Double digit slide for Australian Open peak audiences

Double digit slide for Australian Open peak audiences
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Viewers for Seven’s broadcast of this year’s Australian Open have decreased across the board, with peak audiences suffering a double digit drop compared to 2012 results.

2013 peak viewers fell by 13.24% compared to the previous year, day dropped by 3.35% and the late night broadcast experienced a 14.69% decline, a report by Fusion Strategy revealed.

Steve Allen, media analyst and principal at Fusion Strategy, said it was a mixed bag for Seven this year, “with little of the good fortune of last year”.

Viewing declines were steep in the first nine days of the tournament, according to Allen, but he said the broadcasts recovered some of this ground.

The early departures of Australian players and crowd favourites had a negative effect on the result but Allen believes most of the blame lies with Seven.

“It is still our firm believe that much of the decline is due to on air presentation and commentary,” Allen said.

“Seven, in our view, need to get back to  a more ‘sporting’ rather than entertainment stance.”

Last week, Allen told B&T that Seven had “overcooked” its broadcast with “a wall of cross promotion”. For more on this story, ‘Seven slammed for inundating tennis with cross-promotions’ click here.

At the time Allen predicted that viewing would be down 20% year-on-year, but the drops were less dramatic than expected.

Metro peak viewers averaged at 1.107 million this year, a result which is comparable to the 2004 peak broadcast with pulled an average of 1.106 million viewers.

In 2012, peak viewers averaged at 1.276 million a vast improvement on the 2011 result of 904,000.

While television viewing was down attendance at the Melbourne tournament was still strong.

Attendance for the men’s final was up 1% yoy while the women’s was nearly up 6%, the best result in three years.

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