Nine wins 2020 ratings year

Ratings: Nine wins Total People & Demos. ABC pips 10 for third place.

  • Nine wins 2020 in Total People & Demos
  • ABC nabs third place
  • Nine, Seven down on 2019
  • 10, ABC & SBS up on 2019
  • 10 BOLD tops multichannels
  • Seven wins multichannel suite
  • AFL Grand Final biggest audience of the year

Nine has won the ratings year in Total People and the advertiser friendly demos 16-39 and 25-54 for the second year in a row thanks to its strong stripped reality shows across the year .

Seven came home with a wet sail to finish within just 0.5% of a win following a poor first half of the year, but claimed the year in News.

ABC pipped 10 into third place in Total People, both rising on their 2019 share, along with SBS.

2020 was a curveball year with Seven and 10 particularly hard hit but production shutdowns.


Nine: 27.7
Seven: 27.2
ABC: 18.4
10: 18.0
SBS: 8.8

Primary channel:

Nine: 19.4
Seven: 18.5
ABC: 13.1
10: 11.9
SBS: 5.3

25 – 54:

Nine: 29.9
Seven: 26.6
10: 23.1
ABC: 13.4
SBS: 7.1

16 – 39:

Nine: 28.5
Seven: 27.5
10: 24.9
ABC: 13.0
SBS: 6.1

Source: OzTAM Metro Total TV, 5 City Metro, Consolidated 28 (as at 29/11/20), Survey YTD excl Easter, Total Individuals/P25-54/P16-39,  18:00-23:59:59, Share% [FTA ex spill].


  • Wins Total People
  • Wins 25-54, 16-39 demos
  • Sport: NRL Grand Final 2,106,000
  • Top 30 Hits: The Block, Lego Masters, Married at First Sight, Australian Ninja Warrior, The Voice

Michael Healy, Nine’s Director of Television, said: “We’re extremely proud that once again our slate has resonated so strongly with the demos we program our content for: People 25-54, 16-39 and Grocery Shoppers with Child. In 2020 we continued to deliver on our promise to provide a year-round schedule of hit shows. From Married at First Sight, to Lego Masters, Australian Ninja Warrior and The Block, our tentpole programs all delivered huge audiences in those key demos. Despite the challenges of COVID, we were able to work with our production partners to ensure all these programs made it to air.

“In arguably the biggest news year of our lives, audiences flocked to our suite of news and current affairs programs. I’m also thrilled that viewers have embraced our new-look Today show which has posted double digit audience growth in every capital city and is now regularly winning its slot with those key demos.”

Michael Stephenson, Nine’s Chief Sales Officer, said: “In an extraordinary year, where television production schedules across the board were disrupted by COVID, Nine delivered the things we aim for every year: consistency across our schedule throughout the full year and clear leadership in the key demographics that matter to advertisers. To me, the thing I’m proudest of is our dominance across total television – looking at both linear television and digital BVOD – Nine is the place that audiences turn to for news and entertainment and marketers can rely on throughout the year to deliver real results for their business.”


  • Sport: AFL Grand Final: 3,011,000
  • Seven multichannel suite beats rivals
  • Wins: Seven News, Sunrise, The Morning Show, The Chase
  • Top 30 Hits: Murder In The Outback, Fire Fight Australia, Farmer Wants A Wife

Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton, said: “Our new content-led strategy of outsourcing proven international formats, coupled with our market-leading news and sport content, has produced strong results this year.

“The great performance of Big Brother, Farmer Wants A Wife, SAS Australia, Seven News, the AFL and more drove strong growth in our audiences in the key demographics of 25-54s and 16-39s during the second half of 2020.

“We’ve shown only glimpse of our best this year and that got us to about half a percentage point from being the most watched network in the country,” he said.

“Next year we will have all our returning hits, big new shows, the content that was delayed this year because of COVID, our first-class Olympics coverage, our winning news and sport schedules, and a few surprises we haven’t revealed yet. Bring on 2021.”

Seven Network Director of Network Programming, Angus Ross, said “From June on, we delivered the transformation of our prime time line-up, launching three highly successful tentpole shows in a row.

“That success translated to 7plus, which is now the #1 commercial BVOD platform and boasts a content line-up that no other BVOD platform can match. The performance of 7NEWS, 7NEWS.com.au and Sunrise this year was remarkable. 7NEWS won every week of the survey year. 7NEWS.com.au was the #1 news website for people 18 to 39. Sunrise won every single day of the year.

The Morning Show won its timeslot all year. The Chase won every week of the survey year.”

“7mate dominated the key age groups of 16 to 39s and 25 to 54s and was a powerhouse among men 18 to 54.”


  • Only commercial network to grow share in 2020
  • 10 BOLD tops multichannels
  • Sport: Melbourne Cup 1,412,000
  • Top 30 Hits: MasterChef Australia, The Masked Singer

Beverley McGarvey, Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President, ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, said: “Despite the obvious challenges that 2020 presented, this has been a remarkably successful year for 10 ViacomCBS.

“This year, the integration and transformation of ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand was successfully completed. We embedded our powerful new Sales team, amplified our investment in data and technology, made television advertising even more effective, launched a new channel – 10 Shake, expanded our digital media assets and innovated user experience on 10 Play.

“Not only were we the only commercial network to grow its audience, but we also had the biggest prime time commercial shares in key demographics since 2011. Our advertising revenue share continues to grow. Our digital platforms are boasting record audiences.

“Our established suite of shows are engaging, innovative, noisy and connect emotionally with Australians like few others can.

“We cemented our position as leaders in escapist entertainment and delivered a 50-week schedule of popular content – content that is familiar, brand-friendly, celebrates and rewards talent and achievement and taps into the under 50s. As part of a global media powerhouse our commitment to making premium entertainment content, connecting across all platforms, will only continue to develop and strengthen in 2021 and beyond.”

Daniel Monaghan, Head of Programming, 10 ViacomCBS, said: “In what has been a challenging and unique year, it is great that we have strong momentum as we move into 2021 as the only commercial network to grow its audience by 8%, as well as the only commercial primary channel to grow its audience by 6%.

“We delivered the most talked about, tweeted about and meme worthy content on Australian television and it paid off with 80% of our big domestic 7.30pm franchises returning next year.

“10 had the most shows of any commercial network in the top 20 entertainment shows of the year across under 50s and all the key demos – MasterChef Australia: Back To Win, The Masked Singer Australia, Have You Been Paying Attention?, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Australian Survivor: All Stars.

“And the standout success of the year was MasterChef Australia: Back To Win. Australians fell in love with our three new judges – Melissa, Jock and Andy – and the show captivated and united the nation at a time when audiences needed it most. It was up a massive 46%, achieving its biggest audience since 2016.

The Project, The Sunday Project and 10 News First are all growing significantly year-on-year and continue to provide comprehensive coverage of issues that matter to all Australians.

Have You Been Paying Attention?, Hughesy, We Have A Problem and Gogglebox continued to bring the laughs later in the evening, all three consistently topped the demos in their timeslots.”

He added, “10 Bold is the #1 commercial multi-channel of the year in total people. Not only is it up 13% year-on-year, it also achieved a phenomenal 20 months of consecutive year-on-year audience growth.”

Survey Year: Top Events

Rank Program Name Network Metro
1 Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Richmond v Geelong Seven 3,011,000
2 Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Presentations Seven 2,290,000
3 Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: On the Ground Seven 2,191,000
4 NRL Grand Final Day – Match Nine 2,106,000
5 State of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Match Nine 1,894,000
6 The Block – Winner Announced Nine 1,792,000
7 State of Origin Rugby League NSW v Qld 2nd – Match Nine 1,654,000
8 Lego Masters – Winner Announced Nine 1,630,000
9 State of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 1st – Match Nine 1,606,000
10 MasterChef Australia – The Winner Announced 10 1,576,000
11 Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Pre Match Entertainment Seven 1,487,000
12 Married At First Sight – The Final Dinner Party Nine 1,432,000
13 The Block – Grand Final Nine 1,431,000
14 Melbourne Cup Carnival: Melbourne Cup  -Race 10 1,412,000
15 Lego Masters – Launch Nine 1,391,000
16 Lego Masters – Finale Nine 1,386,000
17 MasterChef Australia – Grand Finale Part 2 10 1,300,000
18 Australian Ninja Warrior -Winner Announced Nine 1,272,000
19 The Masked Singer Australia – The Final Reveal 10 1,237,000
20 MasterChef Australia – Grand Finale Part 1 10 1,195,000
21 Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Finals (Preliminary Final 2: Brisbane v Geelong) Seven 1,154,000
22 NRL Grand Final Day -Entertainment Nine 1,146,000
23 Australian Ninja Warrior -Grand Final Nine 1,144,000
24 7NEWS Presents – Murder In The Outback Seven 1,095,000
25 The Voice – Launch Nine 1,082,000
26 Fire Fight Australia Concert  Late Seven 1,031,000
27 Farmer Wants A Wife – Finale Seven 1,010,000
28 Fire Fight Australia Concert Seven 991,000
29 Farmer Wants A Wife – Launch Seven 985,000
30 Fire Fight Australia Final Performance Seven 947,000

Infograph supplied by Nine (NB: Calendar year):

18 Responses

  1. I find it fascinating that the demo groups are so broad. Surely a 25 year old will have very different tastes to a 54 year old. Same applies to a 16 year old vs a 39 year old.

    Is this because the networks don’t want to be move away from an archaic way of thinking?

    If not, it’s not a surprise that their content as a whole is bland and they don’t adapt to the viewers.

    1. I agree especially can’t believe nine keeps winning I seriously don’t watch a single show in there except The Voice which is really hard going not sure it will be any better on 7 but if they don’t have Delta it will be a step up.

  2. Australians over 54 haven’t always been over 54, and also primarily funded the ABC for most of their lives. It’s never changed because it’s never been necessary when you don’t rely on ratings.

    1. That’s true. ABC doesn’t rely on ratings as it doesn’t need as revenue to pay for programming. But when under 54’s (that is the majority of Australians) are not watching their programming across 4 channels, they are failing in their mission. Especially when the people funding it through taxes are not being catered for.

  3. Its quite rare to see ABC primary channel pip 10 in 3rd place. They haven’t done it since 2013 (when ABC beat 10 for 3rd place). That year saw a lot of 10 failures including ALOTO, Reef Drs.

  4. If you had predicted that is what would have happened in 2020 i think many would have got it wrong. Seven was shaping up to win by a mile, especially with the Olympics slated and then the pandemic happened and everything changed. Honestly though the tv landscape is pretty bland. Other than sport and a few shows, there is nothing much to watch and i think the ratings reflect that too. Good on Nine for winning but yeah it’s a dull year, almost a repeat of 2019 honestly.

  5. ABC is not even remotely in the race when it comes to younger Australians. It’s a remote distant 4th and not even a competitive 4th

    Considering it is Australians under 54 primarily who are funding ABC. It’s a massive failure on their behalf they are ñot producing programming to appeal to them. And that’s across 4 channels.

    25 – 54:
    Nine: 29.9
    Seven: 26.6
    10: 23.1
    ABC: 13.4

    16 – 39:
    Nine: 28.5
    Seven: 27.5
    10: 24.9
    ABC: 13.0

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