News rises on a most unusual Monday

Public interest in COVID-19 information led to a lift in news and current affairs programming last night -including several 2020 highs.

Seven News topped the night at 1.1m / 1.02m but Nine News was also high at 1.07m / 1.05m -both were respective highs for weeknight news this year.

Meanwhile in other slots there were lifts for 7:30, ABC News, A Current Affair, The Project, 10 News First, SBS World News and a very spartan edition of Q&A. Breakfast TV was also boosted across the board.

Married at First Sight topped the entertainment timeslot and the demos at 1.04m defeating 7:30 (888,000), Australian Story (713,000), Australian Survivor (700,000) and My Kitchen Rules (476,000) -which scraped in at #20.

A Nine News special on COVID-19 drew 632,000 ahead of Media Watch (579,000), Four Corners (537,000 from 8:30pm), The Latest (340,000) and Hughesy We Have a Problem (293,000).

Nine network won Monday with 29.2% then Seven 23.2%, ABC 22.1%, 10 19.4% and SBS 6.0%.

A Current Affair enjoyed a 2020 high at 848,000 for Nine. Hot Seat was 478,000 / 299,000. Footy Classified was 178,000 in 3 cities and 100% Footy was 80,000 in 2 cities.

Home and Away pulled 579,000 and The Chase was 554,000 / 367,000. Talking Footy drew 79,000 for its repeat in 3 cities.

ABC News won its slot at 856,000 for ABC with Q&A at 517,000 and The Drum also up at 221,000.

The Project was at a 2020 high at 582,000 / 387,000 as was  10 News First (519,000 / 330,000).

On SBS it was SBS World News (144,000, Michael Mosley’s Placebo Experiment (129,000), Planet Expedition (120,000), Michael Mosley: Medical Mavericks (85,000) and Mastermind (79,000).

Bluey led multichannels at 180,000. Neighbours drew 154,000 / 142,000 for its two episodes.

Sunrise: 315,000
Today: 236,000
News Breakfast: 156,000 / 72,000

OzTAM Overnights: Monday 16 March 2020


  1. What is it with the 7 news in Perth ,are they all trapped at home self isolating ,has there been a radiation fallout we don’t know about ,please explain.

    • Perth has a long history of loyalty to Seven brand. Telethon has decades on air, Seven publishes local newspaper, Kerry Stokes lives in the West etc. For many years Nine was owned by WIN Television and didn’t devote much resources. 10 arrived in the ’80s.

      • Ah ok that’s interesting to know ,it does seem that loyalty is alive and well and I guess the AFL does pretty well there too ,thanks David.

        • harrypotter1994

          Also Rick and Sue the news reading duo have been on air together for 35 years which is a record for a duo anywhere in the world. Us viewers in Perth know what we will be getting if we turn on Seven News.

        • And to add to the other points raised, WA is an AFL state, so the games shown on FTA are all on 7. They often run a game into the news at 6pm on the weekend too.

  2. barrington bumbaclaart

    Australian Story was a sparkling beacon of joy amongst a cacophony of doom and gloom. No surprise it rated excellently. Viewers obviously crave some happiness and life affirming joy in these strange time. Thanks ABC for giving us some real balance.

  3. Too much airtime was spent on arguing about Govt reaction time on Q&A, resulting in fewer questions being discussed by panelists. I was disappointed that Hamish didn’t insist on moving on.

  4. Funny. I have been watching far less news. Repetitive, and it takes too long to hear any other items of interest. Also, need to protect children from the overreaction and sensationalism of the media.

    • Agreed. I stop watching/listening to the news last week. I understand the media’s interest in this but it’s reached saturation point. I’m of the opinion it’s driving people to flood the supermarkets and strip shelves of basic items like toilet paper. Aussies are known for their knockabout personality but trying to explain to my overseas friends why we are fighting over something as basic as toilet paper leaves me embarrassed.

        • Apparently not New Zealand though. My grandma’s on holiday there and can confirm there is still toilet paper. No panic buying at all actually

      • Rolling 24Hr news is cheaper to make for Commercial networks in Australia. Plus then can meet minimum requirement for Aussie Content. As much as a Flagship bulletin would be nice with all new stories unfortunately it no longer the nature of news in an internet enabled world.

      • Maev....Sydney

        In the US…one chat friend…middle America…could not understand here…nothing happening there…then bang…the next day…3 stores with bare shelves and no loo paper…I said ..same here….one day normal…next day chaos.

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