Source: David Dale, Sun Herald blogs
Of course Channel Seven won gold for attracting the biggest numbers last week -- an average of 1.9 million viewers in the mainland capitals every night and 43 per cent of the prime time audience -- but who won the silver and bronze? Nine got six programs into the Seven-dominated top 30 for the week, with its Sunday news and 60 Minutes pulling 1.4 million, and A Current Affair 1.1 million (not much less than its average in non-Olympic times). So that's a silver for Nine.
And the bronze must go to the ABC, which managed three top 30 performers -- its weeknight news with 1.1 million and Doctor Who and Spicks and Specks, both with 1 million. The Doctor scored strongly again last night, with his most interesting episode so far this season. Stay out of the shadows.
Ten could manage only one show in the top 30 last week -- a repeat of Law and Order: SVU -- but was cheered by 1.4 million for Sunday's new season launch of Australian Idol. On Pay TV last week, NRL: Bulldogs v Eels (Fox Sports 2) pulled 220,000 and Project Runway Australia (Arena) pulled 175,000.
Television returns to reality today, and the medals will count for nothing in the eyes of the ad agencies. For them, Seven and Nine are neck and neck. Australia's viewing behaviour in the next 13 weeks will determine where they place their clients' money next year.
What Australia watched, week ending August 23
1 BEIJING OLYMPICS: D9 PRIMETIME Network 7 2,226,000
2 SEVEN NEWS - SUN Network 7 2,187,000
3 BEIJING OLYMPICS: D11 PRIMETIME Network 7 2,090,000
4 BEIJING OLYMPICS: D10 PRIMETIME Network 7 2,043,000
5 BEIJING OLYMPICS: D12 PRIMETIME Network 7 2,038,000
6 SEVEN NEWS - SAT Network 7 1,986,000
7 SEVEN NEWS Network 7 1,886,000
8 TODAY TONIGHT Network 7 1,732,000
9 SEVEN'S BEIJING OLYMPICS: D15 PRIMETIME Network 7 1,687,000
10 SEVEN'S BEIJING OLYMPICS: D13 PRIMETIME Network 7 1,646,000
11 BEIJING OLYMPICS: D9 LATE MORNING Network 7 1,553,000
12 BEIJING OLYMPICS: D14 PRIMETIME Network 7 1,550,000
13 BEIJING OLYMPICS: D15 LATE NIGHT Network 7 1,445,000
14 NINE NEWS SUNDAY Network 9 1,399,000
15 60 MINUTES Network 9 1,387,000