Karl Stefanovic’s early return to Today brings in 231,000 metro viewers

Nine’s decision to bring back Karl Stefanovic even earlier than planned has brought an average of 231,000 metro viewers to the network.

Stefanovic, alongside new co-host Allison Langdon, was originally scheduled to return to the chair today, however appeared over the weekend as part of Nine’s rolling bushfire coverage.

The early part of Saturday’s Weekend Today had 169,000 metro viewers.

Stefanovic returned to the prominent position on Saturday morning

Rival Sunrise on Seven was split in three for ratings purposes, with 216,000 for the ‘early’ part, 312,000 for the main program, and 225,000 for the ‘late’ edition.

Stefanovic was previously with the embattled Today show for 14 years. For a large chunk of his time there, he sat next to Lisa Wilkinson.

Wilkinson announced her departure in 2017 after contract negotiations broke down, and very quickly revealed her next gig with Network Ten.

Wilkinson was replaced by Georgie Gardner, but Stefanovic was next on the chopping block.

His departure was announced at the end of 2018, and by January 2019, the new line-up of Gardner, alongside Deb Knight and Tom Steinfort had been announced.

The ratings throughout 2019 however, struggled to make an impression on Seven’s Sunrise.

Knight and Gardner won’t host Today in 2020

Back in 2017, 301,000 metro viewers tuned in to see the unexpected aftermath of Wilkinson’s immediate departure.

Then Gardner’s first outing alongside Stefanovic in 2018 had 256,000 metro viewers.

After Stefanovic’s departure became public, 239,000 metro viewers tuned in.

The 2019 line-up of Gardner and Knight had just 197,000 on debut.

It then consistently sat below the 200,000 metro viewers mark throughout 2019.

Elsewhere on Saturday, 1.144m metro viewers tuned in to watch Seven News, making it the most-watched program. The Latest: Bushfire Crisis from Seven News had 738,000.

Also on Seven, day two of the third cricket test between Australia and New Zealand averaged 510,000 metro viewers for session one, 775,000 for session two, and 762,000 for session three.

Overall, Seven won the evening with a 21.3% share for the primary channel and 28.9% for the network.

ABC was second with 15.3% for its primary channel. Its 24-hour news channel, ABC News, had a 6.6% share, helping the ABC Network to maintain second position with 25.6%.

Nine was third with 11.8% and 22.4%, ahead of Ten’s 7.8% and 13.6%.

SBS had 5.8% and 9.5%.


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