TV Ratings March 21: Nine the victor in close two-horse race

Mediaweek editor James Manning looks at last night’s TV ratings


• Nine and Seven primary channels pull close to 50% of all FTA viewers
• Married At First Sight and My Kitchen Rules duel at 7.30pm – both over 1.1m
• Travel Guides and 800 Words fight later in night as they both lift close to 700,000

Tuesday was a two-horse race more than ever with just 0.3 of a point separating Nine and Seven with their two primary channels accounting for over 47% of the audience watching the 19 FTA channels.

Nine had the edge over Seven on the east coast with a big win in Melbourne where it recorded a 27.2% share to Seven’s 20.3%.

Seven trailed Nine by just a point in Sydney and Brisbane and had big wins in Adelaide and Perth. The winning margin in Perth was over 10 points.

It was another tough day for TEN with its third night this week in single figures and its fifth consecutive single figure share in a streak that started last Saturday.


Home and Away climbed from 723,000 on Monday to 768,000 last night.

My Kitchen Rules featured some drama in the ranks as husband and wife Josh and Amy feuded while watching the sudden death elimination. Josh didn’t win any fans amongst the other contestants or the viewers. In the competition, hipsters Court and Duncan did well, winning the cook-off with a score of 50 out of 60, sending business women Mell and Cyn home. The Tuesday episode trailed Married At First Sight on the east coast, but won its slot in Adelaide and Perth. The Tuesday audience of 1.11m was up on 1.03m last Tuesday and was the biggest MKR audience this month.

800 Words followed with 681,000 watching, which was up 90,000 on last week and was the third-biggest crowd for the Aussie/Kiwi co-production this season.


A Current Affair had another strong night winning the timeslot with reporter Alicia Muling starring in the two lead stories. She nearly had her arm snapped off by a car door pulled shut by Australia’s worst driving instructor and she also hosted a shop-off between the boss of Coles and a mother of three. Both had long shopping lists and a purse of $150. Guess who did best! The Tuesday audience was on 847,000 as the show again easily won the timeslot.

On Married At First Sight it was time to see how the twins felt about renewing their vows. One decided to stay with her husband while the other wanted out. The drama was enough to keep the show close to 1.2m and keep it top of the TV rankings all people and in Nine’s targeted demos.

Travel Guides then sent its Aussie adventurers on a cruise ship to see what all the fuss was about. The show did 691,000, up over 50,000 on last week, which was enough to make it the biggest audience yet for the hit travel series.


The Biggest Loser: Transformed was again sitting outside the top 20, and thanks to Michael Portillo on SBS, TBL managed to rank fifth in the timeslot.

The channel’s biggest audience was at 5pm for TEN Eyewitness News First At Five with 501,000.

Family Feud was on 340,000 at 6pm followed by The Project 6.30pm on 303,000, which grew to 498,000 for The Project 7pm.

Later in the night NCIS did 371,000 (416,000 last week) and then NCIS: Los Angeles was on 316,000 (293,000 last week).


Todd Sampson’s Life On The Line was not able to overhaul the channel’s Tuesday numbers and stop it from recording a fourth consecutive Tuesday single figure share. Life On The Line just missed the top 20 with 317,000 and ranked fourth in the timeslot.

At 8.30pm the second episode of Bullied did 264,000 after it launched with 386,000.


Michael Portillo was on and off trains travelling across northern Italy to the Austrian border with an audience of 327,000, which powered Great Continental Rail Journeys into the top 20. The show is a model of consistency (327,000 last week too) and it could again be the channel’s most-watched show of the week.

Later in the night Insight did 238,000 followed by a great story from India on Dateline filed by reporter Calliste Weitenberg which attracted 159,000.

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