SBS’s
broadcasting of the Ashes cricket tests which started Thursday night
has had an interesting impact, with the ABC being the network most
hurt. ABC insiders
expected it and say they’re not
concerned.

But
the ABC looks like having a rough two and a half months because of the Ashes
tests.The first day’s play averaged 737,400 people from 7.30 last night to
11.10pm. As a result SBS’s national share was a huge 15.9% compared to the
ABC down on 11.7%. For
comparison, SBS got a national share of just 5.6% on Wednesday night and the
ABC, 15.3%.

SBS
ran fourth everywhere. The shares of Nine and Seven were clipped by around a
point, while Ten also suffered.

The
test audience also helped boost viewing numbers of the Tour De
France. More than 388,000 tuned into to watch the telecast from 11.10pm, which was the biggest audience for the race
and made it the 34th most watched program. Previously it has not made
the top 50 most watched programs, except weekends.

But they can’t please everyone. Crikey
received at least one complaint from a cycling tragic about how the telecast of
the stage was interrupted by crosses to the cricket. I suppose there were also
complaints to SBS about how the cricket was interrupted by the bikes.

Peter Fray

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