AFL semi brings 850,000 to Seven, giving it the edge on Friday night

The Friday night TV battle on the commercial free-to-air networks was all about sport, with the AFL semi-finals, NRL quarter finals and day two of the fifth Ashes test all going to air.

The AFL semi-final match between the West Coast Eagles and Geelong Cats had the largest audience, with 850,000 tuning in across the Seven Network to watch the match, according to OzTAM’s preliminary overnight figures.

The Geelong Cats triumphed 88 to 68 over the West Coast Eagles

The match was most popular in Melbourne, with 447,000 viewers. In Perth, the home of the West Coast Eagles, the match also went to air on Seven’s primary channel, with 223,000 tuning in. The match also went to air on Seven’s primary channel in Adelaide to 104,000.

In the less AFL-inclined cities of Sydney and Brisbane, the match was relegated to multi-channel 7Mate, with 28,000 and 47,000 viewers respectively.

On the primary channel in Sydney and Brisbane, Better Homes and Gardens and 2014 romantic comedy The Other Woman went to air.

Better Homes and Gardens had a five-city viewership of 455,000. It was most popular in Melbourne, leading into the AFL, with 160,000. The Other Woman had a metro audience of 219,000 – 91,000 of whom were from Sydney.

The AFL’s viewing numbers climbed to 1.135m with the addition of regional viewers, while Better Homes and Gardens had 765,000, and The Other Woman totalled 346,000.

Nine split its airings of the NRL semi-final match between two Sydney-based teams the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs across its primary channel and multi-channel Gem. It also screened day two of the fifth test of The Ashes.

The Ashes proved more popular across the five capital cities, despite the overall series already being decided.

Session one of day two had 499,000 metro viewers. The NRL had a metro total of 463,000.

182,000 tuned in from Melbourne on Nine’s primary channel for The Ashes, and just 15,000 watched the NRL on Gem.

In Sydney, the NRL got primary channel treatment, with 273,000 watching. 131,000 watched the first session of The Ashes on Gem.

Brisbane too gave the NRL primary channel treatment, with 165,000 watching. 85,000 were on Gem for the first session of The Ashes.

Barely anyone in Adelaide or Perth cared about the NRL on Gem, with just 4,000 tuning in in each city. The Ashes’ first session on Nine’s primary channel had 60,000 and 40,000 respectively.

The NRL’s national total was 712,000, and session one of The Ashes had 696,000.

Session two of The Ashes had a metro audience of 452,000 and 592,000 with the addition of the regions.

Overall, Seven’s primary channel narrowly won the night, with a 23.80% share to Nine’s 22.60%.

And despite the success of The Ashes across Nine and Gem, the Seven Network, including its multi-channels, still had the edge. Seven Network topped the Friday night ladder with a 36.6% share to Nine Network’s 34.1%.

7Mate had a 7.3% share, while 9Gem had 6.6%.

Both Ten and the ABC had primary channel shares of 7.7% last night. Ten’s most-watched program was Ten News First with 355,000 metro viewers, and 491,000 in total. The second half hour of The Project at 7pm had a metro audience of 353,000. With the addition of regional viewers, however, it was Ten’s most popular offering with 507,000.

Ten’s prime-time offering of The Living Room had a metro audience of 325,000, and an overall total of 475,000.

At 8:30pm, Ten’s final Pilot Week program My 80 Year Old Flatmate had 174,000 in the metro markets and 268,00 in total, making it the lowest-rating of the experiment.

ABC’s most popular program was ABC News (527,000 metro and 768,000 total).

In network shares, Ten had 11.7%, and ABC had 11.2%.


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