Drunk on election night: How the ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine, Ten and Sky opened their coverage.

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Australian’s went to the polls yesterday, and we voted ourselves in a new government. The “Ruddslide” was pretty apparent from early on in the evenings coverage, but the outlook of the incumbent Prime Minister losing his own seat in parliament to a former ABC journalist kept the night pretty interesting.

Of the five free to air networks, Seven, Nine and the ABC offered “non stop” coverage from around 6pm, with SBS and Ten opting to only cover the election through updates and a late bulletin. Sky News also covered the event in full, and I’m pretty sure they haven’t stopped talking about it since.

A very vocal tally room (bloody Canberran’s) no doubt spurred on in part by The Chaser’s presence wasn’t particularly welcome by most broadcasters, but should make for a very good episode next Wednesday of The Chaser Decides.

The ratings for last nights coverage not surprisingly saw the ABC win the night, followed by Seven’s very slick coverage that was actually much better than their own promos would’ve suggested. Channel Ten’s repeat of The Empire Strikes Back came in third beating Channel Nine’s election coverage, which looked and felt like they were broadcasting from the mid nineties.

Update: Get a four minute recap of the whole election night below.

The ABC’s Insiders program compiled a montage of the entire night spanning the various networks coverage, it includes Kerry O’Brien’s ABC/ALP gaffe as mentioned in the comments.

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19 Responses to “Drunk on election night: How the ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine, Ten and Sky opened their coverage.”


  • 7’s by far looked the best, but ya cant go past kerry for clarity. and i LOVED the fuckup he did…

    “that’s a huge swing for the ABC…i mean ALP”

    awesome.

  • And his later comment….”This broadcast ran as smoothly as a Getz”

  • I first have to say, there’s NO HOWARD!

  • I KNOW, i, still in shock?

  • Not really, the Australian people had to primarily choose between flirting with the old government or flirt with a new one, as in flirting with danger.

    With Rudd, you get the additional threat of Australia breaking off from the commonwealth as well as the fear of a second Tony Blair. With Howard you had the fear of more corporate baloney alongside his fake liberalism (As he is Center-right like the conservatives here).

    Of course, i could be wrong about this.

  • The ABC coverage was definitey the best – they deserved their ratings win. GOod to see. And Kerry was so funny – particularly when he talked about 7s ‘clown tactics’

  • The ABC’s Coverage was good but for the first 2 hours they had the number of seats won by the ALP and Liberals in reverse. The commentary suggested a convincing ALP win while the tally bar showed the Liberals having almost twice the seats won. After 2 hours they realised and reversed the numbers but it was still quite a big bungle by the experienced ABC team. Otherwise they had a good but not brilliant coverage of the night.

  • The ABC’s was probably the best, and Nine’s was pretty good too. Your Call, apart from the flashy graphics, wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected.

  • Seven’s graphics and music were BY FAR the best. And their coverage was quite good and informative for the most parts. And I flipped between it and the ABC and found Seven a touch more interesting. It was actually Nine that was stiring the crowd it has been revealed. Nine’s coverage was tired, INCREDIBLY Liberal biased and just generally dreadful. The ratings reflected this. Australians no longer turn to Nine for news (or anything evidently). ACA’s hour long Friday night election rated only 600,000!!!!! Less than half of TT lower than average ratings for the night! Nine has shown its bias of late. Tracy Grimshaw was obviously unhappy about the result.

    At any rate I am so happy Labor won, hopefully Australia will return to being a society and not just an economy.

    A blog on the SMH website draws an interesting conclusion about the results and how they correspond with the ratings battle between Nine and Seven. http://blogs.smh.com.au/sit/archives/the_tribal_mind/index.html

  • The is very off topic, but: Do all Australians use that many extra dipthongs when they talk? I’m used to American and “BBC British” accents and find the Australian dialect rather funny, especially when it comes to serious news anchors such as these clips. The ABC anchor seemed to talk especially much dialect to me.

  • Thinker, from what I could interpret from wikipedia about said dipthongs, yes, I think we do. The ABC anchor, Kerry O’Brien, is perhaps not the best spoken presenter on Australian TV (though by no means the worst) but generally we do speak like that. The ABC recently ran a light hearted doco about the Australian accent and its different variations, from the broad Steve Irwin, to the general accent most speak and the ‘cultured’ accent. If you can use YouTube to find a video of Seven News Melbourne presenter Jennifer Keyte, she is a good example of a posh ‘cultured’ Melbourne accent.

  • I watched the ABC on broadband here in London – was decent coverage – although they werte getting really worked uop about the noise in the nackground – to th point where they’d stop tlking for a minute and wait – bit odd. 7’s looks like it would hve been a good watch – a more creative look to it. By the way I cant believe you have elections every 3 years – geees.

  • I know! It is too short. I think we need fixed 4 or 5 year terms. And as well as federal elections we have state elections, which are fixed 4 year terms in Victoria at least. Then there are local council elections. Voting in Australia is compulsory too. But that is a good thing.

  • To continue this off-topic discussion, I must say that I don’t think compulsory voting is that much of a good thing.

    Compulsory voting leads to people turning up “because they have
    to do” – perhaps not knowing much about politics, and then voting for the guy with the whitest smile. While I’m not saying these people should be stopped (voting is of course a right), their practice is not ideal and could be stopped to an extent if these people who don’t care anyway didn’t *have* to vote – if it was not compulsory to vote.

  • In australia it has worked out that donkey (just numbering 1-6 down the form) and informal (not doing it right) voting rates are quite low. Because voting is compulsory, even those not terribly interested will keep an eye on the nightly news or flip through a paper to get a general idea of what they want. Without compulsory voting you get people to lazy to vote…I frankly think you can’t have a true democracy unless everyone votes regardless of being uninformed. ANd you can end up like the US where special interest votes rally their troops and out number the true average voters. Plus as seen in the US, the parties have to devote a lot of time and resources just persuading people to vote let alone vote for them. That is not an issue here.

  • Most Aussies are very proud of our compulsory voting – it helps prevent extremists from getting into power, and you only need to look at the results to see that the overwhelming majority of people love the opportunity. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to vote. As for 3 year terms – it keeps em on their toes, if nothing else!

  • Speaking of montages, back in 2004 the Chaser Decides did one of the 2004 election from their perspective: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ins5z2eXRR8 . The music is parodying the violin montage music that Seven overplayed during the Athens Olympics.

  • My favorite is SBS ident because I like the effect between V and 7, it’s so ingenious !

  • Canal 4 Noticias with 7’s election music.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNRP4933VcM

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