Royal wedding fans were spoilt for choice on Saturday night with all the broadcasters – Ten aside – giving it extensive coverage.
Across Seven, Nine, ABC and SBS some 4,065,000 Australians tuned-in to watch Prince Harry marry the American actress Meghan Markle. It’s been reported that the global TV audience for the nuptials was in excess of two billion, while 18 million Brits watched on with national pride.
It was Seven’s extended broadcast that pulled most viewers of the Aussie networks. Hosted by Melissa Doyle, Michael Usher and Royal expert Angela Rippon, Seven managed 1.95 million viewers at its peak.
Some 1.48 million tuned-in for Nine’s coverage hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner, the ABC’s coverage pulled 506,000, while SBS managed just 129,000.
Not that Seven’s broadcast escaped criticism, with a number of viewers complaining that the hosts had little knowledge of the Royals or the 600 guests and, due to the length of the coverage, had little of interest to say.
“Really disappointed by the quality of the Channel Seven coverage. No evidence of research. Nauseating guest commentator,” one viewer tweeted of Seven’s efforts.
Another added: “Channel Seven’s coverage was hopeless… I couldn’t stand it and had to switch channels.”
While another critic offered: “I wish Channel Seven could tell us who the guests are.”
Royal fans were also unhappy that Seven chose to interrupt proceedings to air the Lotto numbers.
“Nice touch from Channel Seven to show tonight’s winning Lotto numbers while an ex-game show hostess marries into the Royal family,” one noted.
Not that Nine’s coverage was without its critics. “Sorry Nine news, would love to watch Georgie G but promised family we would not watch Nine while Karl Stefanovic is still there.” While another said: “I watched seven as I couldn’t stand Karl Stefanovic’s voice another second.”
Interestingly, more Australians tuned-in to Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s nuptials than brother William’s and Kate’s in 2011.