The battle between Networks Nine and Seven continues to rage in 2014 with both Networks making the decision earlier this year to extend their news programmes to one hour bulletins.
January saw Nine quietly make the switch to an hour long news service across all capital cities. Seven followed shortly after, rolling out an hour long news service across the east coast. This change removed Today Tonight from the schedule completely in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Important to note Seven trialled an hour News service in Sydney last year.
So far, this year has shown similar results to 2013 with Nine pulling ahead in the 18:00 – 19:00 timeslot. The change in the three East Coast Markets has been successful for both networks as they have seen a rise in audience in this timeslot YOY, Nine by 6% against Total People, and Seven by 2% against Total People. Both Networks have also been able to grow their audience in the 18:30-19:00 half hour YOY as well.
Nine is leading the race for news ratings nationally as well but when broken down by each metro market, the network has only been victorious along the east coast. Seven has dominated in Adelaide and Perth, which are traditionally Nine’s weaker markets, proving keeping Today Tonight in the schedule for those markets was a smart decision for Seven.
News is a key timeslot for television Networks as it provides the foundation on which networks build their nightly line-up. Therefore it is no surprise these changes have made the rivalry between Seven and Nine even more fierce. The race will remain tight, and as they both tweak the hour-long News format, we predict Nine will remain in front and only increase their lead from growth in Adelaide and Perth.