The TV broadcast of Australia's 2009 ARIA Awards drew lower-than-expected ratings for its first outing with new broadcast partner Channel Nine.

While psychedelic alt-rock act Empire of the Sun revelled in the occasion with four awards on the night, the reaction from viewers to the Australian Recording Industry Assn's annual awards ceremony was lukewarm.

Roughly 708,000 Australians tuned in to watch last Thursday's (Nov. 26) prime-time gala on Channel Nine, according to organisers. Last year's event, which was broadcast on rival free-to-air broadcaster Network Ten, attracted 1.09 million viewers. By comparison, this year's Australian TV industry awards -- the Logies -- attracted a reported audience of more than 1.5 million to Channel Nine in May.

This year marked a new partnership between ARIA and Channel Nine, which has recently launched a weekly ARIA charts countdown show. Other notable changes that the ceremony underwent in this, its 23rd year, included moving the event almost six weeks later down the calendar from last year's edition and switching it from a Sunday to Thursday.

Hosted by actors Kate Ritchie and Gyton Grantley, this year's ceremony was held at Sydney's Acer Arena and saw performances from the likes of Robbie Williams, Keith Urban, Empire of the Sun and The Temper Trap (Billboard.biz, Nov. 10).

The gala arrived at No. 16 on the night's list of most-watched shows, which was led by Seven's news with more than 1.2 million viewers.

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