What Australia watched, week ending May 12

Monday, May 14, 2007

The ratings race: The lowest Logies

hope is there for Eddie McGuire when Channel Nine can’t even win a week
which begins with the Logies? Despite a huge start on Sunday night,
Nine averaged 28.5 per cent of the prime time audience last week, while
Seven averaged 29.4 per cent. It was the first time in history that
Nine has failed to win Logies week.

Of course, Eddie foresaw this eventuality. He knows he’ll be the
scapegoat when Nine ends the year as Number Two. That’s why he made
himself host of the game show 1 vs 100 — so he’ll have something to do when he gets boned as Nine’s Chief Executive in November.

It’s not as if Seven had much to write home about last week. The latest talent quest, It Takes Two, came nowhere near the audience of  Dancing With The Stars. But at a time when Seven’s younger viewers should be shifting to Big Brother, Ten could only average 21.4 per cent.

The only network with any reason to celebrate is the ABC, which is going gangbusters with The Chaser’s War On Everything and Spicks and Specks.
It averaged 14.9 per cent of the prime time audience — dragged down by
its obligation to run political performances on two nights. On Tuesday
Peter Costello’s budget speech attracted 707,000 viewers in the
mainland capitals, and on Thursday Kevin Rudd’s me-too response
attracted 718,000. Politicial analysts may see meaning in that 11,000

What Australia watched, week ending May 12
1 LOGIE AWARDS Nine 1,694,000
2 LOGIE ARRIVALS Nine 1,558,000
3 SEVEN NEWS – SUN Seven 1,549,000
4 SEVEN NEWS Seven 1,548,000
5 IT TAKES TWO Seven 1,515,000
6 WHERE ARE THEY NOW Seven 1,504,000
7 TODAY TONIGHT Seven 1,491,000
8 SEVEN NEWS – SAT Seven 1,477,000
9 NINE NEWS SUNDAY Nine 1,408,000

Sourced: SMH.com.au 14 May 2007

Goodbye NBN?

A tipster today informs TSR that from 11am tomorrow, PBL Media will become official owners of NBN Television.

Sourced: The Spy Report

Regional Radio news hubbing spreads to another major market

Your editor was unimpressed to hear over the weekend that his favourite Newcastle radio stations, KOFM and NXFM, have resorted to taking Macquarie Regional RadioWorks‘ ordinary news service from the Gold Coast.

KO and NX are looking for a casual newsreader, so one is hoping that
this situation is only temporary and normal weekend news services from
Newcastle will resume as soon as possible.

I am confused as to why the Austereo News Hubbing
idea has yet to totally get off the ground. I was told that KO and NX
would get Austereo-branded news from February. Perhaps Austereo has
scrapped the hubbing plans?

Source: The Spy Report May 7, 2007

Rumour: A-League Football on Nine?

A source today claims GTV9 is rife with rumours that A-League soccer will be appearing live on Nine on Saturday afternoons from August.

The tipster claims Football Australia and Fox Sports have signed off on the deal.

Sourced: The Spy Report, 7 May, 2007

Newcastle TV Ratings Week 18

Newcastle Market – All Stations Top 10


1 NBN Evening News Sunday – NBN – 105000

2 Spicks & Specks – ABC – 99000

3 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – NBN – 93000

4 Dancing With The Stars 6 Grand Final – PRIME – 90000

5 McLeods Daughters – NBN -  88000

6 The Chasers War on Everything – ABC – 87000

7 Friday Night Football Broncos v Rabbitohs – NBN – 87000

8 NBN Evening News Saturday – NBN – 83000

9 A Current Affair – NBN – 82000

10 Thursday Night Football – City v Country – NBN – 80000

Sales coup for network

PRIME Television, which continues to position itself as a leading regional network, has announced the appointment of Brian Trevitt as as Newcastle sales manager.

Brian was previously station manager at Prime Orange.

He started his media career in 1991 at Seven affiliates sales in Sydney before becoming national sports sales manager, working on the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Prime NSW general manager Maureen Jack said Brian’s expertise and community focus would further enhance the successful Newcastle team.

Sourced: The Herald, Monday, May 7, 2007

National TV Ratings W/ending 6 May

The ratings race: Can the singers uphold the dancers’ honour?

Australian televiewers love a grand finale and last week they revelled in two of them — a Sunday freak show called Australia’s Got Talent and a Tuesday schmoozefest called Dancing With The Stars.
They were the reason Channel Seven won yet another week in the ratings
race, averaging 29.2 per cent of the prime time audience, and the
reason Seven will be worrying about retaining its lead this week.

Channel Nine won Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and ended
up averaging 27.2 per cent for the week, a figure which is bound to
rise once Seven loses its grip on Tuesday nights. Dancing will be replaced by It Takes Two, which averaged only 1.5 million viewers last year.

Ten should have done better than 22.1 per cent, but Big Brother‘s brigade of blondes just isn’t firing this year, and on Wednesdays House is regularly blown down by Spicks and Specks and The Chaser’s War on Everything, which both attract more than 1.3 million viewers in the mainland capitals.

That’s why the ABC managed a healthy 15.6 share for the week. That left SBS with 5.6 per cent, largely due to Mythbusters (657,000) and an Inspector Rex repeat (433,000).

What Australia watched, week ending May 5, 2007

2 60 MINUTES Nine 1,679,000
4 AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT Seven 1,639,000
5 SEVEN NEWS – SUN Seven 1,633,000
6 NINE NEWS SUNDAY Nine 1,586,000

7 SEVEN NEWS Seven 1,508,000
8 CSI: MIAMI Nine 1,428,000
9 TODAY TONIGHT Seven 1,423,000
10 BIG BROTHER – FULL HOUSE Ten 1,403,000
11 GREY’S ANATOMY Seven 1,395,000
12 20 TO 1 Nine 1,377,000
15 UGLY BETTY Seven 1,301,000

Sourced: SMH.com.au 7 May 2007

Audience moving to Prime position

By JAMES JOYCEPrime_television_logothumbnail_3

PRIME Television’s Newcastle audience in the all-important 6pm timeslot has more than doubled since it axed local news, ratings figures show.

As fears grow that Nine Network owner PBL Media’s $250 million purchase of NBN could lead to a dilution of the Newcastle station’s local content, ratings data shows that rival Prime’s relay of Seven’s Sydney news and Today Tonight is luring viewers from NBN’s hour of locally produced news.

Shown since the station began 45 years ago, NBN News has been the cornerstone of its ratings dominance since Prime and Ten arrived in Newcastle in 1992.

Last year, NBN had 36.9 per cent share of prime time viewing in Newcastle, ahead of second-placed Prime’s 22.3 per cent share.

But the gap has narrowed in 2007, with NBN’s share so far this year down to 34.6 per cent and Prime’s up, at 26.9 per cent.

A Key component of Prime’s growth has been Seven News and Anna Coren’s Today Tonight.

In 2001, when Prime axed its Newcastle news bulletin after years, Prime Local News and Seven News averaged 28,000 and 26,000 viewers a night, respectively, well behind NBN News, with 115,000 viewers.

This year, NBN News is averaging 92,000 viewers against Prime’s Seven News and Today Tonight, with 50,000 and 68,000 viewers respectively.

Prime’s general manager of news and regulatory affairs, Alan Butorac, said there was "no question" regional viewers wanted local news.

"The people in Newcastle who want their local news dished up in a long form at 6pm are fairly happy getting it from NBN but our alternative is proving to be increasingly successful," he said.

Licence conditions stipulate that regional stations must accrue an average of 90 points a week of "local information programming".

Prime and Southern Cross Ten screen brief news and weather spots in Newcastle, with Prime’s broadcast from Canberra.

"we get across the line each week by a handful of points not by multiples," Mr Butorac said.

Australian Communications and Media Authority data confirms that NBN accrues the most local content points in northern NSW, far more than required.

"No obligation exists to accrue points over and above the required minimum," an authority spokesperson said.

Media analyst Steve Allen, of Fusion Media, said PGL Media would assess the ratings inroads Prime was making against NBN’s more expensive local news.

"They will definitely weigh it up, they will have to," Mr Allen said.

Sourced: ‘The Herald’ Saturday, May 5, 2007

End Of NBN News??

Rumours are circulating that PBL Media, the new owners of NBN, will be looking to rationalise costs quickly and that one of the main areas under threat is NBN’s one hour local News bulletin.

NBN’s nightly news will become a half hour bulletin at 6pm, a tipster claims today.

There will be no 5.30 bulletin. The schedule will be in sync with TCN all day.

The tipster also says National Nine News will get a revamp mid year, with a real set and new graphics, and NBN’s relaunch as Channel Nine. Call signs will be changed to allow “certain things” to take place.

NBN’s News has been a ratings winner for them since aggregation, providing the station with a nightly launching pad that Prime and SC TEN have rarely been able to threaten.

Nonetheless, the News bulletin is expensive to produce and would be an obvious target for he new owners who already have one of Australia’s largest News rooms

The possible rebranding of NBN to Channel Nine make would be a logical one for PBL who would then have continuous branding from Sydney to Brisbane.

What will be interesting though is the reaction of the local market who would lose yet another localised News service (after the closure of the Prime News room about 6 years ago). The Hunter market would then have no local television news and will have lost the original television brand the region has always known.

The big question would then be how much effect these changes would have on NBN’s ratings? NBN has continued to rate much higher than the Nine Network nationally, especially this year when Nine’s programming is very much under threat. These high ratings are generally on the back of the strong News audience.

Prime and Sc Ten might be rubbing their hands together at the latest developments.

NBN Goes to PBL

SP Telemedia will sell its media assets, including television station NBN Television, to PBL Media for $250 million.

"SP Telemedia Ltd wishes to advise that it has entered into an agreement with PBL Media Pty Limited to purchase the broadcasting and production operations (trading as One80 Digital Post)," the company said today.

SP Telemedia said last month it had received a non-binding proposal from PBL Media, Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd’s new media group.

NBN Television is an independent affiliate of the Nine Network and its market share stretches across New South Wales and Queensland and is the fourth largest market in Australia behind Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The company said the total consideration for the assets was $250 million.

The SP Telemedia board said it had carefully considered all proposals received from interested parties, concluding that the offer from PBL Media was superior.

"(The offer) provided the best outcome for Soul stakeholders, both in terms of value and deliverability," SP Telemedia said.

The company’s directors have given their unanimous support to the offer, and major shareholder, Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company Ltd has also indicated its support for the deal.

SP Telemedia said it plans to focus on its high growth telecommunications, multimedia and media infrastructure businesses following the sale.

It said it would update the market shortly on whether shareholder approval of the deal was necessary.

Source: SMH/AAP