Novak Djokovic Australian Open ratings tennis
(Image: AAP/James Ross)

As expected, the audience for the 2021 men’s Australian Open tennis singles final fell sharply to 1.54 million from 2.04 million in 2020. It had 1.17 million in the metros and 374,000 in the regions. In both cases Novak Djokovic was the winner, but the three-week delay this year made a lot of difference.

The Australian Open is traditionally played in the final two weeks of January, which is also the final two weeks of school holidays -- and for many adults also part holiday, part work (and no tertiary education as well). That makes a lot of difference. Viewers stay up later to watch and there are hundreds of thousands more potential viewers available, especially for day and early evening matches. COVID-19 and the Victorian lockdowns caused this year’s delay and the TV audience fell as a result.

Anyway, Nine easily won the night and set up the week. And, three weeks late, 2021 ratings kick off tonight on Nine at least with Married At First Sight -- four eps and by Thursday you will be wishing for the tennis.