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The Sydney Morning Herald


Date: 27/10/1992
Words: 723
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News and Features
Page: 6
As the Kangaroos clung to their 10-6 winning margin in pelting rain at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, Channel Nine's live telecast of the Rugby League World Cup Final established a new midnight-to-dawn ratings record.

The match ended at 1.15 am on Sunday, Sydney time, with the final quarter hour attracting a peak of 25.7 ratings points, with 317,138 homes tuned in, or nearly one in four of the total 1,234,000 television households in the metropolitan area.

Video-taping figures revealed by the A.C. Nielsen meters show that VCRs were used to record the telecast in 96,252 homes, equal to a rating of 7.8 points, though many viewers may have watched as they taped.

Separate measurements gave a peak of 449,900 viewers during the closing 15 minutes of the match, but excluded viewers in hotels and clubs.

The previous midnight-to-dawn record of 22 points and 378,000 viewers in 268,180 Sydney homes, was set last November during the ABC telecast of the Wallabies' victory over England in the Rugby Union World Cup, played at Twickenham. While the Kangaroos can claim a new record, the 25.7 rating has to be considered against a 32-point peak and a 30 rating (41 in Melbourne) at midnight in July 1987, when Pat Cash was on his way to winning the men's singles at Wimbledon.

Under the old diary system, ratings cut out at midnight, so it is not known how many viewers stayed on to see Cash through to victory.

Channel 9 won last week in Sydney after Channel 7 had gained an early lead with a Gene Hackman movie, Narrow Margin, which peaked on 25 points over six quarter hours, providing a strong lead-in to its late-night movie, Westworld(peak 17), in which Yul Brynner portrayed a murderous malfunctioning robot.

The gap quickly closed as bingo worked in Nine's favour. A strong (30 points peak) to moderate (22) performance made Nine National News a comfortable winner all week, though Seven got within four points on Tuesday.

A Country Practice improved to 22 points, the Dennis Waterman comedy, On the Up, went to 20, its best yet, while SBS claimed eight points for the movie Sammy and Rosie Get Laid.

The 7.30 Report opened on 22 and 23 points, but ended a trying week on only nine while a new half-hour series of Holiday rose to a promising 23.

Inside Edition (peak 12, low 10) and Hinch (peak 15, low 11) were indifferent performers, but Channel 10's bigger concern may be Neighbours, which last week started on 10 points, rose to 13, and averaged only 12.

 HOW THE STATIONS RATED Week 35 (Oct 18-24, 1992)
 WHAT'S HOT: success of the week RUGBY LEAGUE
   WORLD CUP FINAL (9) 26 points peak at 1am
 WHAT'S NOT: disaster of the week NEIGHBOURS
   (10) 13 points peak, 10 low, av 12
 6pm to midnight
                 (2)    (7)    (9)    (10)  (SBS)
 SYDNEY SHARE     16.7   28.3   32.2   19.8   3.1
 5-CITY SHARE     15.8   29.3   31.4   20.7   2.8
 EVENING     peak 20     21     30     13     5
 NEWS  av points  15.8   17.7   25.9   9.6    3.9
 NUMBER ONE MOVIE:  Narrow Margin (7)
              25 points peak, av 24.6
 One ratings point equals 12,340 Sydney homes
 TOP 10 PROGRAMS (average number of viewers):
  Funniest Home Video Show     (9)     627,000
  60 Minutes                   (9)     621,900
  National Nine News (Sunday)  (9)     612,700
  Married With Children        (9)     578,500
  National Nine News (weekdays)(9)     570,000
  A Current Affair             (9)     564,000
  Burke's Backyard             (9)     556,800
  Who's the Boss?              (9)     540,100
  Hey Dad |                    (7)     533,900
  Narrow Margin (movie)        (7)     530,300
(Source: A.C. Nielsen)
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