How long before Seven put out a press release say THEY’VE won the National News ratings for the year (seeing as how they include Saturday and Sunday in their measurements)? If nothing else it’s a moral victory for Nine and vindication for their effort – they’ve a large team who’ve been working hard and innovating under News Director Darren Wick (and, in part, Mark Calvert before him), and now that Nine is a truly national network for the first time it its life in that it owns Nine Adelaide and Perth it’s very much game on. From the press release:

Nine News has triumphed in the 2013 ratings year to regain the crown as Australia’s favourite news service.

With 40 weeks in the official ratings calendar, Nine News has now won 21 weeks out of the 24 weeks so far this year across the 5 City Metro, putting it in an unbeatable position and awarding it a national ratings victory for 2013.

Having dominated the East Coast markets in recent years, this marks the first time that Nine News has won on a national level since 2004.

Nine News has averaged 1.262 million viewers each weeknight in 2013 (up 7.8% year-on-year), compared to Seven News which has an average weeknight audience of 1.205 million (down 4% year-on-year) – an average lead of 57,000 viewers each weeknight.

Darren Wick, Director of News and Current Affairs, today paid tribute to his staff and expressed his gratitude to viewers for helping Nine News reclaim the mantle as Australia’s most watched news bulletin.

“This is an incredibly humbling result and a wonderfully fitting testament to the tireless efforts of everyone who works on the various Nine News bulletins around the country,” said Mr Wick.

“Our presenters, reporters, producers, chiefs-of-staff, camera operators, audio technicians, editors, graphic artists, library staff and countless others across the network have all worked their guts out to turn our ratings around to restore Nine News as Australia’s favourite news service. This is not, and never will be, an achievement we take for granted. We are truly appreciative of the trust that our viewers have placed in us. This result only makes us more determined to work harder to provide the most accurate, the most credible and the most up-to-date news service we possibly can.”