Nine News Melbourne is claiming victory in the news battle for 2020, having won 23 of the 40 ratings weeks so far.
It’s the 9th year in a row for the Peter Hitchener-led bulletin, and follows Nine News Sydney recently boasting its 10th year.
“Our average audience for 6:00pm Monday-Friday, across the hour is 350,000, compared to 7 News 324,000. Year on year, our M-F audience is up 25%,” Melbourne news director Hugh Nailon said in a note to staff.
“Our weekend numbers are also strong:
Saturday 9News – 334,000 – 7News 254,000 (up 35%)
Sunday 9News – 387,000 – 7News 343,000 (up 21%)
“In the keenly contested 16:00 battleground, Nine’s Afternoon News has edged in front of Channel 7 for the first time!
“9 Afternoon News 66,000 – 7 News at 4pm 65,000 (up 41%)
“These numbers are an extraordinary achievement in extraordinary times. Obviously Covid-19 is driving interest in Free to air News, but pleasingly the majority are turning to us. That’s a credit to your
professionalism and commitment to producing high quality news bulletins under the most trying of circumstances. Thank You.”
The global pandemic and bushfires have driven local news audiences on social media too.
Engagement (likes, comments or shares) on Nine’s Facebook is up to 11 million vs 5.7 million in 2019 with an additional 146,000 followers since Jan 1, and video views on Facebook hit 207 million, up 64% year on year. Twitter engagements are also up 18%.
“Overall this is an outstanding result for our newsroom, and richly deserved reward for your hard work. On top of the relentless news cycle, we’ve also successfully embraced the delivery of radio news content to 3AW, and increasingly we’re working alongside our colleagues at The Age on breaking news stories. I can’t stress how important these partnerships are in building a News machine that will enable us to continue delivering Melbourne’s best News.
“As always, there is still plenty of work to do. The biggest yarn of our lifetimes is with us for some time yet, let’s keep powering through. As Lt. Col. Kilgore says in Apocalypse Now, ‘Some day this war’s gonna end’ – and when it does we’ll be having one hell of a party.”