Epic Australian Open battle smashes them

Sunday night’s Australian Open Men’s Singles Final broke the record books.

The epic match stretched for 5 hours 53 minutes -the longest grand slam in the history of the Australian Open.

UPDATED: Across the marathon broadcast, which ended at 1:37am AEDT it pulled an average of 1.86 viewers, up 34.7% on 2011’s Final.

The game peaked at 2.8m viewers.

A staggering 1.67m viewers were still glued to Seven for the Men’s Final Presentation at 1.45am this morning.

For Seven the match was ideal, stretching from 7:30pm until just before 2am -the cut off point for daily ratings. Seven landed an enormous 45.4% share (from 6pm – midnight), more than double its nearest competitor, Network TEN on 21.5%. Nine had to settle for third place on 18.3%.

The game trounced the competition, but TEN’s Sunday line-up held strong in its second outing. Both New Girl (1.28m) and Young Talent Time (1.08m) actually increased on their previous weeks. Homeland (1.17m) and Modern Family (1.16m) were also strong. The Project was 412,000.

Nine News was best for Nine on 1.23m viewers, followed by The Big Bang Theory repeats (884,000 / 876,000), 60 Minutes (716,000) and The Mentalist repeats (494,000 / 408,000).

Grand Designs (801,000) topped ABC1 improving from last week, then ABC News (787,000). Zen was 414,000.

A History of Ancient Britain pulled 263,000 for SBS ONE.

The best-ever numbers for the Australian Open remain Lleyton Hewitt’s 2005 match on 4.04 million.

Sunday 29 January 2012


  1. Seven’s coverage has been awesome. Loved watching it, except for the ads for shows like Marry My Boy and My Resturaunt Rules that I Will not be watching…

    I watched the entire match Sunday, and while it was incredible, I thought it was pretty one-sided until Rafa staged a comeback at the end of the fourth set. It was usual high calibre tennis as you’d expect from number one and two players in the world, but not the greatest game I have ever seen. Still excellent match… epic length made it all the more better.

  2. It was the greatest tennis match i’ve ever seen. As for 7’s coverage it was excellent. Hewitts commentary great. And I loved how Bruce would come in with those stats. his And great use of the 7 two channel for the fortnight. I believe this is how they will be doing it for the AFL coverage as well.

  3. @ JC and Dave WA

    Thanks for clearing that up. It sure is late for a local news bulletin but wise of Seven to stick with the tennis. WA viewers sure got the best out of the live broadcast getting to see it finish while it was still Sunday. I hope to see more live sport into WA. Nine Perth should make the most of it when 7 News airs at another time so that it would encourage viewers to stick with them.

  4. Thanks to channel seven for showing every minute live in Perth! As others have said…this is the way it should be! In the end we were the lucky ones..being able to see the whole final live from 4.30-11pm…fantastic stuff! Channel 7…never change it back!!

  5. @Cameron SA, due to the tennis, Seven’s news was telecast at 11pm our time. Nine’s news was the only one at 6pm, which prob explains higher ratings for them.

  6. Jezza (the first original one)

    I like tennis, but had a feeling this was gonna be a marathon, so fell asleep watching, woke up around midnight and just thought…stuff this it will be on 4 eva…..work early on Mon….and went to bed. Still well done to all involved and finally a network (in this country) has realised how to use digi channels effectively. I would say they have been influenced, by how well the BBC cover Wimbledon….

  7. @The Secret Squirrel

    I am the Cameron that said I did not watch Seven. I am not a fan of watching sport even though there are some occasions where I have, AFL & NRL grand finals. I am more for entertainment when it comes to TV. I do like tennis but not watching it on tv. I have enjoyed playing it on Wii Sports and also the Mario Tennis games.

    I am impressed by the ratings for Ten last night. All of the Super Sunday shows had similar figures to last week with some up and some down. The Project over 400k is good but not great. YTT was much better and I hope it grows. YTT, MF, NG and Homeland all have more viewers in Sydney than other cities plus in that city they bet 7 News and 9 News. Perth was down as it clashed with the tennis however Homeland still did well. Wonder why 9 news was so high in Perth? 7 News must have aired at a different time in Perth and did poorly on Saturday. Speaking of Nine News it was the only show on ch 9 worth watching and the only one with decent ratings.

    The better coverage including being live in WA (any everywhere else) and the great use of 7two did help but I am sure 7 would have hit 50-60% if an Aussie was playing and higher if there was two. Tomic vs Hewitt would have pulled 3.5+ million but maybe another year. Do not expect shares for Seven to be as high as 40% for the rest of the week as the cricket is set to dominate 2 days a week until March. I am glad people did enjoy the tennis and hope cricket fans will enjoy spending the next few weeks watching it.

  8. Thank you Channel 7 Perth for your live coverage of the Australian Open over the last two weeks. It has made a huge difference and I think you will find that more and more viewers will be watching in years to come as people get used to the change in timeslot to watch live matches.

    Thank you, again.

  9. Was a great match. It’s also been brilliant to finally have the tennis live here in Perth. There must be some sort of record with the news. Must be the latest time Seven’s nightly news has ever been telecast. The newsreaders looked like they were gonna fall asleep!

  10. @steve sydney: photo is not demonic; Novak is just channelling his inner furry (or Pokémon maybe; judging from the ears he might really be a Meowth?!). 😉

    Match was amazing. Seven should be proud of the past month’s tennis coverage (barring the awful pop-up ads for their upcoming shows… “yeah!”).

  11. Secret Squïrrel

    @Cameron – “The combination of Bruce, Jim Courier and Lleyton Hewitt is a winner for me,…”
    Are you the same Cameron who said yesterday that you didn’t watch Seven all week as you’re not a fan of the tennis?

  12. oztvheritage(youtube channel)

    Great work Seven on the coverage of the Aussie open. Maximising the “live” opportunities and using the digital channel (7two) the way you have has been excellent. But then again – it’s the way it should be!!! Other Networks take note – it can work and the ratings can still be achieved. All we have to do is get the HD broadcasts sorted.

    And well done to Ten. I have to say YTT is proving a winner in family viewing. My kids love it. The use of the screens and imagery is excellent. While some of the team are ok…The quality of the contestants last night were just amazing. If that quality keeps up – the show will definitely succeed. Tina is a delightful judge. Just need Millsy to get better at reading the autocue and be more natural and we are all there. Lets hope it keeps ratings. From what I have seen so far – the ratings can build even further.

  13. I agree about Lleyton Hewitt’s commentary, it has been uniformly excellent. Seven need to sign him to permanent commentary duty after he retires. He works in very well with Jim and Bruce and his insight is very good indeed. He is also very articulate.

  14. Grand Designs was really interesting last night.

    Seven Perth had to wait until 11pm Perth time to air its news, which was still live. That’s dedication.

  15. The actual score is 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5.
    I tuned in and out of the match and when it went past midnight, I realised it would be longer than the epic 2009 men’s final between Nadal and Federer. It was a great match, both Nadal and Djokovic gave their very best efforts and much more. I finally went to bed at 2.15 this morning when the coverage finally ended.

  16. After 3 days straight at the tennis, an average of 4 hours sleep for the last week and 2 young children who don’t sleep in, I had to go to bed at the end of the 3rd set. Unfortunately I just hit record so missed the last few games – does anyone know if channel 7 are replaying the match? I can’t see it on the EPG as yet.

  17. Agree also Seven’s coverage was great. Used 7Two very well, and live matches everywhere. Well done Seven. And agree with Cameron, Lleyton Hewitt is a good commentator, he should retire now and commentate instead, i prefer him as a commentator. And the good thing having him in the box is it puts the awful Roger Rasheed out of a job. Get rid of him Seven, and Hamish McLachlan who is terrible, can’t interview and just gives inane comments. Other than them two, the coverage was excellent.

  18. Damn Ten have to be happy with that. I thought Homeland especially would drop against the mens final, but things are looking very good for next week onwards.

  19. It was an epic match with epic horrendous commentating from Bruce. Everyone wanted Bruce to shut up and lleytons kids need to do a better job in colouring in. after seeing that terrible etcher scetch thing they used during the match

  20. Also, top marks to Seven for their coverage over the past fortnight, they have stepped it up another level or two.
    The combination of Bruce, Jim Courier and Lleyton Hewitt is a winner for me, Bruce with the stats and uncontrollable passion, Jim with the humour and Lleyton with amazing, rare insight.
    Hoping Seven carry their slick on-air presentation onto the AFL this year, particularly with their graphics, which desperately need an update.
    I think they will.

  21. Looks like all those people writing off Ten for starting their shows early against the tennis have egg on their faces, they are good numbers.
    Excellent work Ten, your risk has paid off for the last 2 weeks, hopefully these numbers can continue to grow.

  22. Unfortunately, I fell asleep and missed most of it, but it sounds like it was epic. Incredible numbers for Seven – congrats to them, their coverage this year has been great.

    @JB, totally agree with you about the Women’s finals. An absolute joke.

  23. David,

    I suspect you’re doing this on very little sleep, however “The best-ever numbers for the Australian Open remain Lleyton Hewitt’s 2005 win on 4.04 million.” can’t go unchallenged. Little Lleyton has never won the Australian Open.


  24. Watched the entire 5hr 53 mins epic and all I have to say is that it was the greatest match ever played. Well done Djoko, thought that Rafa was going to win and excellent coverage by the host broadcaster 7 for the entire tournament.

  25. The match was absolutely incredible. The best match i’ve ever seen. For how long the match went, those numbers are huge. Quite pathetic that the men play almost 6 hours in a 5 set epic, and the women shriek like banshees in a one sided contest barely 1 hour long, and they get equal prize money.

    The big surprise is Ten’s show’s held up very well. If it can get those numbers against 2 million viewers for a final, it should definitely do alright when Seven and Nine schedule their shows.

  26. well I parked my bum on the lounge for the whole game, glad I’m not the only one with bags under eyes today.
    Well done Novak and Rafa, the game was extraordinary as shown in ratings.
    Was hoping they’d continue with advertised broadcasting , thankfully they did so I ended watching the castle series final i missed last year.

  27. David, I was just wondering when I saw the ratings if they did reflect the actual times because the original timing for the Final was 7.30-10.30pm; therefore did they code say 10.00-10.15 as presentation and 10.15-10.30 as interviews? They will prpbably adjust as the week goes on but still good numbers as expected

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