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Amidst the axings, Seven celebrates being #1

In a nice distraction following last week’s major shake-up, Seven can officially lay claim to the title of the most-watched free-to-air TV network in the country, drawing more viewers than its commercial competitors for the first half of 2024.

Aside from winning 15 of 26 weeks in the overall Total TV ratings, Seven can claim the country’s highest rating news program, breakfast show (Sunrise), lifestyle show (Better Homes and Gardens), daily game show (The Chase), and winter sport, with the AFL. Plus, Home and Away, which hasn’t left the top ten since Don Fisher retired.

Across the first six months of the year, Seven had a total TV commercial share of 40.9% in all people, compared to Nine Network’s 39.1% share and Network Ten’s 20%.

Seven also boasts the leading BVOD, with 7plus’s market share jumping from 33.8% in the first half of 2023, to 36.2% this year – with minutes watched up 39%.

Seven’s chief Jeff Howard said 7Plus “continues to go from strength to strength, thanks to the great content on Seven, the popular shows from our NBCUniversal partnership, and its ever-growing library of exclusive content. It will get even stronger later this year when we add AFL and cricket to the 7plus platform for the first time.”

Group Managing Director, Seven Television, Angus Ross noted that five of its 7.30pm entertainment series grew its year-on-year audiences.

“No other network can match that achievement.”

It comes after Seven last week announced a “new operating model” under three divisions – television, digital and Western Australia – “designed to deliver on the strategy that includes optimising its television business and delivering on the digital future”.

As part of the changes, Seven said that “a number of redundancies and other cost actions are being taken” on the back of up to 150 jobs reportedly cut, which includes chief marketing officer Melissa Hopkins, chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette and Seven Melbourne’s head of sport and managing director Lewis Martin.

Speaking exclusively to Mumbrella last week, Hopkins said: “I am proud of my contribution over the past 15 months at Seven, the connections I have built, initiatives led and the external perspectives I have been able to provide as Seven firmly shapes itself as a digital first business.”

On the latest episode of the Mumbrellacast, editor Neil Griffiths and publisher Adam Lang discussed the major announcement just hours after it was made, noting the string of controversies that has plagued the network lately, including the sacking of crime reporter and occasional newsreader, Robert Ovadia.

Listen to the full episode here.

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