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Australia wants The Voice whenever Nine airs it

Nine's schedule shenanigans pay off as now scarce episode of The Voice leads to year high ratings.

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Australian audiences declined to punish the Nine network last night for playing games with the schedule, as the network's flagship The Voice returned to screens to deliver the network's highest Monday night ratings of the year, grabbing 42.5% of the audience. 

The near two and a half hour first Battle Round of The Voice obtained the series second highest ratings to date, with an average audience of 2.6 million in the Metro capitals which according to Nine peaked with 3.2 million watching at one point.

After Seven recorded a narrow win on Sunday night, Nine's dominating performance last night see it take the lead for the week and in a strong position to win a third week running with another Battle Round to air tonight.

The near half hour overrun of The Voice artificially bumped Person of Interest into the top ten for the evening, and also sucked the audience away from Australia's Got Talent which has topped 1.5 million on nights without competition from The Voice this year but couldn't even overcome the industry benchmark 1 million last night.

Revenge did a better job of holding its audience against the talent quest giant, benefitting from being a different genre and likely to do well on time shifted viewing as well.

Nine's other juggernaut The Block came second on the night, to win the coveted 7pm time slot, drawing sufficient audience from Home and Away that the soap missed out on the top ten and was beaten in its timeslot by ABC News.

The biggest victim at 7pm was The Biggest Loser which struggled to 13th position with 761,000 viewers a little over a week from the announcement of the winner next Tuesday. Ten slumped to fourth position overall for the night with 13.9% of the audience, beaten by the ABC with 16.2% and Seven with 24.1%.

Of course the game will change again once MasterChef kicks off on Sunday.

1 The Voice Nine 2,614,000
2 The Block Nine 1,400,000
3 Seven News Seven 1,370,000
4 Nine News Nine 1,270,000
5 Revenge Seven 1,262,000
6 A Current Affair Nine 1,230,000
7 Today Tonight Seven 1,203,000
8 Person Of Interest Nine 1,146,000
9 ABC News ABC1 1,042,000
10 Australia's Got Talent Seven 966,000
11 Home And Away Seven 944,000
12 Ten News At Five Ten 779,000
13 The Biggest Loser Ten 761,000
14 Australian Story ABC1 734,000
15 The Project 6.30pm Ten 690,000
16 7.30 ABC1 683,000
17 Four Corners ABC1 664,000
18 Media Watch ABC1 660,000
19 Hot Seat Nine 639,000
20 Pictures Of You Seven 635,000