Seven wins 2016 ratings year by one of the biggest margins on record

Seven has won the official 2016 TV ratings year in near record time.

The network, led by CEO Tim Worner, sealed its 21st weekly ratings win of the official 40-week ratings calendar in the final weekend of the Olympics.

Tim Worner

Traditionally the networks have not counted holiday periods towards their ratings battles, meaning that the official ratings period runs from February 7 to November 26 this year, with a two week break for Easter.

2016 saw Seven race to a virtually unassailable lead after winning the first ten weeks in a row in the all-people metro demographic.

Nine fought back with two wins in the first two weeks of May, before Seven then came back with two more. Since then, Nine has only had three more weekly wins.

Ten is yet to win a week, although it came agonisingly close in the last week of July.

The win means that in the battle for the all-people demographic, Seven has now been on top for a decade.


The last time Seven won a ratings year more thoroughly was in 2011 when it won the first 21 weeks in a row.

In the key advertiser age demographics, of 25-54 and 18-49, Nine has run closer to Seven or won on a number of occasions over the last decade.

As well as the key advertiser demographics, Seven argues that cumulative share – which is won before the Olympics started – is a better measure than weekly wins.

Meanwhile, if the media ownership laws finally change and the TV networks acquire their regional affiliates, there may also be a swing towards national audience become a more meaningful metric than the more popular currency of the five city metro audiences.

According to OzTam, Seven completed its weekly win in style, with a cumulative metro weekly share of 26.3%, its second best of the year, beaten only by last week’s Olympics-driven 28.1%.

Nine had a weekly share of 15% and Ten 11.7%.

A spokesman for Seven said: “The Olympic Games has seen us deliver extraordinary audiences across every screen and every device.

“We had a lock on the year before we got to Rio with our biggest audience advantage ever over Nine and leadership in every key demographic.

“The most important aspect of this tenth year of leadership for us is pretty clear: our people are creating and producing great programmes and defining our success.”

Seven also today released an analysis of ratings data, suggesting that its network share of the commercial TV audience has hit its highest of all time.

tv ratings analysis

This coming week sees the networks unleash their vital post-Olympic schedules.

Ten’s most important new property is Australian Survivor, which debuts tonight at 7.30. Meanwhile Nine kicks off its latest series of The Block at 7pm.

Seven wraps up its final day of live Olympics coverage today, with the closing ceremony going out tomorrow morning. Tomorrow night will then see Seven air its heavily promoted new cooking contest Zumbo’s Just Desserts, which will be up against the second episodes of Australian Survivor and The Block.

Tuesday sees Zumbo against Nine’s The Block again, while on Wednesday Seven will pitch Zumbo up against Ten’s The Bachelor.

Meanwhile, on Thursday The Bachelor will have a clear run in the reality battles, with Nine carrying NRL in the eastern states and Seven shifting to lifestyle programming.


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