Image: (AAP Image/Albert Perez)

What happens if it was your last chance to broadcast an event that supposedly stops the nation, and most other big viewing events of the year (from episode finales to sporting grand finals) have flopped in terms of audience appeal, or seen big slides in viewing figures? Well that’s the position Seven found itself in yesterday leading up to its broadcast of the Melbourne Cup before Ten gets it in 2019.

But luckily for Seven, and no doubt for Ten, the TV audience for the Cup held up -- 2.48 million nationally against 2.49 million last year. And remember, like the AFL and NRL Grand Finals, the viewing audience at home for the Cup isn’t the whole story -- out of home viewing includes clubs, pubs, offices, bars, streaming online and mobile. The audience measurement is tough, and the figures always understate the real audience.