The Nine Network is claiming victory for 2016 in the ongoing battle for ratings between Today and Sunrise. However Seven is fighting back with its own claims of a ‘national victory’.
According to Nine, 'Today has now won 21 weeks out of the 35 weeks official ratings weeks so far this year across the five mainland capitals, putting it in an unbeatable position and awarding it a 5 City Metro ratings victory for 2016'.
This figure from Nine excludes the two weeks of Olympics. There has been a long-standing agreement between networks to exclude Olympic ratings as they can cause confusion in year on year averages.
The Today program has not won the yearly breakfast battle across the 5 City Metro since 2003.
This year Today has averaged 317,000* viewers each morning in 2016 (up 5% year-on-year**), compared to Sunrise which has an average morning audience of 310,000* (down 5% year-on-year**).
A spokesperson for Seven has refuted Nine’s claims that Today is Australia’s new Nb1 breakfast program telling DeciderTV:
"Winning" the five city metro weeks (as accurately stated in the release) does not qualify to be Australia's Number 1. The year is defined by average audiences across a period not weekly wins. Nine appears to be excluding a few things and weeks to make its claim. It is too close to call across five capital cities with five weeks remaining in the survey year. Regardless, we dominate across Australia.”
Seven is now relying on regional ratings figures to claim the title of ‘Australia’s Nb1’. Sunrise remains dominate across Regional Australia on the Prime network. However this does little to help Seven’s adverting revenue.
Darren Wick, Director of News & Current Affairs for the Nine Network, today paid tribute to his staff and expressed his gratitude to viewers of Today:
“Every single day, the Today team - both on air and behind the scenes - set out to deliver a show that our viewers will find informative and entertaining. We're thrilled that so many Australians are liking what we do and tune in to watch Today every morning.
“My personal congratulations and admiration goes to our hosts Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic, along with the best team at breakfast - Sylvia Jeffreys, Tim Gilbert, Dickie Wilkins, Steve Jacobs and Ross Greenwood, along with all our friends and colleagues who contribute to make it a great show on air.
“Behind the scenes is an outstanding team of talented producers, camera crews and studio production staff. A special thanks to Today Executive Producer, Mark Calvert. No one has worked harder or smarter in achieving this wonderful result.
“Everyone at Nine is so proud of the Today team, which remains dedicated to producing Australia's Number One breakfast show.
“But our biggest thanks of all must always go to the wonderful and loyal Today viewers right across this great country of ours. We'll never let them down."
Mark Calvert, Executive Producer of Today, said:
“It's so incredibly humbling to think how many people wake up with Today. We do it for our amazing viewers, and we'll keep on working hard to inform and entertain all of Australia.”
*Source: OzTAM, 5 City Metro, Consolidated, 2016, Weeks 7 – 43 (excluding Easter & Olympics).
**Compared to Weeks 7-43 (excluding Easter) of 2015.