Who won the 2010 TV ratings?

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Seven, Nine and TEN are all claiming victories -- but who is the real winner?

The 2010 ratings season is over, and what a year it was!

MasterChef Australia: The winner's announcement was the year's most popular TV episode, pulling in a stunning audience of 4.03 million viewers. It was followed by MasterChef Australia: Finale Night (the same event) with 3.6m viewers.

Next up were various broadcasts of the first AFL Grand Final at 3.36m (presentations), 2.77m for the match, and 2.7m for the Melbourne Cup.

More sport filled out the top ten shows with the AFL Grand Final re-match, State of Origin and Underbelly's first episode attracting 2.35m viewers.

Declaring a network as the winner for the year is a lot more difficult, with the three commercial networks all using different methodologies to trumpet their victories.

Seven says it is the number one network in Total People, News and Public Affairs, Breakfast Television, Primetime, Advertising Revenue and Overall. It claims to have won the year with a 28.7 percent network share over Nine's 27.7 percent share and TEN's 21.2 percent share.

Nine agrees with those figures (although it notes TEN is 21.1 percent) but claims to have won the advertising-friendly demographics of 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54. TEN also says it has won 16-39 and 25-54 but measures these just on Primary channels between 6pm-10:30pm instead of all five channels between 6pm-midnight. Talk about confusing.

TEN is also the only network to deduct both Olympics and Commonwealth Games from figures which is common practice for special event programming. Seven even included Easter non-ratings. So in effect, nobody is issuing information with equal measures.

What is clear is that Seven has won Total People, Nine has won the Advertiser Demographics, and TEN winds up with the top rating show of the year.

In digital channels GO! has led the way, consolidating its position with a 3.8 percent share over 7TWO's 3.4 percent and 7mate's 2.7 percent. At the other end of the spectrum are ABC News 24 and ABC3 both on 0.5 percent -- however the latter ends its daily broadcasts, denying it an equal playing field.

TEN has also lagged behind by not having a third channel on air. Eleven will launch on January 11.

Top shows for ABC1 were Gruen Nation, The Gruen Transfer, Yes We Canberra! and Midsomer Murders while SBS' best were Man vs. Wild and the FIFA World Cup.

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