Ashes, Jacko and Masterchef squeeze out The Chaser

The first session of The Ashes helped SBS to one of its biggest TV audience shares of the year so far in an evening dominated by Michael Jackson and which left little room for The Chaser.

An average of 680,000 tuned in to the resumption of hostilities in cricket’s biggest rivalry, giving SBS a share of 13.4% of Wednesday night – about twice its typical OzTam ratings result.

And in a competitive night’s viewing, ABC1’s The Chaser’s War On Everything was the loser, with its audience dropping to below a million – a fall of more than a third on the series opening.

However, it would seem that cooking and cricket attract different audiences. MasterChef pulled in an audience of more than 1.9m – its highest weekday audience yet.

The competition hit Seven’s season finale of Thank God You’re Here, which pulled in a little under 1.4m although that was enough to help the network to a win for the night.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson was also an audience draw, with news and current affairs shows dominated by his send-off.

Unusually, Seven’s afternoon quiz Deal Or No Deal, presented by Andrew O’Keefe, sneaked into the top 15 shows of the night.

Seven won Wednesday night with a 26.7% share. Next came Nine on 22.5% and Ten on 21.8%. The ABC was on 15.5%.

Wednesday’s top rating shows:

  1. Masterchef – Ten 1.9m
  2. Seven News – 6:00-7:00pm Seven 1.5m
  3. Thank God You’re Here Seven 1.4m
  4. Nine News Nine 1.3m
  5. Criminal Minds Seven 1.2m
  6. A Current Affair Nine 1.1m
  7. Today Tonight – Michael Jackson Special – Seven 1.1m
  8. Spicks and Specks ABC 1.1m
  9. The Simpsons 8pm – Ten 1m
  10. Michael Jackson Memorial Concert – Nine 1m
  11. The Chaser’s War on Everything – ABC 1m
  12. Ten News – Ten 1m
  13. ABC News – ABC 0.9m
  14. Deal or No Deal – Seven 0.9m
  15. Michael Jackson in Concert – Nine 0.9m

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