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Breakfast TV’s ‘holy trinity’ leaves Today behind in ratings

RATINGS for Channel 9's Today breakfast show have gone from bad to worse with viewer numbers dropping to its lowest point this year.

Just 155,000 viewers tuned in to the beleaguered show hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon on Monday, compared to 259,000 watching market leader rival Sunrise on Channel 7 across the five city metro market.

That rivals the lowest ratings ever for the show on November 1 last year when it dropped to 155,000 before then hosts Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight got the boot.

Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon hosting the Today show at The Australian Open in Melbourne in January. Picture: David Geraghty
Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon hosting the Today show at The Australian Open in Melbourne in January. Picture: David Geraghty

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Some blame for the disappointing figure has been attributed to public holidays in Victoria, South Australia, the ACT and Tasmania.

In Sydney, 70,000 viewers watched Sunrise while only 52,000 tuned in to Today.

The embarrassing figures come after Nine boss Darren Wick, who is head of news and current affairs, defended the new team of Stefanovic and Langdon.

"Hand on heart, I'm not bothered by the ratings," Wick previously told The Australian newspaper. "What we're doing now is trying to get Australians to watch it again. The results will come."

Sam Armytage and David Koch have built a strong rapport since they were paired as hosts.
Sam Armytage and David Koch have built a strong rapport since they were paired as hosts.

In 2018, Stefanovic was axed from Today after low ratings and controversy surrounding the breakdown of his marriage and subsequent new relationship.

He returned alongside Langdon in January this year in an attempt to save the struggling show.

"We were very unsure from the start that the bulk of the audience had forgiven Karl," media analyst Steve Allen told The Daily Telegraph.

"Maybe he is held to a higher standard but that is the standard to which he shaped himself and the publicity machine at Nine shaped until he fell foul of the female viewer in particular. They just haven't forgiven him."

Back in the day … former Today Show host Lisa Wilkinson with Stefanovic and Sunrise hosts Kochie and Armytage at the 2017 Logies. Picture: Instagram
Back in the day … former Today Show host Lisa Wilkinson with Stefanovic and Sunrise hosts Kochie and Armytage at the 2017 Logies. Picture: Instagram

Allen added: "It is very clear that Nine haven't made a dent in Sunrise and we can't see that changing for the rest of the year. It would take something dramatic to happen at Sunrise to give Today the kind of break that they have been trying to get."

Industry commentator and Mediaweek editor James Manning said the ratings war would only get worse for Nine when Sunrise hosts Samantha Armytage and David Koch host the Tokyo Olympics coverage from July, presuming they go ahead.

"It's going to be a long way back for Today, but it was never going to be easy while Seven have Sam, Kochie and a gun (executive producer) like Michael Pell," Manning said. "Nine will have to grit their teeth until the second half (of the year) probably."

Executive producer of Sunrise Michael Pell with hosts Samantha Armytage and David Koch.
Executive producer of Sunrise Michael Pell with hosts Samantha Armytage and David Koch.

Stefanovic made his return alongside Langdon on January 4, with the first show attracting an audience of 231,000, compared to 312,000 on Seven's Sunrise.

Today's best national audience with Stefanovic in the chair was 475,000 in 2016, with 315,000 in the key metro market.


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