Cue the music, AC/DC's 1979 hit, Highway To Hell (Youtube credit jorgethevilin).
2009 was neck and neck. So neck and neck, that even in the last week of 2009, it was still anyone's year, except Ten's. Thus the wait until the breakdowns, to get a clearer picture. If anyone from Seven is reading this, be prepared to bawl.
2009 was a... Nine win by 0.1%
Simply, if you wanna win 2010, Seven, simply put on some local content at 5:30pm. Brisbane is yearning for it, and have shown their feelings by telling Deal or No Deal to shove it for the last 15 weeks, producing figures that were never even predicted six months ago (every analyst going for Hot Seat to be getting these low figures), going down from regularly getting 200,000 viewers back in June (very healthy, by todays standards), down to a paltry 71,000 viewers on the last Friday of ratings.
Seven has to also not underestimate the power the Gold Coast viewership holds going into 2010, as they are very instrumental in the decline at 5:30, and at 6, as Nine still leads on the Gold Coast, thanks to the GC News. 6 man newsroom's will not be enough, if Seven intends really to take the biff to Readings and co (in turn forcing Nine to lift their game), you need a news service that is good quality and the credibility to back it up. The Walkley won by Seven News (for a Gold Coast story) is all the credibility they need, that if good GC stories get results, maybe a 5:30 service would too.
And finally, Seven still has a monkey on it's back, that isn't the 50c briefcase. Brisbane local content on weekdays for Seven has not been successful since the 80's, when Seven were leading in more ways than one. The ghosts of Local Edition still haunt BTQ, and are scaring them out of spending money to arrest the 5:30 decline. I'm tipping, if Deal's still hovering around the 100k mark by the start of 2010 ratings, Deal will be moved to 5pm, and Seven will have to spend what's needed to rebuild confidence in the Brisbane viewership.