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ABC rides to ratings success
Lance Armstrong. Picture: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images.

The ABC rode high on the elegance of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver and the drug expose of disgraced US cyclist Lance Armstrong in the ratings on Monday night.

The non-commercial station equalled its heavyweight rival the Nine Network with three shows in the Top 10 - ABC News was second with an audience of 1.119 million.

Seven News, with 1.084 million viewers, had to settle for third place and Nine News (1.040 million) was fourth.

Four Corners' investigation into Armstrong's drug taking attracted an audience of 1.030 million to be the fifth on Monday, ahead of A Current Affair (1.006 million) and Today Tonight (1.001) million.

Australian Story aired the second part of The Slam, which looked at Laver's life story. After a strong performance last week, the Laver story pulled an average audience of 982,000, giving it another Top 10 placing.

News and current affairs shows may have dominated the ratings on Monday night but none were good enough to topple The X Factor.

The Seven Network's reality singing contest attracted 1.485 million viewers for the No.1 spot, keeping its unbeaten ratings record intact.

It was an emotionally charged show on Monday night. Contestant Bella Ferraro broke down after singing 99 Luftballons and was consoled by judge Natalie Bassingthwaighte, while 14-year-old Shiane Hawke shed a tear after belting out Cindy Lauper's True Colours.

Seven's Home And Away is starting to win its nightly head-to-head battle with Nine's Big Brother. The soapie was eighth with 992,000 viewers and the reality show was ninth with 988,000.

Top most watched shows on Monday.

1. The X Factor (Seven) - 1.485 million

2. ABC News (ABC) - 1.119 million

3. Seven News (Seven) - 1.084 million

4. Nine News (Nine) - 1.040 million

5. Four Corners (ABC) - 1.030 million

6. A Current Affair (Nine) - 1.006 million

7. Today Tonight (Seven) - 1.001 million

8. Home And Away (Seven) - 992,000

9. Big Brother - Live Nominations (Nine) - 988,000

10. Australian Story (ABC) - 982,000