Australian Open 2017 The Most Popular Event On Aussie TV This Year

Australian Open

AO Press Release, December 28, 2017

With final preparations for Australian Open 2018 well underway, and players already winging their way from the northern hemisphere, the final TV ratings release for the year has revealed just how popular this year’s tournament was with fans across the country.

According to year-end official OzTam television ratings, the two weeks of Australian Open 2017 were the most popular of any sporting event in Australia, with six different transmissions on four different days on Channel 7 making the top 50 most viewed events of the year.

Some of the highlights include:

·       The Australian Open tennis had more programs in the top 50 than other sporting codes such as the AFL and the NRL’s home and away seasons, international and domestic cricket and the Spring Racing Carnival. It also beat all other events broadcast outside of sport.

·       The classic final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in January came in as the third most watched program of the year, averaging2,686,000 for Channel 7, with a 4.37 million peak during the thrilling match. It provided the Seven Network a 54.5% free-to-air market share that night, beating the combined shares on Networks Nine, Ten, ABC and SBS.

·       The all-Williams final which saw Serena beat sister Venus was the only women’s sports event in the top 50, coming in at No.30 and averaging1,307,000 viewers.

·       Two Australian Open night sessions in the second week also made the top 50:

o   Men’s semifinal on Night 12 came in at No.38 with 1,188,000 viewers

o   Quarterfinals Men’s semifinal on Night 11 was at No.45 with1,147,000 viewers

·       Viewers couldn’t get enough of the Federer v Nadal final:

o   The trophy presentation, came in at No.14 with 1,896,000 viewers.

o   The actual final preview came in at No.36 with 1,213,000 viewers.

“We’ve known for a long time that the Australian Open provides a tremendous lead-in to the year in TV and we’ve seen so many programs launched successfully to the enthusiastic audiences glued to the summer of tennis,” Tennis Australia Chief Revenue Officer Richard Heaselgrave said.

“These spectacular ratings figures over the two weeks prove that AO 2017 was Australia’s favourite sporting event and the viewers loved it.

“Both the men’s and women’s finals were classic matches, and it’s significant to note the final between Serena and Venus Williams was the only women’s sport event in the top 50 of the year. It again goes to show that tennis leads the way in women’s sport, not just in equal prize money, but also in prime time exposure.”

When compared to the audiences of the other Grand Slams in their home markets, the Australian Open also delivered the highest reach in relation to the total population of the country.

The AO’s men’s final reached 11.2% of the Australian population whilst the women’s reached 5.4%. In comparison:

·       Roland Garros men’s final, at 3.1m viewers in France, reached 4.6% of the French population, whilst the women’s reached 3.8%.

·       Wimbledon’s men’s final, at 4.4m viewers in the UK, reached 6.7% of the British population, whilst the women’s reached 3.1%.

·       The all-American US Open’s women’s final had 1.8m viewers in the US, or 0.6% of the US population, whilst the men’s reached 0.5%.

“It really is testament to the popularity of our finals to see that we achieve a significantly deeper reach in a country of just over 24 million people than what happens in the UK, France and particularly the US”, Heaselgrave added.

“The scale of this reach places us ahead of, for example, the MLB World Series and the NBA Finals in the US. It is really special to have this loyal support from the Australian public every year.

“In 2017, our worldwide broadcast partners aired nearly 82,000 hours of the coverage produced by Tennis Australia’s Host Broadcast team. It was beamed to more than 220 territories and reached more than 900 million homes. The coverage will continue to expand worldwide for 2018 with a raft of innovations planned for the broadcast.

“In 2018, the Seven Network will again broadcast all the tennis throughout Australia across three channels alongside their online services, and we look forward to another successful year of coverage,” Heaselgrave said.

The 2018 blockbuster summer of tennis in Australia begins this weekend as follows:

Mastercard Hopman Cup

30 December 2017-6 January 2018

Brisbane International presented by Suncorp

31 December 2017-7January 2018

Sydney International

7-13 January 2018

Hobart International

7-13 January 2018

FAST4 Sydney – Ken Rosewall Arena

8 January 2018

World Tennis Challenge

8-10 January 2018

Tie Break Tens – Margaret Court Arena

10 January 2018

Australian Open Official Draw

11 January 2018

Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic

9-12 January 2018

Australian Open

15-28 January 2018

Please note: All the Australian domestic figures are based on the official OzTam ratings, weeks 1-48, five capital cities only, excluding Easter. And the other Grand Slams audiences as provided by Nielsen.