Historic ratings week as News Breakfast topples Today

"We don’t have ‘News’ in our title for nothing," says Michael Rowland after a weekly victory over Today for the first time in 13 years.

It has taken over 13 years, and an election campaign to make it happen, but ABC’s News Breakfast has overtaken Nine’s Today show.

ABC’s breakfast team, led by Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar,  bettered Nine every day this week, to claim second place behind ratings leader, Sunrise.

Sunrise averaged 241,000 metro viewers then News Breakfast at 195,000 and Today on 176,000.

Of the three offerings ABC is perceived as the more ‘serious’ breakfast alternative but together with Tony Armstrong (Sport), Nate Byrne (Weather) and Madeleine Morris (Finance), it has built a loyal following across both ABC and ABC News channels.

Michael Rowland told TV Tonight, “The result reflects our key point of difference to the other shows. We don’t have ‘News’ in our title for nothing. It is really pleasing to see viewers coming to us for information and analysis, particularly in the election campaign. And of course they still get some laughs!”

Sunrise: 256,000
News Breakfast: (189,000) 125,000 / 64,000
Today: 174,000

Sunrise: 237,000
News Breakfast: (189,000) 118,000 / 71,000)
Today: 184,000.

Sunrise: 234,000
News Breakfast: (192,000) 116,000 / 76,000
Today: 170,000

Sunrise: 238,000
News Breakfast: (197,000) 126,000 / 71,000
Today: 185,000

Sunrise: 240,000
News Breakfast: (210,000) 131,000 / 79,000
Today: 184,00


20 Responses

  1. Sunrise is an exact copy of NBC Today, and is full of adverts, I dont mind some but the amount they have is enormous!
    With ABC News Breakfast it is a good mix of new/current affairs/reviews, the reporters are like a long lost cousin you feel like you know them after all these years, Nate is good with the weather, Tony on sport is fantastic well they all are fantastic really and all this crap about the ABC leaning to the left is a load of hogwash!
    Keep up the good work , from your number 1 fan ! Alan .

  2. Love ABC News Breakfast. It has a nice pace to it and great hosts. I also liked Virginia Trioli, who has probably made a big mistake returning to Melbourne radio, where her ratings are struggling, to say the least. Oh and I also miss the effervescent Georgie Tunny who has moved on to greater success now with Ten. Well done ABC News Breakfast!

  3. A few reasons [there’s many more] of why I turned off Today and switched to News Breakfast!

    Better news, conversation and banter than Today by a country mile. The news is so rushed, and repetitive. While talking to someone, they play the same scenes over and over (and over) again in the background… surely they can include more scenes of events they are talking about.

    So sick of Karl’s schoolboy humour and antics… he’s like the creepy uncle at the family gathering cracking lame jokes and everyone laughing along nervously with him.

    The way the camera pans around / along / behind the desk and the hosts turn around and pull faces etc… it’s embarrassing.

    Finally can’t stand the way Brooke runs to the desk after providing a pre-break preview of her upcoming reports. done to death, distracting and makes it look like she can’t wait to get her preview done.

  4. Speaking of breakfast news offerings, I think NITV’s Big Mob Brekky should get a mention. It had only ran as a test or pilot broadcast during NAIDOC weeks and the show and format was quite good and had appeal beyond Indigenous Australia. The issue they have with making it permanent is funding and sponsorship, so hopefully they find that because it’s something they are keen of having at NITV. Comparably it is one of the best breakfast show offerings in terms of production.

  5. ABC News Breakfast has been slowly and quietly building its audience for a long time. I must congratulate them on settling on a formula and giving the audience the time to find them. Rare in broadcast media these days.

    I think Ten Breakfast (the Paul Henry version, after they dropped back to two hosts) had the ability to have this kind of slow-building success with more conservative viewers if Ten had stuck with it, as it was much more newsy than Sunrise or Today…it just happened to have a very opinionated conservative host to weigh in on every news item. But alas the economic realities of commercial television are vastly different to the ABC. Maybe if Ten Breakfast had been on Sky instead it might have lasted.

    ABC News Breakfast leans a bit too far left for my tastes but a cafe I frequent often has it on and it’s preferable to Sunrise or Today for sure. I still greatly prefer commercial talkback radio at breakfast though.

  6. Maybe the election campaign strategists should be looking more at being seen on the ABC then, especially Mr. Morrison who is finding difficulty making time for ABC interviews.

  7. Well deserved. We made the switch from Sunrise to News Breakfast about 12 years ago and haven’t looked back since. Good to see such diversity in their reporters, too.

  8. Karl has been at Today now for the better part of 20 years. You’d have to say it’s been a spectacularly unsuccessful tenure. Depending who you ask, Today won one year with him at the healm along with Lisa Wilkinson. They’ve been second, often by a country mile, for the rest of his time there. In any other high paid, high profile role, he’d have been shown the door long ago.

  9. Have you watched Sunrise lately? They frequently have celebrity interviews, cooking and nutrition segments, live music and Sam Mac has been at Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne Comedy Festival. And every Friday they do Feel Good Friday with a wrap of the weeks good news.

    1. I’ll have to tune into Sunrise and see it it has improved. I think that is one of the reasons people choose Sunrise instead of Today is because it has an appearance of being more cheery than Today.

  10. Not surprised at all! Hadn’t watched Today show for a while. Forced to watch whilst in a hospital waiting room this week. Couldn’t believe how bad the show had become. Looked so amateurish and hosts were just acting like little children. Interviews with guests lacked the depth, polish, and skills of the other channels. Their news coverage was
    Very poor with hardly any depth to the stories they covered. Nine needs to get rid of the entire cast and bring in people who can present a morning show properly!!!!

  11. Breakfast news I find is too depressing and repetitive. It’s waking up to the bad news from overnight and the same headlines repeated all the time. I’m glad the news media reports succinctly on the very few focal moments of Today, Sunrise, The Project etc. because I can’t be bothered watching these shows anymore.

    There should be cooking, celebrity interviews, music performances and stand-up comedians thrown in. A bit more uplifting like the mood of Studio 10 or The Morning Show. The UK morning shows do it well and their studios are much more pleasant, as well as the mood of the shows.

    1. I agree with this ,also I find it laughable that they claim to be a 24 HR News Service yet they show the same lack of news pop ups at the screen bottom all day ,you tune into DW or Al Jazeera and you’ll get alot of news from all over so to me I can watch any of these so called news breakfast shows and be done with it within 20 mins if that. I watch DW and BBC on SBS and streaming.

  12. Very well deserved. Good to see viewers prefer daggy down to earth 7 or diverse and serious ABC over the cocky, condescending and sarcastic interviewing of 9 and Today. Karl and Alison need to stop trying to go for gotcha moments in political interviews and take a leaf out of Sunrise and News breakfasts book.

    1. Gotcha moments are becoming a trend now though ryan1890. I’m not sure what it is actually does for political debate, but if you want to be a leader of a country you must be switched on, if you’re not then you will struggle handling the stress of being a PM to come.

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