Seven’s Australia Versus drops a million viewers in an hour

Tim Ross achieved a rare feat in Australian television on Tuesday night.

The first episode of Seven’s Australia Versus shed more than a million viewers on the audience it inherited from Packed To The Rafters.  

Last night’s episode of the clip show featured comedians debating who was best out of Australia and England across a variety of categories.

But despite inheriting the network’s biggest audience of the night, the show lost two thirds of them.

Packed To The Rafters, which ran from 8.30pm to 9.30pm, pulled in an average of just over 1.8m viewers, according to preliminary overnight ratings from OzTam. It was second for the night, just behind Ten’s Masterchef.

Australia Versus pulled in an average of 623,000 viewers, 23rd for the night, although it should be taken into account that audiences tend to start falling away at that part of the evening. However, it even  came in behind The ABC’s QI (644,000) which was in the same time slot.

The show is the first major project for Tim Ross since he departed Nova’s Sydney-based Merrick & Rosso breakfast show at the end of last year.

The attraction for networks of creating successful clip show formats is that they can make for relatively low cost television that still qualifies as local content.

But winning audiences with that type of format is not as easy as it may appear.

The only clip show that has consistently performed in recent years is Nine’s 20 To 01 fronted by Bert Newton.

Ten’s attempt – The Spearman Experiment which starred comedian Magda Szubanski – quickly died last year after being derided as a 20 To 01 rip-off.

Despite the dismal performance of Australia Versus, Packed To The Rafters was enough to take Seven to a win for the night.

Tuesday’s top 15 shows:

  1. Masterchef Ten 1.852
  2. Packed to the Rafters Seven 1.802
  3. Modern Family Ten 1.532
  4. Today Tonight Seven 1.475
  5. Seven News Seven 1.453
  6. Nine News Nine 1.281
  7. A Current Affair Nine 1.171
  8. Minute to Win It Seven 1.110
  9. Two and a Half Men – 7:00pm Nine 1.088
  10. ABC News ABC 1.076
  11. NCIS: Los Angeles Ten 1.046
  12. Home and Away Seven 1.045
  13. NCIS Ten 1.008
  14. The 7PM Project Ten 0.957
  15. Greatest Cities of the World ABC 0.945

Tuesday’s station share:

  • Seven: 26.2%
  • Ten: 24.2%
  • Nine: 22.8%
  • ABC1: 14.5%
  • SBS1: 5.4%
  • GO!: 2.0%
  • 7TWO 1.8%
  • ABC2: 1.3%
  • ABC3: 0.6%
  • One: 0.6%
  • SBS2: 0.5%

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