'Housewives' draw in Aussie auds

First blood went to the Seven Network in the initial week of Oz’s 2006 ratings race, one of the most hotly contested in years.

Seven nabbed 30.7% of the aud, Nine had 28.7% and Ten 21.9%. Pubcasters the ABC and SBS had 14.2% and 4.6%, respectively, in the week ended Feb. 18.

Seven had four of the week’s top 10 shows, including No. 1 “Desperate Housewives,” which drew an aud of 1.9 million; Nine also had four. Rounding out the top 10 was Ten’s “House” (1.4 million) and a local version of “The Biggest Loser” (1.4 million).

It’s too early for Seven to celebrate, though. The web started strongly last year, but stalwart Nine hung on to its crown in the end.

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