ABC News Breakfast beats The TODAY show

Michael Rowland and Virginia Trioli host ABC NEWS BREAKFAST

PHOTO: ABC

On the day the Prime Minister called the Federal election, Julian Assange was arrested and Israel Folau was dropped by Rugby Australia, another story broke that TV enthusiasts will find extremely interesting.

It was the day ABC News Breakfast beat Channel Nine’s TODAY show.

The significance of this moment should not be dismissed. Although Virginia Trioli and Michael Rowland were able to claim a national win earlier this year, winning the 5 cap city metro is extremely important and worthy of celebration.

It’s been a tough year for Nine’s beleaguered breakfast program since its relaunch on January 14 when Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight officially took over from the Karl Stefanovic reign.

Since the relaunch ratings have fallen to below a weekly average of 200,000 while Sunrise sits closer to the 300k mark (although TODAY has rated above 200k a few times this week).

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison made his way to Yarralumla, viewers decided to watch the unfolding events on the ABC instead of Channel 9. While Sunrise averaged 279,000, ABC News Breakfast shot into second place on 181,000 (119k on the primary channel and 62k on ABC News 24), leaving TODAY in third position on 178,000.

BREAKFAST TV RATINGS THURSDAY 11 APRIL 2019

Michael Rowland, co-host of ABC News Breakfast told TV Blackbox;

“This result was particularly gratifying as yesterday’s show contained everything we do best: rolling coverage of a big story, great teamwork by the presenters and astute analysis from the likes of Barrie Cassidy. Coming second in the metros is another fantastic milestone for everyone here at News Breakfast.”

The inclusion of multi-channel figures for ABC News Breakfast is justified as the show is simulcast live across the nation and not on time delay and Nine losing on a day of a major news event will trouble network executives, but in an UPDATE, Nine take issue with the use of simulcast numbers:

“According to OzTam, Today attracted more viewers than ABC Breakfast on a five city metro basis on the primary channels,” said a Nine spokesman.

“Today had an audience of 178,000 viewers and ABC Breakfast attracted 119,000 viewers respectively on primary channels (Nine and ABC). We don’t simulcast across two channels nor do we add in live streaming figures from 9Now.”

We’re in a very grey area with this one though. For years Channel 10 simulcast Family Feud across three channels with all numbers contributing to its overall number. Channel 9 also did this in 2014 when they “roadblocked” The Block Glasshouse on Nine, Gem and Go.

There is no official ruling on the use of simulcast, but for our money the way the ABC does it is a true simulcast and worthy of contributing to their overall number.

And as a side note I also believe TODAY rightly won the ratings year in 2016 and Channel 9 was foolish to let Seven win that one… but that’s just my 2c.

The battle for second place is going to be very interesting to watch as the year progresses.