TV ratings wrap: cricket outperforms tennis

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 23 January 2017
French star Jo-Wilfred Tsonga battles British crowd favourite Dan Evans at this year's Australian Open.

Nine's summer of cricket and Ten's Big Bash League have dominated prime time commercial TV viewing across key demos in the third week of the year, OzTam data prepared by Nine reveals.

In the coveted 25-54s demographic, Ten's Big Bash League took out six of the top ten most viewed shows with Nine's evening session coverage of the one day internationals between Australia and Pakistan netting three spots. For 16-59s, it was a similar story, led by the final session of the second ODI with 276,920 viewers (see infographic below).

For total people, three ODI sessions made it to the top ten list, and the BBL dropped out as the other spots were taken up by news.

This clearly indicates the BBL appeals to younger audiences while international cricket remains broadly popular across all ages. It also aligns with how the two different formats are marketed, the BBL has a strong focused on families and young people.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of last week's ratings has been the omission of Seven's Australian Open tennis coverage, which is down on average by 12% across the first seven nights. 

However, the success of tennis ratings is dependent on how the draw pans out and the calibre of players that make it through the earlier rounds. This year's tournament has already had shock exits to pre-tournament favourites Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, while Aussie hopefuls Nick Krygios and Bernard Tomic e also bombed out early.

Seven's TV audience could also be experiencing a drop off as more viewers watch it on digital devices, which are not picked up by OzTam ratings.

As the tournament approaches the business end, ratings are sure to improve, with last night's thriller between Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori attracting a metropolitan audience of 931,000 and 1.4 million nationally, still behind session two of the ODI international, which has 947,000 metro viewers. 

Seven still won the week among the commercial TV networks for total people in primetime with a 36.3% share to Nine's 35.4% and Ten's 28.3%.

In key demos, Ten achieved its highest ever shares on younger demos, highlighting the value of the BBL. For 25-54s, Nine came out on top with 34.6% to Ten's 32.8% and Seven's 32.6%, while among 16-39s, Seven won a 34.6% share to Ten's 33.6% and Nine's 31.8%.

Across the full day, Seven dominated total people with 37.1% share to Nine's 36.7% and Ten's 26.1%.


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