Ratings: NRL returns down but Nine wins Thursday

This year’s NRL kicked off on the Nine Network last night with 646,000 fans tuning in across the five mainland capitals.

The result is down from 729,000 last year and 818,000 in 2014 with the Sydney market accounting for most of the fall. The game still delivered the number one program in the code’s biggest market despite slipping 80,000 from last season. The Brisbane audience improved slightly while the number of Melbourne viewers watching on GEM was down to 41,000. The game was back on Adelaide screens this year with 11,000 with another 13,000 in Perth.

Nine shared the live broadcast rights for the first time with Foxtel where the game saw 210,000 tune in nationally on the subscription service.

The result saw Nine’s network share edge up slightly to 28.7% with Seven well up to 27.7%. Ten (19.0%), ABC (17.8%) and SBS (5.8%) slipped from last week.

Nine News (985,000 and 961,000) had its second win of the week at 6pm with A Current Affair (675,000 in four markets) also in the top ten for the night. In AFL markets RBT (302,000), Inside Story (277,000) and Kings Cross ER (252,000) were shown while the afternoon’s Hot Seat averaged 503,000.

Seven’s improved share was due to the movie Pretty Woman that attracted 548,000 fans, up from last week’s offering Safe House with 369,000. Earlier, Seven News (928,000 and 907,000) and Home and Away (708,000) also did well but The Big Bang Theory slipped to 419,000. The Chase had 518,000 and 321,000 in the afternoon. The new series of The Amazing Race drew just 38,000 on 7Flix while the movie 2012 had 79,000.

Meanwhile, I’m a Celebrity was again Ten’s best title with 676,000 with The Project (476,000 and 397,000) next best. Earlier, Family Feud had 443,000 and Ten Eyewitness News 422,000. Law and Order SVU had 425,000 and 222,000 later in the evening

ABC News (759,000) was fifth for the night with 7:30 (685,000) and Jack Irish (581,000) also making the top ten. Hatch Match & Dispatch (515,000) and No Offence (281,000) later were steady for ABC.

Food Safari Fire (240,000) and What’s the Right Diet For You? (174,000) topped SBS’s schedule.

Nine’s Today (341,000) had its second biggest win of the survey well ahead of Sunrise (302,000).

See Thursday 3 March 2016 for a more detailed look at the ratings numbers in the Media Spy forums.

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