WIN TV is claiming a first-night win in the Battle of the Bulletins, with more than double the average audience of rival Nine Illawarra News.
However the local news service only finished an average 154 viewers ahead of Prime’s 7 news broadcast.
The WIN and Nine Illawarra News broadcasts went head-to-head at 6pm on Monday night.
The WIN half-hour news bulletin is largely made up of Illawarra news while the Nine news offering is an hour and also covers state and national news.
In the 6-6.30pm timeslot, the average viewers for WIN were 34,834 (34.4 per cent) compared to Nine Illawarra News’ 16,635 (16.4 per cent).
However, Prime’s one-hour broadcast of 7 News challenged WIN, with average viewer numbers of 34,680 or 34.2 per cent.
WIN’s CEO Andrew Lancaster said the network was “proud” of the results.
“WIN News has long been a staple of the Illawarra media landscape and has built lasting ties within the community,” Mr Lancaster said.
A Nine spokesman pointed out that in terms of reach – the total number of viewers who tuned in at any stage in the broadcast – they soundly beat WIN News.
Nine Illawarra News had a reach of 57,085 viewers compared to WIN News’ 46,154.
Mike Dalton, Director of Regional News for the Nine Network, said it was early days for its Illawarra news.
“We’re very happy with the initial result, but we’re here for the long haul,” Mr Dalton said.
“It’s extremely humbling to know that more than 50,000 people tuned in to our very first bulletin.
“We’re confident that the people of Wollongong and surrounding areas will continue to make the switch to the bulletin that Australians turn to for trust, credibility and experience.”