Ratings War Continues As Seven Disputes Nine's Breakfast Ratings Claims

Kochie and Karl may have departed for summer holidays but the ongoing rivalry between SUNRISE and TODAY remains at fever pitch with both networks desperate to claim any victory they can regarding audience levels in 2018.

This week the Nine Network released a media release declaring TODAY as “champion of the timeslot across the combined East Coast capitals of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.”

It was a surprising claim given TODAY had a challenging 2018, generating negative headlines with the show spiralling to a ratings low of 197k metro on a recent Friday morning.

Nine likes to focus on East Coast metro markets when talking about News ratings, due to Seven’s domination in Adelaide, Perth and Regional markets.

Of course, as with all media releases the devil was in the detail. Nine had measured its performance based on the calendar year, rather than the traditional 40-week ratings period. A curious trick considering the calendar year is not over yet.

DeciderTV can now reveal when using the industry standard 40-week ratings formula, across the MELB-SYD-BRIS markets and excluding Commonwealth Games, SUNRISE is the actual winner by narrowest of margins. The show had an average audience of 195,377 across the 3 cities compared with 195,177 for TODAY.

We will have to wait until January 1st to access if Nine’s claim regarding a “calendar year victory” becomes true. DeciderTV understands its currently an extremely close battle.

The claims and counterclaims come after an infamous dispute in 2016 when Nine launched a publicity campaign promoting TODAY as “Australia’s Nb1” after the show won more metro weeks than SUNRISE. Seven quickly responded threatening Federal Court action based on the fact SUNRISE had more viewers when regional markets were included.