Return of Westpac’s Air Rescue helps Seven win the night

The Westpac-funded documentary series Air Rescue made a strong return for Seven last night, delivering an average metro audience of 650,000.

The show, now in its fourth season, outperformed last year’s series opener which rated 579,000.

Air Rescue

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service reality series easily outrated Nine’s wildlife doco Wild New Zealand, which averaged 485,000 and Jamie’s Festive Feast, on Ten, which drew an audience of 457,000.

The Westpac series, masterminded by media agency Mediacom, is among the most successful examples of brand funded entertainment in Australian television. Brand funded content generally runs outside of the official ratings period as it usually doesn’t perform as well.

The second episode of SBS’s First Contact, airing at 8.30pm, averaged 427,000 metro viewers, a slight boost on Tuesday night’s 418,000.

ABC’s Upper Middle Bogan, also airing at 8.30pm, achieved 567,000 viewers while Seven’s Gold Coast Medical managed 577,000 in the same time slot, according to preliminary overnight metro ratings from OzTam.

Seven’s Highway Patrol at 7pm was the most watched non-news program for the evening, drawing 723,000 viewers. The show was the most watched program across all demographics.

Seven won the 6pm news battle, with 991,000 viewers comapred to Nine News’s 875,000.

Seven won the night overall with a total audience share of 18.7% with Nine at 15.4%, Ten 13.3%, ABC 11.8% and SBS 6.6%.


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