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A special edition of Q+A at the Garma Festival has delivered the ABC the show’s lowest-ever number of viewers, with a five-city metro audience of 84,000 on Monday night, in the face of stiff competition from the Matildas.
Including regional viewers of 32,000, the national audience was 116,000 (excluding streaming), according to ratings agency OzTam.
The Q+A Garma Festival special edition clashed with Women’s World Cup soccer on Monday night.Credit: Image posted to X by Dan Bourchier
Almost 2.3 million metro viewers watched the Matildas beat Denmark 2-0 in Seven’s World Cup coverage in the same 9.35pm time slot on Monday, making it the highest rating TV program of 2023.
The “total TV” audience, which includes metro, regional and streaming viewers is not available, as it did not rank in the top 30 programs on the night.
Q+A has faced two successive weeks of clashes with the Matildas, with 143,000 viewers for last week’s episode across the five key cities, plus 51,000 across the rest of Australia.
Guest host Dan Bourchier, the ABC’s Voice correspondent, led the special panel discussion with Indigenous leaders about issues facing their communities.
Ahead of the Voice to Parliament referendum, the national broadcaster took up to 40 staff to Garma.
The ABC declined to comment.
The show’s audience was down 61 per cent on its audience two weeks ago for its first show after a five-week hiatus, which attracted a metro audience of 216,000.
Last week’s episode, which clashed with a slightly earlier 8pm Matildas kick-off, aired to a five-city metro audience of 143,000.
Audience numbers fell for other ABC programs on Monday night, however not to the same extent.
Media Watch, which is broadcast weekly at 9.15pm before Q+A, aired to a five-city metro audience of 287,000, up from 271,000 last week, and down from 386,000 the week prior, a 26 per cent decline.
“I know you’ll all be watching the soccer, but #mediawatch is good tonight. Get it on catch up if you can’t see it live,” wrote Media Watch host Paul Barry on X, formerly known as Twitter, ahead of the episode.
ABC Four Corners’ “Shadow State” episode aired at 8.30pm to an audience of 260,000, a 32 per cent decline from its 385,000 audience two weeks ago. The investigation looking into government consulting was originally slated for last week; however, the ABC shifted the episode due to a clash with the Australia vs Canada game.
All eyes were on the Matildas’ victory over Denmark on Monday night.Credit: Edwina Pickles
Anticipating a second successive clash, it published the full episode on its digital channels on Sunday.
Channel Nine aired a re-run of The Weakest Link at 8.45pm following the second episode of The Block. The episode had a metro audience of 139,000.
The finale of the second season of Ten’s Hunted aired to a metro audience of 353,000 – a drop from last week’s 421,000 and 451,000 the week prior.
The Q+A special edition panel included senator and former ABC journalist Malarndirri McCarthy; professor of Australian Indigenous studies Marcia Langton; Yolgnu elder and co-principal of Yirrkala Community School, Merrki Ganambarr-Stubbs; Gunaikurnai and Wotjobaluk journalist, writer and correspondent Ben Abbatangelo; and Wiradjuri woman and lawyer Taylah Gray.
Meanwhile, the ABC is discontinuing all but four of its accounts on X, in a bid to increase reach and engagement on its main account, as well as responding to new charges on the platform.
Managing director David Anderson told staff the decision came after it shuttered its Insiders, News Breakfast and ABC Politics accounts in February, with positive results.
Accounts that will remain include ABC News, ABC Sport, ABC Chinese and ABC Australia.
“We also found that closing individual program accounts helps limit the exposure of team members to the toxic interactions that unfortunately are becoming more prevalent on X,” Anderson said. “Concerningly, X has reduced its trust and safety terms.”
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