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Breakfast TV ratings on Australia’s leading networks are plummeting.

Both Seven’s Sunrise and Nine’s Today, long considered the jewels in the respective networks’ crowns, have shed up to 35 per cent of their audience over the course of a decade, reports The Australian.

However, a source at Nine told Daily Mail Australia the notion that free-to-air television is dying ‘is just silly’, adding that the figures don’t reflect the audience migration to digital platforms like 9Now and 7plus.

Decline: Breakfast TV ratings on Australia's leading networks are plummeting. Both Seven's Sunrise and Nine's Today, long considered the jewels in the respective networks' crowns, have shed up to 35 per cent of their audience. (Pictured: Today anchors Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon)

Pictured: Sunrise presenters Natalie Barr and David 'Kochie' Koch

Decline: Breakfast TV ratings on Australia’s leading networks are plummeting. Both Seven’s Sunrise and Nine’s Today, long considered the jewels in the respective networks’ crowns, have shed up to 35 per cent of their audience. (Pictured left: Today anchors Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon; and right: Sunrise presenters Natalie Barr and David ‘Kochie’ Koch)

The Australian’s report pointed out that in 2021, Sunrise’s viewership was ‘down 28 per cent from a decade earlier’.

The picture was even more grim for Nine, with Today down 35 per cent in the ratings over the same period. 

Sunrise, hosted by David ‘Kochie’ Koch and Natalie Barr, has long dominated Today, fronted by Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon. 

Number one: Sunrise, hosted by David 'Kochie' Koch and Natalie Barr, has long dominated Today, fronted by Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon. (Pictured L-R: the Sunrise team of Sam Mac, Edwina Bartholomew, Barr, Koch, and Mark Beretta)

Number one: Sunrise, hosted by David ‘Kochie’ Koch and Natalie Barr, has long dominated Today, fronted by Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon. (Pictured L-R: the Sunrise team of Sam Mac, Edwina Bartholomew, Barr, Koch, and Mark Beretta)

But in recent weeks, a third horse has entered the race with ABC News Breakfast taking second place behind Sunrise, dropping Today back to third.

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However, a source at Nine downplayed the ABC’s election-season surge, saying: ‘As far as advertising spend goes, the split between the two main programs, Today and Sunrise, is even.’

A Nine spokesperson added: ‘The media across all traditional forms of consumption – such as the printed paper – was a very different landscape a decade ago to now.

‘The digital market 10 years ago was simply incomparable to 2022, and we are seeing an unprecedented acceleration in uptake of streaming, in amongst other ways viewers interact with the Today show such as social media.’

Challenger: In recent weeks, a third horse has entered the race with ABC News Breakfast taking second place behind Sunrise, dropping Today back to third. (Pictured: ABC News Breakfast hosts Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar)

Challenger: In recent weeks, a third horse has entered the race with ABC News Breakfast taking second place behind Sunrise, dropping Today back to third. (Pictured: ABC News Breakfast hosts Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar)

They also pointed out that in 2021, Today was ‘the No. 1 breakfast show’ in many key advertising demographics.

‘During big news events, ratings for breakfast TV spike across the board and Today continues to often set the national news agenda,’ the spokesperson said.

Seven Network Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said: ‘Sunrise is extending its lead across every market across every part of Australia.

‘Since the program began, right now more Australians are watching Sunrise than ever before.’

Staying positive: A source at Nine downplayed ABC News Breakfast's recent surge, saying: 'As far as advertising spend goes, the split between the two main programs, Today and Sunrise, is even'. (Pictured: Today hosts Stefanovic and Langdon)

Staying positive: A source at Nine downplayed ABC News Breakfast’s recent surge, saying: ‘As far as advertising spend goes, the split between the two main programs, Today and Sunrise, is even’. (Pictured: Today hosts Stefanovic and Langdon)

Seven also claimed migration to digital platforms was to blame for the declining free-to-air numbers.

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Earlier this month, a senior Nine source confirmed Stefanovic and Langdon would remain the hosts of Today after signing $1.5million-a-year deals with the network.

Kochie, who doesn’t work Fridays, earns $1million per year to host Sunrise on Seven. Barr’s salary is unknown.

Old team: Despite former co-host Sam Armytage (left) quitting last year, Sunrise has managed to hold onto the top spot in the breakfast TV ratings

Old team: Despite former co-host Sam Armytage (left) quitting last year, Sunrise has managed to hold onto the top spot in the breakfast TV ratings

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