From the "Doctor Who News Page:
The 'fast-tracked' The Next Doctor has debuted in Australia to disappointing ratings. The 2008 Christmas Special averaged only 738,000 in the five major capital cities, compared to the 1 million plus viewers who regularly watched Series Four in 2008. The lower ratings are probably explained by the summer 'non-ratings' period, the Australia Day long weekend and the 1.745 million viewers who watched Australian Jelena Dokic's remarkable progress to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Channel 7.
I've got another possible reason: anybody who REALLY wanted to see the special badly enough viewed it already via bit torrent. I bet the ratings for its American debut will not be as high as expected either... whenever THAT will be!
Networks suits - may they be nibbled to death by ducks - have got to accept that the world is too small nowadays thanks to the internet; that they can't hold back anticipated programming to fit their schedules, because people will search it out if they want it badly enough.
I'll still DVR it when it finally shows up here in the States, but it won't be the eagerly anticipated show it could have been had they worked it out with the BBC to semi-simulcast the damn thing on Christmas Day, when it should be seen.
Just sayin', is all....