Sunday Night’s exclusive interview on Nine’s Beirut fiasco lifts ratings

Seven’s exclusive interview with the former soldier behind Nine’s bungled attempt to help a mother snatch her kids from a Beirut street upped Sunday Night’s viewers by a third last night.

Former soldier Adam Whittington gave a damning interview to Seven's 60 Minutes on his treatment by rivals Nine

Former soldier Adam Whittington gave a damning interview to Seven’s Sunday Night on his treatment by rivals Nine

Overnight metro ratings from OzTAM show the Adam Whittington interview boosted Sunday Night’s viewers by 221,000 on the previous week to 852,000, from 631,000.

Airing at 8:00pm, it was second in its first half-hour to Nine’s The Block, then easily beat Nine’s 60 Minutes, which had 778,000 viewers from 8:30pm.

In the interview, Whittington, who spent four months in jail for his role in the botched operation, accused Nine of throwing sacked producer Stephen Rice and his team “under a bus” and said the network “fabricated lies” to protect itself.

He also said the team used a copy of Nine’s internal review into the incident saying it was “used as toilet paper” by his team who were left in jail after Nine paid around US$500,000 to free presenter Tara Brown and her 60 Minutes crew as well as mother Sally Faulkner, who was trying to retrieve her children from estranged husband Ali Elamine.

Despite the improved audience Nine dominated the night courtesy of The Block, which managed 1.101m viewers from 7:00pm, and its news at 6:00pm, which was the most watched show with 1.372m viewers.

Seven’s The Big Music Quiz dipped again with 841,000 viewers against The Block at 7:00pm, while Australian Survivor was Ten’s best shot with 586,000 viewers, up slightly on last Sunday.

Nine’s last NRL clash of the weekend in which the Panthers routed the Bulldogs managed 501,000 viewers in Sydney and Brisbane, with the NSW capital making a bumper 327,000 of those supporters.

ABC’s best show after its news was Attenborough at 90, a look at the life of the naturalist which managed 708,000 from 7:40pm.

Nine won the night with 21.5% audience share, with Seven second with 18.7% and ABC third on 13.2%, ahead of Ten with 10.5%.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.