Nine’s Today Show claims first victory over Sunrise

Channel Nine’s Today show is claiming it has won the 2016 ratings year, beating Seven’s Sunrise in weekly metro wins for the first time in 12 years.


However, while it is the first time Today has won on that basis, Sunrise remains ahead on average combined metro and regional audience across the year – the national measure that Seven argues is more meaningful. And OzTam’s average metro audience is still too close for either program to call, although Today is currently just in front.

Regardless, the weekly wins are still a milestone for Today, given that it has never before beaten Sunrise on this measure. The show reached 21 weekly wins over its rival, giving it an unbeatable lead in the 40 weeks of the official ratings year.

Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson have hosted the breakfast program together for almost a decade. Today first launched in 1982, but was eclipsed by Sunrise which launched in 1999, and rose to the top after then EP Adam Boland took the helm in 2000.

Nine’s director of news and current affairs, Darren Wick told Mumbrella: “They are such big shows to put to air, not just in terms of production, but in terms of the hours people put in.

“We are really pleased, it’s just been a lot of hard work, we feel like the Western Bulldogs and the Cronulla Sharks.”

The average audience for the two shows across Australia’s five capital cities has been the closest in a decade. Excluding the non ratings period and the Olympics, Today has an average metro audience in 2016 of 317,000 compared to Sunrise’s audience of 310,000.

However, when regional audiences are factored in, Sunrise remains ahead by 532,000 to 477,000.

Wick said the entire Today team, past and present, were responsible for the turnaround over the past two years in the one of the most competitive timeslots on TV.

“My personal congratulations and admiration goes to our hosts Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic, along with the best team at breakfast – Sylvia Jeffreys, Tim Gilbert, Dickie Wilkins, Steve Jacobs and Ross Greenwood, along with all our friends and colleagues who contribute to make it a great show on air,” Wick said.

He also hailed the work of executive producer Mark Calvert.

“No one has worked harder or smarter in achieving this wonderful result,” he said.

Wick said the team would enjoy the victory, but would “keep doing the small things right” to maintain the momentum.

He said that for the production crew and the on-air team breakfast TV was one of the hardest gigs in the business, with presenters often having to swing from delivering light-hearted entertainment pieces to serious reports on terror attacks in just a few minutes, all while keeping a consistency that allowed viewers to time their mornings.

A spokesman for Seven told Mumbrella: “The metric in television is average audiences not weeks won. It is a close tight race across metropolitan markets with a number of weeks remaining in the television season. We dominate across Australia.”


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