Tennis Ash Barty Australian Open
(Image: AP/Andy Brownbill)

More than 520,000 people watched Ash Barty wrap up her Wimbledon semi final just before midnight last night as Australians hopped on the band wagon. The pre-match audience was just 158,000, but the audience more than trebled to watch Barty win in straight sets and book a place in Saturday’s final (which becomes the highlight of the weekend’s viewing). A total of 679,000 watched Nine’s tennis coverage from 10.30pm to 2am. That was just behind the 681,000 who watched Seven’s AFL game between Melbourne and Port Adelaide.

The NRL saw the Manly Sea Eagles easily beaten by the Canberra Raiders, averaging 586,000 viewers. The night’s stage in the Tour De France was watched by 147,000, a figure lowered by Barty’s Wimbledon match.

Over two million people watched the AFL, NRL, the late tennis and the TDF, which is a big number and why live sport still dominates, especially when there's a winner on the world stage. Seven won the night narrowly because of the news, the AFL and Home and Away. Nine was second, with Barty’s match almost giving it an edge in the regions.