2021 Ratings Predictions

The 2021 ratings year starts Sunday 27 December.

Post your predictions, hopes, expectations, forecasts etc for the coming ratings battle.

2021 Ratings Calendar

Week No. Dates
1 - 6 27 Dec 06 Feb
7 - 13 07 Feb 27 Mar
14-15 28 Mar 10 Apr Easter
16 - 48 11 Apr 27 Nov
49 - 52 28 Nov 25 Dec

Bold weeks indicate “the traditional 40-week survey calendar (wks 7-48, excl Easter) and are provided as a courtesy to data users who negotiate on that basis. OzTAM publishes ratings data 365 days per year and declares no official ratings period.”

Easter is one week earlier than last year so only 7 weeks of ratings before the break. With the Australian Open scheduled during that period, Nine’s programs may run through the ‘non-ratings’ weeks, though the second week of Easter has seen regular programs in recent years.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start 23 July, at the end of Week 30, and run until Sunday 8 August, week 33, potentially disrupting 4 weeks of ratings.


I think that the Olympics will just get Seven over the line and they’ll win the year.

Holey Moley will probably be a flop up against the Tennis and potentially MAFS.

I also reckon that Big Brother’s ratings will tank up against the juggernaut of MAFS in Q1.

The Voice’s ratings will probably decline on Seven now that Seven are cutting back the length of that show.

Farmer Wants a Wife will be a strong performer for Seven, but Australia’s Got Talent will decline.

Seven will also be looking to improve their news service along the east coast, with better content, and hopefully a new lead sports presenter in Sydney.

Sunrise and The Morning Show will remain at #1 in the mornings.

Nine’s reality tentpoles will come back bigger and stronger, with MAFS, Lego Masters, The Block etc., to all record impressive ratings and be renewed for 2022.

Nine will be pleased that the Australian Open is moving to early February as it will be in the ratings period. No doubt they’ll pump out the promos for MAFS.

Today will be competitive with Sunrise and will finish the year 2nd, as will Today Extra.

Nine News will continue to dominate along the east coast, and make big inroads into Adelaide.

The Bachelor franchise will decline in terms of ratings, and questions will be asked about whether it should be renewed for 2022.

Australian Survivor and I’m A Celebrity will pull solid numbers, and Masterchef will continue to go higher.

Studio 10’s ratings will sink to record lows, as will 10 News First, who I predict come this time next year, will only be producing a national bulletin at 5pm.


Wow, didn’t this age poorly?! Oh well, I might as well have a go at making some general ratings predictions for 2021 anyway…

If the Tokyo Olympics go ahead next year, I think we’ll see Seven ahead in overall viewing shares come November 27 but with Nine winning more ratings weeks overall. Outside of news/sport, there isn’t really much in primetime which I can see being a major success for Seven in 2021.

The next season of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here will do OK against the cricket and whatever Nine is planning to schedule during January. Aside from the finals, programs on Seven & Ten will outrate Nine’s coverage of Australian Open during February. MAFS to continue gradually declining in the ratings.

Lego Masters, Australian Ninja Warrior and The Masked Singer will also continue to decline year on year, but still rate better than anything Seven has on after the Olympics. MasterChef and The Block may benefit slightly from there being no 2021 seasons of MKR or House Rules.

Holey Moley could be a surprise hit but I’d probably expect poor ratings for Big Brother, Australia’s Got Talent and The Voice on Seven. The Farmer Wants A Wife will likely perform strongly in regional markets and the Seven-loyalist metro markets of Perth & Adelaide, but only receive lukewarm ratings in the East Coast markets.

Have You Been Paying Attention will likely receive higher ratings as a result of the ABC moving Q&A to Thursdays, while it very well could be the beginning of the end for Gogglebox due to franchise fatigue, an overreliance on reality show reviews and possibly another longtime household or two moving onto broader media horizons. After the US celebrity version of Gogglebox received absolutely disastrous ratings for Ten this year, I really can’t imagine the upcoming Aussie celeb version doing any better if it’s airing on FTA as well as Foxtel.

The AFL and NRL Grand Finals will receive less viewers than recent years, especially if the teams playing for the trophy are again some who’ve won recent premierships (hopefully not - I’m getting rather sick of seeing the Roosters and/or Storm in NRL GFs!). State of Origin ratings will recover due to being back at the usual June/July time of year, but the days of at least one of the three matches receiving 1 million viewers in Sydney are long gone.

ABC & SBS primetime ratings will increase slightly year on year, as the public broadcasters generally offer a more stable lineup than their commercial counterparts. The latest series of Untold Australia docos should do reasonable business for SBS during January while the ABC should get reasonable ratings for its lineup of comedy/light entertainment (Gruen, Mad As Hell, Hard Quiz, revived Spicks & Specks) observational shows (Love On The Spectrum, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds) and of course, Bluey!

From a multichannel perspective, I think 7mate, 7TWO (due to Olympics coverage) and 9Go! will be the top choices at the end of the year. The rebrand of ABC COMEDY to ABC TV Plus won’t make much of a difference to the ratings of that channel. By the end of 2021 I would probably expect to see a rebrand of SBS VICELAND but as per ABC TV Plus, no obvious ratings effects expected.

Finally the big one…News, Current Affairs & Daytime. Seven will continue to dominate Perth with nightly wins from January 1 to December 31 in that city. Adelaide viewers will largely remain loyal to Seven, however Nine will start to win nights and perhaps even the odd week or two by the end of 2021. On the East Coast, Seven will probably regain South East Queensland while Nine holds onto Melbourne and of course, Sydney where I’d expect the 6.30pm ratings to improve following the recent departure of David Brown from Seven’s Sydney bulletin. As much as they really should, I’m not expecting Nine to capitalise on this and bring in a meteorologist as their main presenter. On the flipside, Seven will probably persist with Mark Ferguson even though Michael Usher should be their equivalent to Peter Overton.

A Current Affair will remain #1 at 7pm on the East Coast overall, however I’d probably expect to see ABC News continue challenging ACA’s dominance of the timeslot in Melbourne and to a lesser extent Sydney. Tracy Grimshaw will continue to smash ABC News in South East QLD, because it seems viewers up there really like trashy content (I mean, how else can the absolute disgrace to Australian television journalism that is Nine News Queensland be explained?!).

10 News First will remain 10 News Fourth ratings wise and by this time next year, likely only be producing a national 5pm bulletin (maybe an updated version for Perth with Narelda will remain if she outrates Monika on Nine, but that’s about it) due to further network cutbacks. By some miracle, The Project will continue to remain relatively unscathed by such budget changes.

Sunrise, The Morning Show and The Chase (both UK and Australian versions) will continue to perform strongly for Seven. Today, Today Extra and Hot Seat will be reasonable performers for Nine, however this may be the final year of Studio 10 and Q&A with that program’s move to Thursdays - can’t imagine such a highly political show radiating the same “almost the weekend feel” that footy and Australia’s most famous TV viewers do. I’d probably expect to see Australian Story, Four Corners and Media Watch continue to do good business for the ABC on Monday nights though.

Phew, think that’s just about everything!


I think I’ll keep my predictions for next year simple:


Hits: Holey Moley, The Voice, SAS Australia, Farmer wants a Wife, Seven News, Sunrise, The Morning Show, The Chase Australia, AFL, Olympics (if it’s coming).

Moderate: Big Brother, Ultimate Tag, Australia’s Got Talent, RFDS, Australia: Now and Then, the new Homicide show, Australian Gangster, All New Monty, Better Homes and Garden, Supercars.

Flop: Home and Away, Wife Swap (if it’s coming), Most of their foreign dramas, Highway Patrol, Border Security, BBL Cricket.


Hits: Tennis, MAFS, State of Origin, NRL Finals, Lego Masters, Ninja Warrior, The Block, Celebrity Apprentice, Travel Guides, Nine News, A Current Affair, 60 Minutes, Getaway.

Moderates: Beauty and the Geek, Beach House Escape, Doctor Doctor, Amazing Grace, RBT, Paramedics, Mega Zoo, Emergency, Taronga, Today/Main + Extra, Under Investigation, Hot Seat, Love Island (by linear ratings it would be a flop but online catchup makes up for it).

Flops: The Parent Jury (sounds like absolute garbage), Regular NRL Series. Rugby Union (except for international matches including Wallabies and the stuff shown on Stan), most of the foreign dramas, Super Netball (has never really made too much impact ratings wise).


Hits: Masterchef, Survivor, The Masked Singer, I’m a Celebrity, The Bachelor, HYBPA, Gogglebox, The Dog House Australia, Melbourne Cup.

Moderates: The Amazing Race, The Bachelorette, Making It Australia, The First Inventors, Territory Cops, F1 Grand Prix, Five Bedrooms, How to Stay Married, The Project, The Living Room.

Flops: 10 News First, Studio 10, Bondi Rescue, their entire Saturday night, most foreign dramas on 10’s main channel.


? With the Ashes and India?

Was referring to the BBL more specifically but their test cricket ratings could also be better than they have been for the past two years.


Yeah that makes sense. Other than India and England, Seven should just shunt it to 7Mate (as much as I’d hate them to, it wouldn’t hit the ratings much!).


Holey Moley will be a moderate success.
Big Brother will be down on this year.
SAS will be doing on this year
The Voice will be done on nines version
Farmer Wants a Wife will continue to be strong
Ultimate Tag will be a surprise hit
Wife Swap will be a surprise hit

MAFS will still be strong but will drop
Lego Masters will drop
The Block will drop
Celebrity Apprentice will be a moderate success
Beauty and the Geek and Love Island will do ok
The Parent Jury will be a surprise hit

Masterchef will be down considerably on last year and Melissa Leong will be nominated for the Gold Logie
The Masked Singer will do ok but down
Celebrity will be up on this year
The Bachelor will be up on this year
The Dog House will be a surprise hit
The Bachelorette will tank and it will be given the boot as of 2022
Survivor will do well for 10. Similar figures to this year
Making it Australia will start slow and build towards its end.
The First Inventors will flop - unfortunately this isn’t a 10 show.


Predictions for 2021

Hits: AFL, SANFL (in Adelaide), The Ashes Test Cricket (Australia v India), Tokyo 2021 Olympics, Paralympics, Farmer wants a Wife, Sunrise, Morning Show, The Chase Australia, Big Brother, Holey Moley, All New Monty, Better Homes and Gardens,
Moderate: Ultimate Tag (dark horse), AGT, RFDS, Australia: Now and Then, Australian Gangster, Supercars, Home and Away, Brownlow Medal
Flop: Wife Swap, Foreign Dramas, Big Bash League (losing interest), Horse racing, The Voice

HIts: Australian Open Tennis (could see Perth ratings boost a bit), Married at First Sight, National Rugby League, State of Origin (hope the crowd numbers will drive up. However, there will be more people streaming on 9Now), Nine News (hope Perth market will start to boost with Monika Kos), ACA, 60 Mins, Getaway, The BLock,
Moderates: Australia Ninja Warrior, Beach House Escape, Doctor Doctor, AMazing Grace, RBT, Paramedics, Mega Zoo, Emergency, Taronga, Today Show, Under Investigation, Hot Seat, Bledisloe Cup and Wallabies Tests, TV Week Logie Awards
Flop: Beauty and the Geek Australia (may be bumped to 9Go after 2 eps), NRL Home-and-away season), Footy Classified (rated quite low during late night), most of foreign dramas.

Hits: Masterchef Australia, Survivor, The Masked Singer, I’m a Celebrity, The Bachelor, HYBPA, The Dog House AUstralia (Dark horse), Melbourne Cup, The AMazing Race,
Moderates: Ambulance Australia, The Bachelorette, Making it Aus, The First Inventors, Territory Cops, Australian Formula 1 GP, Five Bedrooms, How to Stay married, The Project, The Living Room, The Graham Norton SHow,
Flops: 10 News First, Studio10, the entire Saturday Night

Hits: Australian Story, Media Watch, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, Shaun Micallef’s Mad as hell, Rosehaven, Bluey, Hard Quiz, foreign dramas on Saturday Nights
Flops: A-League (the ratings for A-League on ABC were diabolical).

For a 9:30 sometimes 10:30 show it did quite well. Especially in the 3 states it aired in during those times.

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Also it contains branded content (e.g. Ross the Boss sponsored by Home Hardware or whatever) so doesn’t solely rely on ratings.


Just making news/current affairs assumptions here.

News (between Nine and Seven)

  • Nationally, Seven will continue to win due to the high lead in Perth, however Nine may make some inroads with Adelaide.

  • In Perth, news will be dominated by Seven, no doubt.

  • In Adelaide, Seven’s Afternoon News will probably remain popular. Seven News at 6 will still be the one to watch on weekdays, but Nine News may be able to start winning weekends. I expect more viewers tuning in to Nine News at 5 on weekends.

  • In SE QLD, I expect viewers to turn back to Seven News Queensland, with a far bigger dominance on Friday and Saturday. Seven’s Afternoon News QLD with Kendall Gilding will remain very popular. I expect Seven News at 5 to rate well in this market.

  • In Melbourne, Nine News will continue to dominate the market.

  • I find Sydney to be a little bit mixed. I still expect Nine News Sydney at 6pm to win the year generally, along with Nine’s Afternoon News, but Seven’s Afternoon News does do relatively well, and Fergo has won quite a few nights this year, so expect the unexpected. I do believe though that Sydney will be a top market for Seven News at 5.

Breakfast shows:

  • Nationally: With Today having made significant progress this year, and with Karl and Ally being really good as a duo, I have a feeing that Sunrise will win probably the first half of the year (or even the first few months). Afterwards, it’s possible that Today could win late 2021. This is assuming that Today keeps up the good work.
  • Unfortunately for Today Extra, it’s pretty clear that The Morning Show is in control!
  • And Studio 10 will continue to flop…

Between Sunrise, Today and News Breakfast:

  • Melbourne: It’s quite hard to tell what may happen in this market. I feel that viewers may switch between all three breakfast programmes.

  • Sydney: I think Sydneysiders are going to be moving to Today soon. I find it hard to see what engages Sydneysiders to Sunrise.

  • Brisbane: Also a hard market to deduce, but I will say that viewers will stick to Today.

  • Adelaide & Perth: Sunrise, no doubt.

Lots of predictions for Nine improving and winning. How surprising! :crazy_face:

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Nine won’t win the year. Not if the olympics goes ahead. They barely scraped through this year. And that was with 7 having less AFL games.

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“…So, you see, both Dunn and I were under Oveur, even though I was under Dunn…”

(Flying High 2 reference)

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Nine definitely will win the first half of the year with Tennis, MAFS and Lego Masters.

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My predictions for 2021

Hits: Holey Moley, Married at First Sight, Lego Masters, MasterChef, Australian Survivor, The Amazing Race Australia, The Block
Moderates: Ultimate Tag, Big Brother, The Voice, I’m a Celebrity (after a big launch), RFDS, Doctor Doctor, Making It, The Cube, The Dog House, Five Bedrooms
Flops: The Bachelor/ette, The First Inventors, Beauty and the Geek, Wife Swap

I think the network that will win 2021 is the one which best adapts to the challenges posed by COVID-19. What if a third wave hits Australia next year?

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10, Nine, Seven, ABC and SBS will all shuffle an ever decreasing amount of viewers between themselves.

Less people will actually watch each network and multi channel than in 2020

More people will watch Stan

More people will watch Amazon Prime

More people will watch Disney +

Stan will become more valuable than nine TV network

9Now, 7+ and 10Play will all grow double digits - but not enough to make up for FTA viewing

Amazon. Stan, Netflix and Disney will all increase original aussie productions

Something will change in regional TV, a merger, a big news axing, or something fundamental will shift


Sunday January 3
Big night for 10.
I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here season premiere 1.04m
I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here: welcome to the jungle 1.11m
The Graham Norton Show 0.33m

BBL: Strikers v Sixers session 1: 0.42m, session 2: 0.45m

60 Minutes 0.55m
RBT 0.47m
Movie: The Negotiator Rpt 0.28m

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This year if the Australian Open is completely in the official ratings period, then surely the Olympics should also be counted in the official figures not separately as in the past…

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