The television ratings war in Australia has always been a two horse race: Seven or Nine.
In 2013 it is abundantly clear that is not likely to change.
The first night of official ratings has gone to Seven.
In a win which feels like an omen for a strong year for Seven, the market-leading network won by a convincing margin, slicing off 34 per cent of the free to air TV audience.
Nine was second with 28.9 per cent, followed by Ten (19.2 per cent), the ABC (14.4 per cent) and SBS (3.5 per cent).
Seven's win came off big numbers for its Sunday Night interview with James Packer (1.34 million), the reality series double Border Security and The Force (1.39 million and 1.33 million) and the debut of the third season of Downton Abbey (1.33 million).
Nine, however, still took out the number one spot in the mainland capitals with 1.4 million people watching its Sunday 6pm news.
Ten's Masterchef: The Professionals also mounted a strong comeback, returning to 1.02 million viewers - numbers it has not been able to hold since Seven launched My Kitchen Rules(MKR).
MKR does not air on Sunday nights, which gives the embattled Ten food series clearer air in the schedule.
The national ratings paint a slightly different portrait.
Inclusive of capital city and regional ratings Seven took out the top five shows with Border Security (1.98 million), Sunday Night (1.938 million), Downton Abbey (1.936 million), The Force (1.922 million) and Seven News (1.86 million).
Last night's top 10 across all capital cities:
- Nine News 1.4 million
- Border Security (Seven) 1.39 million
- Sunday Night (Seven) 1.34 million
- The Force (Seven) 1.33 million
- Downton Abbey (Seven) 1.33 million
- Seven News 1.30 million
- Cricket Australia vs West Indies Session 2 (Nine) 1.07 million
- Masterchef: The Professionals (Ten) 1.02 million
- Elementary (Ten) 944,000
- Modern Family (Ten) 922,000
Last night's top 10 across all capital cities and regional centres:
- Border Security (Seven) 1.98 million
- Sunday Night (Seven) 1.938 million
- Downton Abbey (Seven) 1.936 million
- The Force (Seven) 1.922 million
- Seven News 1.86 million
- Cricket Australia vs West Indies Session 2 (Nine) 1.68 million
- Nine News 1.44 million
- Masterchef: The Professionals (Ten) 1.39 million
- Cricket Australia vs West Indies Session 1 (Nine) 1.37 million
- Elementary (Ten) 1.28 million
The story Seven the market leader in official ratings, thanks to Packer first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.