Networks spin a win in war of the ratings

Dean and Shay Paine celebrate victory in The Block and Nine was celebrating too as the show won the ratings war for the week ending November 30. Photo: Luis AscuiThey’re not lying. They’re just choosing to emphasise different details. This is the time of year when every network finds a way to say it has “won” the ratings. Ten claims (and the others don’t dispute) that its prime-time audience rose by 8 per cent during 2015, while Nine’s dropped by 11.5 per cent and Seven’s dropped by 10.5 per cent.

Nine claims it won “all key demos”, meaning it beat Seven with people aged 25 to 54, people aged 18 to 49 and people aged 16 to 39. Seven claims it is “number one in prime time” (that is, with total people, including the over-55s) and that it “dominates the most watched events and most watched programs”, and that 7TWO is “the most-watched digital channel”. Isn’t it nice that they all have something positive to tell their advertisers?

SBS One was able to boast that its prime-time viewing had risen from 4.1 per cent of the total audience last year to 4.9 per cent this year, while the ABC could boast that its four channels retained about 14 per cent of the prime-time viewing, while also booming on iView.

Last Sunday’s showing of the final episode of A Place To Call Home pulled 181,000 viewers to the pay channel SoHo (which even Foxtel subscribers barely knew before the advent of Marta​ Dusseldorp​ this year). This gives Foxtel hope that it can retain a few drama fans in 2016 and won’t become solely a ghetto for sport addicts.

OzTAM​ estimates these were the most watched shows in the mainland capitals in the week ending November 30:

1.    The Block winner announced (Nine), 1.80 million

2.    Third Test, Australia v New Zealand session 3 (Nine), 1.67m

3.    Nine News Sunday (Nine), 1.46m

4.    Seven News Sunday (Seven), 1.26m

5.    Nine News Saturday (Nine), 1.03m

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