Australia TV Ratings and News Reports

Complete guide to Australian TV Ratings 2019


Even though most of us are living in a world where streaming is a big part of our lives, broadcast TV is still massive and, unlike streaming, can react to viewers almost immediately. But they’re not just guessing about what people are watching – TV networks are expensive things to run, and to make sure that advertisers get what they’re paying for, a real measure of viewer numbers is needed.

That’s where the official TV ratings come in. If you’ve ever wondered why your favourite show moved to a new time slot or a different day, or disappeared entirely, chances are it was because of the results of the official ratings that showed exactly how many people were watching it. Ratings numbers are delivered to TV networks regularly – once weekly, there are now daily and even hourly reports, thanks to advances in technology. For many years, these ratings reports were kept largely secret. From time to time you’d hear about a show doing well in the ratings, or failing to pull viewers in. But the up-to-date results were only available to the networks. That’s not the case anymore, though, and on these pages you’ll be able to browse through the latest TV ratings across a range of categories, updated every day so you know exactly what’s getting the attention of viewers.

How TV Ratings are measured in Australia

Years ago, ratings were collected by sending out paper “diaries” to selected viewers, who would be asked to write down what shows they watched and on which channels. In those days, it was all about “who’s watching what”. The huge changes in how we watch TV thanks to technology, though, have meant that ratings need to be measured differently. Now, there are several different elements that feed into the ratings system – including pay TV, time-shifting (like catch-up TV or recordings on a DVR).

It’s a complex system that’s actually not that hard to understand – check out the links below for detailed information about how the system works:

In this report of Australian TV ratings, we look at the following categories:

About the OzTAM Ratings System

Working out the viewer numbers for Australian free to air and pay TV channels is a complex task made much more accurate by advances in technology. Today the OzTAM ratings, an acronym for ‘Australian Television Audience Measurement’, measures actual television viewing in 5,250 homes all around Australia, with an additional 2,120 homes being monitored for their viewing of pay TV such as broadcast giant Foxtel. While it might seem like a small number of homes to monitor compared to the size of the Australian population, statistically it’s more than efficient to get an accurate picture of who’s watching what and when. Compared to other countries’ TV ratings systems, OzTAM uses one of the largest number of households in the world compared to the total population size, making it incredibly accurate.

How The TV Ratings Process Works

Because the ratings data being collected directly reflects what each household in the survey is watching, OzTAM installs a special device in the homes of those selected to be a part of the ratings panel. Known as Unitam, the device is better-known to some as a “people meter”. This clever little device can monitor and record a full range of information about the channels and shows being watched, as well as who’s watching them. All the household members need to do is “check in” with a remote control when they start watching (as do any guests who happen to be there at the time). From that point on, they watch TV as normal, and Unitam silently captures the details of what’s being watched in the background whether tuned into Network Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC, SBS or the subscription based Fox Sports channel. The date and time, how long shows are watched for, and even whether individual TVs are switched on or off is all captured, along with the audio from the watched channel so the correct shows can be identified.

Each night, Unitam “phones home” to OzTAM headquarters, uploading all of that day’s viewing data. Then, sophisticated software takes over, processing the data to identify what was being watched – not just the show, but whether it was a time-shifted recording of that show. The system can identify shows watched (from devices such as Foxtel iQ or Fetch TV) up to four weeks later.

By the morning, the results of the previous day’s surveys are ready to be released – outlining minute-by-minute ratings numbers for each channel and show. Those numbers are further refined that afternoon, when the television broadcasters supply the actual broadcast times of the night’s shows so any that ran overtime can be taken into account. Those ratings, based on what are called Confirmed times, are the most accurate, and are released the following day.

How The TV Ratings Panel is put together

Selection of homes to take part in OzTAM ratings is the result of a survey of thousands of homes across Australia each year. Any home can be selected and interviewed, and from those results a pool of 5,250 homes is chosen in the five largest cities. A separate pool of homes is chosen for regional ratings (3,198 homes) while for pay TV ratings, 2,120 homes are chosen from both the metropolitan and regional pools.

The exact requirements for being accepted as a ratings household are kept secret – and change from year to year – to make sure the results represent a true sample of the Australian TV viewing audience, across many different age groups and economic backgrounds.

Those chosen to be on the OzTAM panel can stay for up to four years – though they can leave at any time if they no longer want to take part in the survey.

Terms Used in the Ratings Reports Explained

There’s a lot of “industry lingo” used in the official ratings, as you’ll see when you browse the results. While much of it is straightforward, there are some terms that are well worth explaining:


Subscription TV – basically, any form of TV that requires payment to view. In most cases, that simply refers to Fetch TV and more importantly Foxtel. Note that it doesn’t include paid streaming services like Netflix and Stan, or “catch-up” streaming services.


While it might sound straightforward, the “overnight” viewership figure is the least accurate – as it doesn’t include playback of recorded shows watched after 2am the following morning and doesn’t yet incorporate the time schedule corrections sent by the various TV networks to OzTAM the following day. It does, however, give an incredibly fast basic idea of how many people watched exactly what the previous night. If you see media referring to “the overnights,” that refers to these numbers.

How to Read the TV Ratings Reports

Armed with the terms above, interpreting the ratings data is pretty simple. OzTAM can dig deep into their data to reveal information like the exact times of day the numbers cover, whether shows were repeats or first-run episodes, and even drilling down into the hard data that advertisers want to know, such as the viewing habits of the household’s main grocery buyer (who’s referred to as the “MGB”!)

The numbers you’ll see on these pages will give you a more general overview of what rated well overnight, as well as a longer-term look at how shows did when 7-day and 28 day playback numbers come in. For many shows, it’s that delayed playback that can make all the difference, with some shows more than others tending to be watched later from recordings rather than live as they air.

TV Overnight Ratings updated on 9th December 2019

Top 20 Consolidated 28 Programs
All Free-to-Air

  • Report: Top 20 Consolidated 28 Programs
  • Channels: All Free-to-Air
  • Market: 5 City Metro (aggregate figure)
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 02:00 – 26:00
  • Day: Wednesday
  • Date: 10/11/2019
  • Deliverable: Consolidated 28, Consolidated 7 and Overnight 

RankDescription (grouped)Channel\NetworkConsolidated 28Consolidated 7Overnight000s Increase on Consolidated 7000s Increase on Overnight
1THE BLOCK -WINNER ANNOUNCEDNine2,006,0001,991,0001,919,00015,00087,000
2THE BLOCK -GRAND FINALNine1,592,0001,582,0001,538,00010,00054,000
360 MINUTESNine960,000948,000896,00012,00065,000
4SEVEN NEWS – SUNSeven Network954,000954,000953,00001,000
5NINE NEWS SUNDAYNine862,000861,000860,00001,000
6TOTAL CONTROL-EVABC685,000683,000512,0001,000173,000
7ABC NEWS SUNDAY-EVABC651,000650,000649,00002,000
8BRIDE & PREJUDICE – THE FORBIDDEN WEDDINGS – SUNSeven Network525,000520,000453,0004,00072,000
9GRAND DESIGNS: THE STREET-EVABC474,000455,000430,00019,00045,000
10SUNDAY NIGHTSeven Network416,000409,000377,0007,00039,000
132019 FEDERATION CUP FINAL AUS V FRA -DAY 2Nine336,000336,000336,00000
14NCIS SUNNetwork 10323,000310,000234,00014,00089,000
15THE SUNDAY PROJECT 7PMNetwork 10307,000306,000305,0002,0002,000
16A CONFESSIONSeven Network294,000270,000208,00024,00087,000
17SEVEN NEWS AT 5Seven Network292,000292,000292,00000
18NCIS SUN RPTNetwork 10277,000265,000213,00011,00063,000
1910 NEWS FIRST SUNNetwork 10275,000275,000275,00000
20THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOWNetwork 10269,000265,000242,0004,00027,000

Daily Free-to-Air Share
All Free-to-Air Channels

  • Report: Daily Free-to-Air Share
  • Channels: All Free-to-Air Channels
  • Market: 5 City Metro (aggregate figure)
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 18:00 – 24:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Deliverable: Overnight, Consolidated 7 and Consolidated 28

ChannelOvernight 08/12/2019Consolidated 7 01/12/2019Consolidated 28 10/11/2019
ABC KIDS/COMEDY2.8%2.9%2.5%
ABC ME0.4%0.5%0.6%
ABC NEWS1.5%1.5%1.2%
ABC Network18.8%18.8%15.3%
7food network0.6%0.6%0.4%
Seven Network28.3%26.9%24.6%
Nine Network28.2%30.8%40.7%
10 Bold3.4%3.6%2.6%
10 Peach1.7%1.8%1.2%
Network 1015.8%16.0%11.8%
SBS VICELAND1.1%1.0%0.6%
SBS Food 1.2%1.0%0.9%
SBS World Movies1.1%1.2%0.8%
SBS Network8.9%7.4%7.6%

Top 20 Programs
All free-to-air Multi Channels

  • Report: Top 20 Programs
  • Channels: All free-to-air Multi Channels
  • Market: 5 City Metro (aggregate figure), Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 02:00 – 26:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Date: 08/12/2019
  • Deliverable: Overnight

RankDescription (grouped)Channel\Market(r) 5 City MetroSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerth
1SEVEN’S CRICKET: WBBL – GRAND FINAL – SESSION 27mate205,00049,00044,00063,00034,00015,000
2BEAUTY AND THE BEAST9GO!198,00047,00054,00052,00018,00028,000
3SEVEN’S CRICKET: WBBL – GRAND FINAL – SESSION 17mate162,00040,00039,00039,00032,00012,000
5NCIS RPT10 Bold151,00043,00041,00029,00018,00019,000
6PEPPA PIG-AMABCKIDS/COMEDY118,00025,00032,00022,00022,00016,000
7INSIDERS-AMABC NEWS115,00030,00030,00030,00013,00012,000
10FAWLTY TOWERS -EV TX29Gem111,00029,00032,00023,0009,00018,000
11FAWLTY TOWERS -EV TX19Gem107,00028,00033,00020,0007,00019,000
12BARGAIN MANSIONS -EV -TX19Life107,00012,00047,00016,00016,00015,000
13NELLA THE PRINCESS KNIGHT-PMABCKIDS/COMEDY107,00033,00026,00020,00017,00011,000
15KIRI AND LOU-AMABCKIDS/COMEDY106,00028,00024,00020,00019,00015,000
16WOULD I LIE TO YOU?-EVABCKIDS/COMEDY104,00015,00022,00034,00014,00020,000
17GO JETTERS-AMABCKIDS/COMEDY103,00022,00026,00022,00019,00015,000
18RUSTY RIVETS-AMABCKIDS/COMEDY103,00030,00015,00025,00016,00016,000
20FAWLTY TOWERS -EV9Gem102,00028,00030,00017,0008,00019,000

Top 20 Programs
All free-to-air Channels

  • Report: Top 20 Programs
  • Channels: All free-to-air channels
  • Market: 5 City Metro (aggregate figure), Sydney, Melbourne
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 02:00 – 26:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Date: 08/12/2019
  • Deliverable: Overnight

RankDescription (grouped)Channel\Network(r) 5 City MetroSydneyMelbourne
1SUNDAY NIGHT-SUMMERSeven Network842,000228,000221,000
2NINE NEWS SUNDAYNine746,000201,000264,000
3ABC NEWS SUNDAY-EVABC610,000166,000172,000
4MIDSOMER MURDERS-EVABC498,000137,000169,000
560 MINUTESNine490,000123,000167,000
7SUNDAY NIGHTSeven Network434,000147,000119,000
8M- LOVE ACTUALLYSeven Network404,000104,000143,000
9THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOWNetwork 10380,00093,000115,000
10THE SUNDAY PROJECT 7PMNetwork 10344,000102,00089,000
11BOEING’S KILLER PLANE: WHAT WENT WRONG?Nine335,00071,000110,000
12NCIS SUNNetwork 10283,00091,00081,000
13WEEKEND SUNRISE – SUNSeven Network275,00076,00079,000
14SEVEN NEWS AT 5Seven Network254,00062,00079,000
1510 NEWS FIRST SUNNetwork 10235,00078,00038,000
16SEVEN’S GOLF: 2019 AUSTRALIAN OPEN GOLF: DAY 4Seven Network229,00063,00071,000
17NCIS SUN RPTNetwork 10214,00074,00061,000
19THE SUNDAY PROJECT 6.30PMNetwork 10210,00068,00044,000
20SEVEN’S CRICKET: WBBL – GRAND FINAL – SESSION 2Seven Network205,00049,00044,000

Top 20 Consolidated 28 Programs
All Subscription Channels

  • Report: Top 20 Consolidated 28 Programs 
  • Channels: All Subscription Channels
  • Market: National STV
  • Demographics: Total People 
  • Day-part: 02:00 – 26:00
  • Day: Sunday
  • Date: 10/11/2019
  • Deliverable: Consolidated 28, Consolidated 7 and Overnight 

RankDescriptionChannel\MarketConsolidated 28Consolidated 7Overnight000s Increase on Consolidated 7000s Increase on Overnight
2LIVE: MOTORSPORT: SUPERCARS THE GRIDFOX SPORTS 506163,000163,000161,00002,000
6HIS DARK MATERIALSFOX SHOWCASE99,00041,0005,00058,00094,000
7LIVE: MOTORSPORT: SUPERCARS LIVEFOX SPORTS 50681,00080,00080,0001,0001,000
8LIVE: MOTORSPORT: SUPERCARS SANDOWNFOX SPORTS 50666,00065,00065,0001,0001,000
9THE WAR OF THE WORLDSFOX One65,00050,00014,00015,00051,000
10LIVE: MOTORSPORT: SUPERCARS LIVEFOX SPORTS 50662,00061,00061,0001,0001,000
11WORLD ON FIREBBC First58,00058,00043,000015,000
12THE WAR OF THE WORLDSFOX One55,00036,0006,00020,00049,000
13CATHERINE THE GREATFOX SHOWCASE51,00049,00035,0001,00015,000
14BOHEMIAN RHAPSODYMovies Premiere50,00031,00028,00019,00022,000
15THE SIMPSONSFOX845,00044,00044,0001,0001,000
16CATHERINE THE GREATFOX SHOWCASE45,00030,0002,00015,00043,000
17THE SIMPSONSFOX843,00043,00043,00000
1824 HOURS IN EMERGENCYLifestyle Channel43,00037,00031,0006,00012,000
19OUTSIDERSSky News Live42,00042,00039,00004,000

Latest Australia TV Ratings News

© OzTAM Pty Limited 2019. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM. Program performance and ranking information subject to change when not based on final program logs. Ranking information is for individual episodes. Includes Preliminary data.

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