A fabulous game, as the occasion and hype had demanded. And Seven smiled at what could be perhaps the final final between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. As did Australians in their millions. The 3.592 million people who watched the match last night around the country from 7.30pm to well after 11pm will prove to be one of the top three or four audiences of the year.The grand finals of the AFL and the NRL, and perhaps a gripping NRL Origin decider, are the only other programs likely to match or top it. It was the highest-ranking tennis match in Australia in more than a decade – since Federer beat Marcos Baghdatis in four sets in 2006, which attracted 3.859 million viewers. It gave Seven a 50.4% share of the free-to-air TV audience last night with the main channel where the match was shown accounting for 50.6%.

A lot of people tuned into the presentation at the end — an extra 100,000 people watched (like the surge for the presentation to the Bulldogs after the 2016 AFL grand final), boosting the early estimate to 3.695 million people with a massive 2.772 million in the metros and 922,000 in the regions. The split for the actual final was 2.627 million in the metros and 965,000 in the regions. Even the preview of the final from 7pm to 7.30pm out-rated anything else on Nine, Seven, the ABC and SBS. 

And we also saw that Saturday night with the women’s final between the Williams sisters. It easily beat Ten’s Big Bash final from Perth. The Williams’ clash averaged 1.732 million, down sharply from the 2.14 million who watched in 2016. The final of the Big Bash averaged 1.293 over both sessions (1.370 million for the second session where Perth batted). — Read the rest of Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings here

Peter Fray

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