TV3 has upped the ante in the battle for the news ratings.

On Wednesday the broadcaster confirmed that Herald on Sunday columnist Heather du Plessis-Allan and Duncan Garner would front its new 7pm current affairs show, Story. The 30-minute show is the successor to Campbell Live.

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But as TV3 prepares to launch Story, Paul Henry, one of the network's other news big hitters, must be feeling a bit sore on the ratings front.

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It appears TV One's Breakfast show is not the only programme he is struggling to knock off in the battle for ratings supremacy in the morning television market. Figures released to Spy by Nielsen New Zealand reveal the Paul Henry Show, was out-rated by children's favourite Sesame Street at least three times this month. The likes of Big Bird, Elmo, and Mr Snuffleupagus out-rated Henry on June 5, 10 and 11; on the latter, 34,400 tuned into Sesame Street while just 25,900 watched the Paul Henry Show.

Henry's biggest morning news rival Breakfast had an average daily viewership of 115,000 last week.

A MediaWorks spokeswoman said: "We are very happy with Paul Henry's ratings, which are continuing to rise. Paul Henry is chipping away at Breakfast in the last hour of the show, and picking up more viewers monthly."