Olympics ratings underwhelm

By By Wenlei Ma | 31 July 2012
London's Tower Bridge.

Nine's Olympics coverage last night failed to meet expectations with its highest-rated slot watched by less than 2 million people.

The early evening portion of the Olympics attracted 1.81 million metro viewers while the evening segment was viewed by 1.51 million people, according to preliminary overnight figures from OzTam.

Prior to the start of the games, Nine said it was expecting its evening coverage to average 1.85 million viewers across the two weeks. As in other years, the ratings are expected to drop in the second week as the sports Australia traditionally perform well in wraps up at the end of this week.

Ten's The Shire slipped out of the top 20 programs last night with 537,000 viewers tuned in. While most programs saw a decline in its numbers against the Olympics, The Shire lost almost 30% of its audience from last week's 754,000 viewers. MasterChef All Stars commanded a respectable 826,000 viewers.

On Seven, Once Upon A Time was watched by 805,000 people while Body of Proof garnered 664,000 viewers.

Other programs in the top 20 were Nine News, Seven News, A Current Affair (Nine), Today Tonight (Seven), Home and Away (Seven), ABC News, Australian Story (ABC), Ten News, Media Watch (ABC), Four Corners (ABC), Deal or No Deal (Seven), 7.30 (ABC) and Q&A (ABC).

Across the main channels, Nine won the night with 36.4% of audience share, followed by Seven with 17.2%, the ABC with 12.9%, Ten with 11.6% and SBS had 3.1%.

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