SYDNEY: The battle for TV ratings and advertising dollars Down Under has been raging between Nine Network and aggressive rival Seven. The latest figures for 2006 show the latter recorded a win in ad revenues while the former held on to its audience viewing title ... just.

Data from industry body Free TV Australia reveals Seven grabbed A$984 million ($760m; €586m; £386m) in ad revenues in the five state capitals, or 36% of the total metropolitan market.

Nine, part of the Packer clan's Publishing and Broadcasting empire lost its number one ad revenue ranking for the first time since 2000, despite its coverage of the Commonwealth Games and Ashes cricket tournament. It earned A$955m, while Ten Network pocketed A$783m after a better performance in the second half.

Comments Seven ceo David Leckie: "This revenue performance in a non-Olympic Games year is one of the most significant in our network's history. We have a strong prime time [schedule] for 2007 and plan to build on our successful ratings and revenues performance."

Advertising analysts widely expect Seven to overtake Nine in the ratings in 2007.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff