Yes Home and Away gets good catch-up numbers, that’s why nobody is suggesting axing it. However, Seven can’t go from being number 1 with 900k at 6pm to 475k and a distant third in the slot with the soapie. The switch-over is evident and that doesn’t help Seven’s already struggling stripped 7.30 shows.
But would another news/current affairs program be any better in a competitive slot? Could Seven really draw viewers away from ABC News and ACA when their alternative is essentially the same? I can’t see many people watching a news/current affairs program on Seven when you’re getting the same stories on ACA and ABC News. At least a drama like H&A has a point of difference.
It would be about the Seven News audience not switching over to ABC and Nine though. That would be the point. To keep the 6pm viewers. Why switch to Nine for ACA when they could simply stay on Seven for whatever their current affairs program is.
To quote a famous slogan, could Sydney be “making the switch” to Seven News, as they did when Ian Ross was at the helm in the mid-noughties?
Happy to be corrected though they tend to cover the bigger news events more comprehensively such as the NSW election and the recent hostel fire in New Zealand. Also worth noting, the only week they won in 2018 (doing so by a mere 100 viewers), was the week of the Federal leadership spill that saw Scott Morrison become PM.
7 have had a couple of perfect opportunities to launch something new and they’ve missed them. First one was when they started to air The Latest at 7pm (Saturdays and sometimes other occasions) during covid, and never continued; and over Christmas just gone when ACA changed hosts.
Another comprehensive win for Seven in four markets and in the 5-city total, though Nine closed the gap by around 20,000 from the previous week.
Most bulletin segments were up week-on-week.
Seven posted another win in Sydney despite only winning two of the five nights with a 30k win on Monday getting the week off to a good start. Seven was down 2k while Nine was up 7k with Seven closing in on equalling with Nine’s weeks won.
In Melbourne, Nine had a rare win on Tuesday (by 1,000) and though Seven’s audience was down 11k it still posted an easy win.
Both bulletins in Brisbane were up by 10,000 as Nine took another week, winning every night.
Some big wins for Seven in Adelaide and Perth cemented their dominance.
Compared to week 21 of last year both Brisbane bulletins plus Nine in Melbourne and Seven in Adelaide did well to improve their ratings. Nine continues to underperform in Sydney, down 11% while both Perth bulletins are down by almost 20%.
I might be wrong, but these are some of my theories:
they tend to cover the bigger stories, such as the recent NSW election campaign and the hostel fire in New Zealand, better.
they have stuck the course with Mark Ferguson (for whom this is his tenth straight year in the hot seat, pardon the pun), as Melbourne did with Peter Mitchell. This came despite his lack of success while he was the anchor of Nine News, at which time he came up against Ian Ross.
in each of the past two years, they won seven weeks, though at least two of them were doubtless aided by the Tokyo Olympics and Birmingham Commonwealth Games, while they won the first two weeks of the 2021 ratings season when Nine had the (delayed) Australian Open.
it has also been well-documented that Hot Seat is struggling in the ratings against The Chase which Larry Emdur has now hosted for nearly two years. Are Sydneysiders, like the rest of the country, getting sick of Eddie?
It’s a fascinating time in news ratings. Especially when live news and live sport are the main things they are rating on commercial tv. Could we see a network blink at some point and make a dramatic move?