The battle over which network has won the breakfast TV ratings sash and tiara has fired up even further, with claims Seven is now taking the matter to court. In the past week, both networks have been cracking the champers and celebrating the win, each using different metrics to justify their festivities.
Nine is maintaining its victory on the basis of winning 21 out of the 40 weeks in the ratings year, per OzTAM figures, while Seven, using the same metric system but expanding outside of the five metro cities, asserts its success based on overall average audiences for the same 40 weeks.
While Seven could not comment on the legal action, per The Australian, they have lodged a statement of claim in the Federal Court, in which they allege that Nine’s claims of success were false, misleading and deceptive as they failed to take into account around seven million Australian viewers.
A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.
In the five city Metro, excluding Easter and Olympics, Today has averaged 317,000 viewers to Sunrise’s 310,000, per OzTAM. But including Olympics Sunrise averages 318,000 over Today’s 316,000.
A Seven spokesperson told B&T, “Weekly wins is not an audience metric. Average audiences across a television year are. It is a close tussle in breakfast television across the five metropolitan markets.
“The one indisputable fact is that more Australians watch Sunrise than any other breakfast television programme. Nine’s claims about being the leading breakfast programme across Australia are not correct.”
Speaking to B&T also, a Nine spokesperson simply said the network was “bemused” by their action.
In an additional statement from Nine, the network added, “With 40 weeks in the official ratings calendar, Today has now won 21 weeks out of the 35 weeks so far this year across the five mainland capitals, putting it in an unbeatable position and awarding it a five City Metro ratings victory for 2016.”