Night of nights times two shakes up ratings

The 64th annual Emmy Awards drew a TV audience of around a quarter of a million viewers last night.

The telecast of the awards was aired live on pay television's FOX8 channel, and replayed later on the free-to-air digital channel Eleven. It was also replayed on FOX8.

Neither channel has a large audience footprint, particularly when compared to the "big four" free-to-air networks.

As a result the numbers may seem small at first glance, particularly compared with last night's Brownlow Medal Count which commanded nearly a million viewers.

The average audience for FOX8's live Emmys coverage was 42,000. The replay on the FOX8+2 channel had an average audience of 11,000.

The prime-time replay of the awards on the digital channel Eleven drew a capital city audience of 174,000 viewers.

The free-to-air telecast was ranked No.1 in its timeslot among the free-to-air digital channels in the 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54 age groups.

Last night was an unusual night in ratings terms. The ABC's programs and the Brownlows on Seven sucked a lot of oxygen out of the schedule.

As a result there was a fatter spread of programs across the 900,000 viewer band, and some shows – notably Underbelly: Badness – were bruised badly.

Underbelly usually commands around a million viewers. Last night it was pushed down to 476,000 viewers and 23rd place in the rankings. That said, it did not screen in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

One of the big performers was Australian Story, which profiled the cast of the original Puberty Blues film. It drew almost a million viewers.

Last night's Top 10 shows

1. Seven News (7) 1.29 million

2. Nine News (9) 1.14 million

3. ABC News (ABC) 1.03 million

4. A Current Affair (9) 1.02 million

5. Big Brother, Nominations (9) 979,000

6. 2012 Brownlow Medal (7) 956,000

7. Today Tonight (7) 955,000

8. Big Brother, Daily Show (9) 938,000

9. Australian Story (ABC) 932,000

10. Four Corners (ABC) 847,000

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