Bathurst Supercars car race
(Image: AAP/Dan Himbrechts)

What are we to make of a 600,000 surge in the TV audience for the Bathurst Supercars Race? While AFL the and NRL huddle and convene studies and committees to discuss their falling grand final viewer numbers, Ten has a reason to celebrate. The podium segment of the race was watched by 1.91 million according to early ratings estimates. That compares to 1.13 million who watched the same segment in 2018. That’s a 77% increase — unprecedented for major sporting events.

The podium is when the official results are given, the bling handed out to the top-three racers and all the bubbly wasted on people who would rather sink a tinny or three. The race itself saw a smaller rise — from 1.25 million last year to 1.34 million this year. That’s a rise of 90,000, or 7%. Ten says its confirmed times figure was 1.64 million — a rise of 27%. There was also a surge in viewers on Foxtel, where the race averaged 469,000, up from 387,000 in 2018. That’s a rise of 82,000 or more than 20%. This means more than two million people watched the race on free-to-air and Pay TV all together.

The surge in the audience for the podium damaged audiences for Seven and Nine’s news, but also failed to provide much of a boost to Ten’s prime time programming. The Block on Nine won the night with 1.51 million and that was it. Seven scrabbled around in second and Ten was fading to third with a big grin on its face. Bathurst also topped the regionals — the podium averaged a high 731,000 and the wrap of the race averaged 695,000. The Block was third with 551,000, the race itself averaged 384,000 and the build up (that’s the part before the go flag), had 383,000.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (32.8%)
  2. Seven (24.5%)
  3. Ten (18.2%)
  4. ABC (15.5%)
  5. SBS (9.0%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (24.4%)
  2. Seven (16.6%)
  3. Ten (13.1%)
  4. ABC (10.8%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.6%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7mate (3.4%)
  2. GO (3.1%)
  3. ABC Kids/Comedy, Gem, 10 Bold (2.9%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Bathurst Supercars – Podium (Ten) — 1.911 million
  2. Bathurst Supercars – Wrap (Ten) — 1.779 million
  3. The Block (Nine) — 1.519 million
  4. Bathurst Supercars – Race (Ten) — 1.347 million
  5. Seven News — 1.149 million
  6. ABBA Forever (Seven) — 1.01 million
  7. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 986,000
  8. Nine/NBN News — 964,000
  9. 7pm ABC News — 918,000
  10. Bathurst Supercars – Build Up (Ten) — 985,000

Top metro programs:

  1. Bathurst Supercars – Podium (Ten) — 1.180 million
  2. Bathurst Supercars – Wrap (Ten) — 1.136 million
  3. Seven News– 1.083 million

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 817,000
  2. Nine News — 741,000
  3. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 703,000
  4. 7pm ABC News – 918,000
  5. 7.30 (ABC) — 591,000
  6. The Project 6.30 (Ten) — 407,000
  7. Sunday Project 7pm (Ten) — 385,000
  8. Ten News First — 285,000
  9. SBS World News — 138,000

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Insiders (ABC, ABC News) — 489,000
  2. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) — 362,000
  3. Landline (ABC) — 288,000
  4. Weekend Today (Nine) — 215,000
  5. Offsiders (ABC) — 210,000
  6. Sports Sunday (Nine) — 111,000

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Bathurst Supercars – Podium (Fox Sports) — 469,000
  2. Bathurst Supercars – Trackside (Fox Sports) — 446,000
  3. Bathurst Supercars -The Grid (Fox Sports) — 303,000
  4. Bathurst Supercars – Supports (Fox Sports) — 242,000
  5. Bathurst Supercars – Bathurst (Fox Sports) — 185,000

Peter Fray

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