Serena Williams and Djokovic pull viewers to Seven

Serena Williams and Djokovic pull viewers to Seven

The opening night of the 2014 Australian Open proved a ratings winner for Seven on Monday evening as despite a drop in viewers Seven was served the largest audience share.

The network overtook Nine to win the largest share of all free-to-air networks with a total combined 33.6% going to Seven.

The tennis sat in sixth place in the ratings last night as 858,000 people tuned in. It proved most popular in Melbourne where 318,000 watched Serena Williams defeat Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and Novak Djokovic advance to the next stage. While the Open helped Seven take hom the ratings last night, the opening night was slow compared to the 1.246 million who tuned in to last year's opener.

This year's opening night television turn out is down  more than 30% from 2013, however audience drawcard Lleyton Hewitt played on day one last year. The start of the tennis broadcast also came second to Nine's A Current Affair which pulled in 991,000 at 7pm.

Seven News was Monday’s most watched program with 1.27 million viewers.

Nine sat on a total combined 27.5% share with 19.6% going to the network’s primary channel. Seven’s main channel took home a 25.6% share.

Nine’s extended news bulletin outperformed Today Tonight again as 1.176 million chose to watch Nine News at 6.30 compared to the 994,000 who watched Seven’s Today Tonight.

Ten’s most watched program was Ten Eyewitness News (675,000) followed by repeats of Modern Family.

Ten won a total 17% share of all FTA viewers with 10.3% going to the network’s main channel.

The result put the commercial network behind the ABC which won a combined total of 17.7% with 11.1% going to ABC1.

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