Seven v Nine — who will win in TV ratings battle?
DESPITE a massive few months with top-rating shows Married At First Sight, Lego Masters and The Voice, a 2019 prime-time television ratings win is far from a certainty for Channel 9.
Crunching the numbers, Confidential understands it will be neck and neck between the Nine and Seven networks to see who takes home the ratings crown this year.
OzTAM ratings figures show Seven's network of channels is just 0.1 per cent ahead of the Nine Network with a share of 29.8 per cent of the market.
The ratings year is decided by who wins overall from 6pm to midnight.
Who wins the year determines crucial advertising dollars and how much networks have to spend on new programs.
Seven director of network programming Angus Ross this week told Mediaweek "we are not a one-show network".
When contacted on Wednesday, Nine program director Hamish Turner said: "The phenomenal performance of MAFS, Travel Guides, 60 Minutes and The Voice have helped give us our best ever start to a ratings year.
"Our back half is just as strong, with Australian Ninja Warrior, The Block and Hamish & Andy's Perfect Holiday all still to come.
"Not to mention a month of the Ashes in prime-time as well. We have significantly added to our overnight ratings with our streaming service 9 Now which continues to provide both impressive audience numbers and revenue to the business.
"We will be the No.1 network for 2019 with all key demographics and we expect it to be a very tight race with total people."
While Nine has delivered record numbers for MAFS and other formats at 7.30pm, some have warned it drops off for the back half of the week, which could have an impact on winning the year.
"There's still a long way to go, it will depend a lot on how The Block performs for Nine," commentator and Mediaweek editor James Manning said.
"Seven's early evening with news and Home And Away is often the difference between the two networks. There is also still four months of AFL, which gives Seven a massive boost."
And while not a prime-time show, Nine's beleaguered Today show has struggled with its new look line-up fronted by Georgie Gardner, Deb Knight and Tom Steinfort.
Today ratings overall are down 24 per cent year on year, while 9am show Today Extra, hosted by Sonia Kruger, David Campbell and Richard Wilkins, is down 14.6 per cent.