Commercial network claims the ratings title, despite 14 weeks left in the survey year.

Numero uno: Canberra-based newsreaders Madeleine Collignon and Kenny Heatley are continuing to put their network's Border news at the top of the ratings.
Numero uno: Canberra-based newsreaders Madeleine Collignon and Kenny Heatley are continuing to put their network's Border news at the top of the ratings.

PRIME7 is claiming victory in the Border’s television ratings for 2017, despite 14 weeks still remaining in the recorded viewing season.

The network boasted this week it had now won 26 of the 40 official survey weeks in prime time, giving it an “unassailable position”.

Prime7 is also trumpeting its success in the Border television news battle with long-standing rival WIN and this year’s entrant Nine News Border North East.

It cited a 54.1 per cent share for its bulletin read by Madelaine Collignon and Kenny Heatley, compared to 30.8 per cent for the Jo Hall-anchored Nine product and 15.2 per cent for WIN’s news led by Bruce Roberts. 

Challenging: Melbourne-based Jo Hall during a promotional visit to Albury earlier this year. She has headed Nine News Border North East since its debut in March.

Challenging: Melbourne-based Jo Hall during a promotional visit to Albury earlier this year. She has headed Nine News Border North East since its debut in March.

When Nine debuted its Border edition in March it had 41.4 per cent of the audience compared to Prime7 News at 39.8 per cent and WIN News on 18.8 per cent.

Prime7’s success has come in spite of its Albury newsroom not having had a permanent chief since the exit of Paul Terry in May and recent staff shortages.

Nine’s recent footage has included the killer of toddler Daniel Thomas, Mandy Martyn, tossing a drink at one of its cameramen and the rescue of a woman missing in the Kiewa Valley.  

Nine’s regional news director Mike Dalton said despite the gap to Prime7 “our success to date has been heartening”.

“We started from scratch and have shot straight ahead of WIN News,” he said.

“No doubt Prime7 is well-entrenched after many years in the market.

“We focus more on what we’re producing to ensure we’re giving viewers a relevant informative news bulletin than look over the fence at what our competition is doing.”

Nine will continue to begin with national news.