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In the archive
free-to-air Television

Television ratings for commercial and non-commercial broadcasters in the five metropolitan markets, share of all people, 6 pm to midnight, 1983–2009

Commercial broadcasters attract the bulk of free-to-air television viewing in the five metropolitan markets (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide). Despite this dominant position, these broadcasters have seen their audience share fall from around 86–88 per cent in the mid-1980s to 77–79 per cent this decade, in part due to strong increases for ABC and continued falls for Nine. In 2009, Ten increased its share from 20.7 per cent in 2008 to 22.4 per cent while Seven’s margin decreased slightly, although the broadcaster still achieved its third successive ratings win. It should, however, be noted that there is a reasonable amount of variation in the ratings of each of the five television networks across different markets (see Archive: Free-to-air industry: Audience shares by market).

Snapshot, 2009

Graph: TV ratings for commercial and non-commercial networks, 2009. The table following provides the data.
  Commercial share (%)1 Non-commercial share (%)1
Seven Nine Ten Total ABC SBS Total
10-year average 2000–20093 28.0 29.2 21.9 79.1 15.9 5.1 20.9
1983 30.8 30.9 24.9 86.6 11.9 1.5 13.4
1984 29.5 31.9 26.1 87.5 11.2 1.3 12.5
1985 30.9 31.2 25.8 87.9 10.7 1.4 12.1
1986 30.9 32.5 25.0 88.4 10.4 1.2 11.6
1987 27.9 32.2 26.2 86.3 11.9 1.8 13.7
1988 27.9 31.6 28.2 87.7 10.6 1.7 12.3
1989 28.2 33.2 25.2 86.6 11.5 1.9 13.4
1990 30.4 32.6 23.3 86.3 11.6 2.1 13.7
1991 30.5 31.6 21.5 83.6 13.8 2.6 16.4
1992 29.9 31.9 21.0 82.8 14.5 2.7 17.2
1993 29.9 30.9 22.0 82.8 14.6 2.7 17.3
1994 28.8 32.7 22.1 83.6 13.6 2.8 16.4
1995 29.8 32.4 21.1 83.3 13.9 2.9 16.8
1996 30.4 31.9 20.7 83.0 14.2 2.8 17.0
1997 29.5 32.6 20.7 82.8 14.3 2.8 17.1
1998 29.1 32.6 20.8 82.5 14.4 3.1 17.5
1999 29.4 32.8 19.5 81.7 14.7 3.7 18.4
20002 32.2 (29.3) 31.0 (32.9) 18.5 (19.3) 81.7 (81.5) 14.8 (15.5) 3.4 (3.5) 18.2 (19.0)
2001 29.4 30.6 21.3 81.3 14.0 4.6 18.6
2002 26.4 30.3 23.0 79.7 15.5 4.9 20.4
2003 25.6 31.2 23.2 80.0 15.6 4.5 20.1
2004 24.9 29.9 23.8 78.6 16.9 4.6 21.5
2005 27.1 29.2 21.9 78.2 15.7 6.1 21.8
2006 27.8 29.2 22.2 79.2 15.3 5.4 20.7
2007 29.1 26.9 21.9 77.9 16.7 5.5 22.2
2008 29.5 26.7 20.7 76.9 17.4 5.6 23.0
2009 28.1 26.6 22.4 77.1 17.0 5.9 22.9

Source: 1983 to 1990, McNair Anderson; 1991 to 2000, ACNielsen Australian TV Trends 2001; and from January 2001, OzTAM.

Notes:
Figures may not total exactly due to rounding.
Figures are per cent shares of free-to-air viewing, excluding subscription television, videos and out-of-market stations.
Any comparison of data before and after January 2001 should take into account that a different audience measurement system has applied since that date.
1. Figures represent network aggregates. They include all viewing to the broadcasters’ primary channel as well as SD and HD channels. Includes ABC2 (ABC) from 1 June 2008; ONE (Ten) from 12 April 2009; GO! (Nine) and SBS TWO (SBS) from 28 June 2009; and 7TWO (Seven) from 1 November 2009.
2. Figures in brackets exclude the Olympics (weeks 38 to 41).
3. Average figures include the ratings during the Olympics period.

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