Serena Williams fails to boost Ten as Project interview disappoints

Ten’s highly promoted exclusive interview with tennis star Serena Williams failed to boost Ten’s overall share last night despite a slight increase in audience for the show.

Last night the channel finished with a 5.8% share, down almost two percentage points from last week’s 7.5%, according to OzTAM’s overnight figures. The result put Ten just ahead of SBS from a main channel perspective. Nine led the night with a 26.5% share, followed by Seven’s 19.6%. ABC had a 12.8% a share and SBS’ was 4.5%.

Ten’s share also edged closer to Seven’s multi-channels 7TWO and 7mate, both of which were 4.3%.

That was despite a major marketing effort from Ten, which featured clips from Williams’ interview with The Sunday Project co-host, Lisa Wilkinson. Williams came under scrutiny several weeks ago, following three code violations at the US Open.

But Ten’s The Sunday Project did see growth compared to last week. At 6:30pm, the show had a metro audience of 289,000 – slightly up from last week’s 248,000, while from 7pm, The Sunday Project averaged 404,000, a rise from last week’s 312,000. The interview between Wilkinson and Williams was in the second half hour, from 7pm.

According to Ten, The Sunday Project was up 23% week on week, according to metro figures. But despite that, it was still out-done by a number of other shows running at the same time. ABC News Sunday, which also commenced at 7pm, finished with an audience of 705,000.

But Nine’s The Block dominated, with an average metro audience of 1.263m. The Block led all the key advertising demographics, the 16-39s, 18-49s and 25-54s, and beat Seven’s Sunday Night, which achieved 696,000 metro viewers.

Seven News had the strongest bulletin across the country last night, with a metro audience of 1.019m at 6pm, beating Nine News Sunday’s 937,000.

The later time slot was led by Nine’s 60 Minutes, which pulled in a metro audience of 715,000.


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