flames (either way) equals ka-ching in the form of ratings.

    This week is a gift to TV, radio and newspapers and they will ride the wave as long as possible, and use any method to keep the wave rolling.

    It is not necessarily favouritism for one side or the other, just for the chaos. As Rhett Butler stated, rich people make their money from two things: the fall of a civilisation, and the rebuilding of that civilisation.

  4. Déjà vu in Canberra. I’m interested to see what the overseas media makes of all this although they have watched with astonishment this circus before. Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and now Turnbull. Don’t you just love Aussie politics not to mention the media getting all excited and accusing each other of fanning the flames. Priceless!!

    • It’s getting coverage on CNN and BBC World here in Europe today, including Janine Perrett being interviewed on CNN. The regularity of change of PM since 2010 – including a timeline of the changes – left the CNN presenter somewhat amazed.

      • So CNN’s never heard of Italy?-a true democracy where over 50% of the population’s had a crack at being the PM…actually, listening to the BBC the turmoil in Canberra has barely rated a mention and nothing in the US, which is hardly surprising given the current goings on there.

        • Chuck128: A friend told me that a BBC journalist (obviously on a different news spot from the one you were listening to) has dubbed Canberra as ‘the coup capital of the world’ so they are aware of whats going on.

  5. Geez … it’s a bit off when the country’s politicians are tearing themselves (and any semblance of democracy) apart and all the ABC and Sky can think about is their respective ratings. Just goes to show that so-called “journalists” these days think that they are the story.

    • I’ve seen a comments like this here recently, and I must admit it puzzles me.

      I mean, people do realise that not everybody working for the ABC or Sky or Nine or whatever are journalists, right? Quite a lot of them are office staff, and a few of those have the job of collating this sort of info for both internal use & reporting on places like David’ blog here.

      If they didn’t there’d be a lot less to read here and elsewhere. I can only assume it’s generic anti-[ABC/Sky/whoever] bashing by people who’ve never worked in any sort of public-facing organisation…

      • No need to be puzzled, Tex. I don’t know about anyone else here, but I for one worked for the ABC for many years and know well that stories like that – although, yes, they usually go out via Marketing/Publicity – originate from the news department because that’s where the biggest egos are:)

        • Doesn’t quite explain the hate-on and distaste people display towards the practice though. I mean, outreach is pretty standard practice everywhere – you don’t grow or even maintain a business by sitting on your bum & not telling people about your wins & highlights…

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