According to OzTAM figures this morning 1.996 million people in the metro markets and 518,000 in regional areas watched Ben Cousins’ self produced documentary Such Is Life – The Troubled Times Of Ben Cousins. It was, unsurprisingly, the most watched television program last night with a national audience of 2.514 million viewers.

So what does this mean?

Well, people lapped it up. The combination of celebrity, drugs, scandal and disgrace proved an addictive cocktail that was fascinating TV.


Mike Sheahan in today’s Herald Sun asks some pertinent questions however:

  • “How did Ben Cousins manage to beat the AFL’s drug-testing regimen so often for so long?”
  • And, what “the depth of the drug problem at West Coast while Cousins was there”?

Two specific questions that Cousins did not delve into in his documentary. For what reason we will not know. And reasons the AFL probably would not want explored.

Despite this, I was engrossed. Cousins has managed to create a documentary that will be required viewing for sports fans for generations.

How it played among families — with parents watching with their children — watching the brazen and confronting drug use —  is an interesting debate: is this a good or bad things for kids to watch?

And the ads. So many ads.

The breakdown of the metro audience was thus:

  • Sydney 355,000
  • Melbourne, 781,000
  • Brisbane, 226,000
  • Adelaide 222,000
  • Perth 412,000

Seven reportedly paid a “premium six-figure price” for the rights for the documentary.

I dare say that there would be some pretty happy executives at Channel Seven this morning.

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