The Melbourne Cup scores lowest TV ratings this century

Australia’s favourite horse race, The Melbourne Cup recorded a metropolitan audience below two million viewers for the first time since the introduction of the current OzTAM ratings system in 2001.

However, the audience of 1,986,000 watching at race time does not include fans tuning in at workplaces, lunches, hotels or Cup functions or on-line with Seven’s streaming service. This result is a drop from last year when the race drew 2.1 million.

The afternoon carnival was split into several segments for ratings purposes, with the Presentations attracting an audience of 1,690,000 while the pre-race Mounting Yard scored 1,405,000.

The post race coverage average 806,000 and was used by Seven to provide a beefy lead in to The Chase that saw its audience lift to 777,000 with Seven News also improving to be the top non-race program on Tuesday with 1,221,000 at 6pm and 1,169,000 at 6.30pm.

The afternoon results are not reflected in the prime time (6pm-12pm) ratings though Seven managed a narrow win there with a network share of 29.9% just ahead of Nine on 29.2%. That left 17.2% for ABC, Ten with 16.4% and SBS on 7.2%. Seven won all markets except surprisingly Melbourne that was won by Nine.

Also on Seven, the second season of First Dates got off to a good start with 798,000 while the new Gold Coast Medical that followed averaged 609,000 to win its timeslot. Earlier, Home and Away managed 754,000 while Cold Feet in its new timeslot slipped to 309,000.

Over on Nine, The Block improved last night to 980,000 while Nine News had 857,000 and 855,000. A Current Affair rated 780,000 at 7pm and the latest Unreal Estate grabbed 602,000 in preliminary numbers with An Hour to Save Your Life that followed on 268,000. In the afternoon, Hot Seat rated 490,000.

ABC News (825,000), 7:30 (706,000) and Catalyst (575,000) were familiar top 20 entries for ABC while Joanna Lumley: Elvis and Me also made an appearance with 556,000. Earlier, Pointless had 297,000 and later Trillion Dollar Island 295,000.

The best that Ten could manage was The Project with 559,00 and 358,000. This followed Ten Eyewitness News (469,000) and Family Feud (450,000). The premiere of Jamie’s Super Food Family Classics got off to a slow start with 419,000 while Todd Sampson’s BodyHack disappointed dropping to a series low 396,000 while NCIS: LA had 282,000.

Who Do You Think You Are? (307,000) and Insight (290,000) were SBS’s best performers.

At breakfast, Sunrise averaged 322,000 ahead of Today with 255,000. Later, Today Extra had 121,000 and Studio 10 averaged 82,000 against race coverage on Seven.

See Tuesday 1 November 2016 for a more detailed look at the ratings numbers in the Media Spy forums.

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2016. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

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