The relaunch of Today with Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon has started well for Nine, with improved ratings and positive social media feedback.
Sunrise won the week at 277,000 over Today‘s 220,000. That’s good news for Nine which was coming off a low base.
It’s hard to know if that’s the Karl factor or initial curiosity in a week full of news with bushfires, Harry & Meghan and US / Iran conflict. Nevertheless, Nine should be encouraged by a fresh start and by the fact nobody made any gaffes anywhere along the way (the genre is notorious for it).
Today won the week in Sydney at 75,000 viewers, a mere 1,000 ahead of Sunrise at 74,000. It also claimed some individual wins in Brisbane. For Nine it was their highest weekly average since December 2018.
Sunrise won the week in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. By Friday Seven had widened the gap, which may suggest early figures were a curiosity factor. It also bagged the demos and a national win.
Both shows are citing improved numbers for the same week in 2019, with Sunrise up 14% year on year and Today up 5%. But neither network had their anchors on air this early in 2019 and the bushfire news cannot be discounted.
Last week Sunrise Executive Produce Michael Pell told news.com.au, “We are the market leaders for a reason, and I mean that with humility and respect to the audience. We like to work from our own template and then often you’ll find other people borrowing from that. I also think one of the strengths of Sunrise is that it’s a family-friendly show.”
Today Executive Producer Steve Burling told the Daily Mail, “The bushfire crisis is affecting all Australians, and Today‘s special coverage has been widespread, thorough and at times confronting, with our new lineup ensuring viewers are kept up-to-date with the latest news. We’re happy with our new line-up and the feedback has been positive.”
Meanwhile News Breakfast on ABC ran a steady ship with numbers around the 175,000 mark over two channels.