The Ten Network's new show, Breakfast, made a rather modest debut yesterday morning, attracting an average of 51,000 viewers nationally.
That result put it in fourth place, behind Seven's Sunrise (399,000 viewers nationally), Nine's Today (348,000) and ABC News Breakfast (56,000).
Seven and Nine's spin doctors will undoubtedly label the result with less flattering adjectives, but to put the numbers in context, Ten had rushed the show into the schedule with very little promotion hoping to capitalise on the Labor leadership crisis as a breaking news story.
The show, which features New Zealand television personality Paul Henry, Dr Andrew Rochford, Ten journalist Kathryn Robinson and weather journalist Magdalena Roze, was originally scheduled to launch on Monday.
As a result, it launched with no advertising support and ahead of most of the marketing and publicity planned for the show's launch timed for this weekend.
The show was also not screened live in Queensland and South Australia because of time differences. On a morning where most viewing was driven by a breaking news story, that undoutedly left Breakfast at a serious disadvantage to its competitors.
Regardless of the ratings outcome, the decision to rush it into the schedule was smart as it sent a clear signal to the market that Ten was committed to making its new baby a legitimate fourth contender in the breakfast TV market.
One of the key indicators the market will be watching closely is how much Breakfast shaves off the existing market leaders Sunrise and Today and whether Ten's new audience siphons from one more heavily than the other.
The day one result doesn't flag that too loudly, though the margin of 50,000 viewers between Sunrise and Today is slightly larger than usual and suggests that the first, very slight, shaving may have come from Today.
The post-9am extension of Breakfast, which had rolling coverage of the leadership crisis, was watched by 42,000 viewers. It replaced Ten's usual mid-morning show, The Circle. Though the actual audience numbers are low, Breakfast did deliver Ten a lift on its usual performance in the slot. Ten's share was up 67.8 per cent in audience overall and 110.5 per cent in 18-49 year-old viewers.
The most watched program last night was My Kitchen Rules with 1.63 million viewers. It propelled the Seven Network to an overall win for the night with a combined share of 34.0 per cent.