Recent falls in the viewership of the Melbourne Cup should worry Ten and the Victorian Racing Club, with indications that the cup audience has not kept pace with a growing Australian population. Since 2015, the national TV audience for the cup race has fallen by around 17% -- from 2.98 million in 2015 to 2.49 million in 2017.
The falls have been spread across the metro and regional markets as the race has become less Australian and more international. “The Melbourne Cup averaged 915,000 viewers across seven hours of broadcast and peaked at 2.7 million during The Race (1.9 million metro),” a Seven release from November 2017 said. The peak could be doubled to take account for unmeasured viewing in pubs and clubs, and added to the 4.2 million estimated to have tuned in for some part of the broadcast, which was down from 4.4 million two years earlier, according to the Seven release.