May 26, 2017

Australian Open Smashes TV Ratings Records Around the World




Australian Open smashes TV ratings records around the world


Australian Open 2017 has smashed TV ratings records both in Australia and around the world.


(February 4, 2017) Tennis Australia – On Sunday night (29 January), more than 3.5 million people in Australia tuned in to watch the historic final between Roger Federer (SUI) and Rafael Nadal (ESP), with the audience peaking at 4.4m and making it the most watched Australian Open match in more than  a decade, beating the combined shares on Channel Nine, Network 10, ABC and SBS.


The men’s singles final also topped the AFL and NRL 2016 grand finals in audience viewership, stealing the NRL’s title as the most watched final in Australia, with 9.63 million hours viewed.


Serena Williams’ seventh Australian Open victory in the women’s final delivered a peak domestic TV audience of 2.42 million, and was the most watched program that day, beating men’s Big Bash Cricket final by 360,000 combined viewers.


Around the world  both ESPN USA and Eurosport celebrated record figures, with the men’s final dubbed the most-watched tennis match of all time by Eurosport, while the Williams sisters spectacular drew the biggest AO women’s audience on ESPN since moving to a 3.00am ET start time.


Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said he was pleased, but t not surprised, by the record ratings.


“The numbers speak for themselves, people love great tennis”, Tiley said.


“We witnessed history on Saturday and Sunday night. Serena and Venus in the ultimate showdown, 14 years since they last played each other at Melbourne Park, and Roger and Rafa, two legends with a compelling comeback story that is unprecedented.


“Through theTennis Australia in-househost broadcast and production teams, we will continue to ensure that world class tennis is produced to a high standard and available to all, both here in Australia and around the world.  it’s historic moments such as these that capture the imagination of the sporting world,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.


Australian Open 2017 domestic broadcast ratings statistics:


  • Broadcast reached 6.5m viewers nationally on final day, taking cumulative reach to 11.8m for tournament


  • The men’s singles final claimed Channel Seven the No. 1 network with 54.5% FTA metro share at night, beating the combined shares on Networks Nine, TEN, ABC and SBS


  • Men’s singles final ranked the most watched program on the night, taking top spot for 2017 YTD


  • Men’s Final averaged 3.6m combined (metro + regional) and peaked at 4.4m, making it the most watched finals match in over a decade
  • Men’s singles final match was up 63% year-on-year  for combined (metro + regional) viewing, and up 64% for metro markets


  • The men’s singles final beat both the AFL and NRL 2016 grand finals in audience viewership, with an 81% audience increase over the 2016 NRL grand final and a 19% audience increase over the 2016 AFL grand final, making Federer and Nadal’s match the most watched Australian final with 9.63 million hours viewed


  • At 3hrs 38min, the Roger / Rafa match lasted nearly twice as long as the NRL grand final (2hrs), and 1hr more than the AFL grand final


  • The final showdown between the Williams sisters made Seven the No.1 network with a 31.8% free-to-air metro share at night (Nine 23.0%, TEN 24.0%)


  • Serena Williams’ seventh Australian Open victory in the women’s final delivered a peak domestic TV audience of 2.42 million, and was the most watched program that day, beating men’s Big Bash Cricket final by 360,000 combined viewers


  • A peak domestic TV audience of 2.1 million tuned into Rafael Nadal’s semifinal victory over Grigor Dimitrov while a peak of 2.2 million tuned into watch Roger Federer play Stan Wawrinka in the other men’s semifinal.


Australian Open 2017 international broadcast ratings statistics:


·                The men’s singles final was aired live in more than 220 territories on more than 65 different TV channels, reaching more than 900 million homes


·                The men’s singles final was the most watched Australian Open men’s final in 13 years in the US on ESPN, with an average 1.13m viewers between ESPN (1.085m) and WatchESPN (48k) from 3.00AM ET – 107% up on 2016


·                In Europe, the men’s singles final was Eurosport’s highest rating tennis match of all-time and second most watched sport event in Eurosport’s history, reaching 20.7m via Eurosport and Discovery-owned Free-to-Air channels. It was the most-watched Eurosport programme in both Spain and the Netherlands


·                The women’s singles final had an average 953,000 viewers on ESPN, up 37% on 2016 and attracted the biggest AO women’s audience since moving to a 3.00am ET start time. It was the second most watched sport programme of all programs aired on US cable TV that day


·                Eurosport’s audiences for the tournament were up 26% from 2016, including dedicated feeds into eleven countries including UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.


·                In the USA, live coverage on ESPN and ESPN2 ranked each day within the top five and top ten of the most watched live sports programs in the country


·                In Japan, Kei Nishikori’s matches were broadcast live by free-to-air broadcaster NHK and generated a market share of more than 20 per cent. It peaked higher than Japan’s most watched event, the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament


·                In China, up to Day 10, the main terrestrial channel CCTV5 reached more than  400 million households and aired more than 32 hours of coverage


·                All 411 main draw matches were streamed live to over 175 territories including, for the first time, China and Japan – a Grand Slam first.  In addition, the Tennis Australia media rights team delivered live encoded feeds of all match courts to selected broadcasters including Sky New Zealand, Fox Sports Asia, IQIYI China, Sony India and SuperSport Africa


·                SuperSport Africa and beIN Sports Middle East also took from BT Tower London the permanent host broadcast feeds of Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena for the entire tournament. Sportsnavi Live from Japan took, in addition, the Hisense Arena host broadcast feed whilst main draw matches were played.


Fast facts on Australian Open 2017 host broadcast


  • Tennis Australia’s Host Broadcast team produced more than 840 matches live, up from 641 in 2016, including all main draw, juniors, legends and wheelchair matches plus countless practice sessions


  • In its third year of managing the Australian Open host broadcast, Tennis Australia provided the most comprehensive broadcast coverage of any Grand Slam, including up to 16 match courts boasting coverage of all matches in all draws – including main draw singles, doubles, mixed doubles, juniors, qualifying, wheelchair and legends


  • The host broadcast team covered 12 practice courts – eight outside courts with dedicated cameras plus one camera inside across four indoor courts


  • In a first for any tennis tournament worldwide,  and any sporting event in Australia, Australian Open 2017 featured Hawkeye 4K Ultra Motion in all three stadiums


  • More than 130 individual host broadcast cameras across Melbourne Park captured all the action on and off the court more than previous years and more than  any other Grand Slam


  • Total 362 staff and freelance crew plus 20 talent working across the host broadcast and world feed productions on-site


  • Both the women’s and men’s singles finals featured access to 47 cameras – including three Extreme Slo Mo NAC cameras and seven Super Slo Mo cameras, an RF techno crane, Spidercam and the first-ever use of Eye Cam, a stadium lens embedded in the umpire’s chair, never before used in tennis coverage.




ATP Sanctions Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios smiles

ATP World Tour News Release


News Release

17 October 2016


LONDON – Following the completion of its investigation into Nick Kyrgios’ second round match last week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, the ATP has announced that Kyrgios has been found to have committed the player major offense ‘Conduct Contrary to the Integrity of the Game.’

The offense means that Kyrgios receives an additional fine of US$ 25,000, and is suspended from ATP tournaments for eight tournament weeks, effective from today, Monday 17 October, 2016, through to Sunday 15 January, 2017.

However, the suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a Sports Psychologist, or an equivalent plan approved by ATP, meaning Kyrgios could regain eligibility to compete on the ATP World Tour or Challenger Tour from Monday 7 November, 2016.

Kyrgios had already been fined a total of US$ 16,500 for breaches of the ATP Code of Conduct by the ATP Supervisors on-site in Shanghai. He received the on-site maximum fine of US$ 10,000 for violations of the Best Efforts provision in the Code, as well as a US$ 5,000 fine for Verbal Abuse of a Spectator, and a US$ 1,500 fine for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Today’s announcement completes the ATP’s investigation into this matter which, following the conclusion of the on-site process, included further review of the match, as well as comments made during Kyrgios’ post-match press conference.

Tennis Australia statement regarding Nick Kyrgios

“Tennis Australia will support the ATP sanction on Nick Kyrgios following recent events in Shanghai.

“Nick’s health and wellbeing is a priority and the ATP has offered a reduced penalty on the provision that he seeks appropriate professional advice, which he has agreed to do.

“Nick understands the gravity of his actions, has shown remorse and expressed a willingness to improve.

“We believe it’s our responsibility to help Nick, along with all our young athletes, improve both professionally on court as a player, and personally. We have always offered assistance and advice to Nick and his team and will continue to do so.”


Related article:

Nadal Loses in Shanghai Opening Round; Kyrgios Booed in Loss


ITF Rejects Appeals from Aljaz Bedene and Maxim Dubarenco, Approves Daria Gavrilova

(March 23, 2016) The International Tennis Federation rejected appeals from Aljaz Bedene and Maxim Dubarenco to play Davis Cup.

Moldovan-born Dubarenco was appealing to play for Belarus, while the Slovenian-born Bedene was hoping to be able to compete for Great Britain.

The No. 57th player in the world Bedene became a British Citizen in 2015.

Great Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association was unhappy with the decision. This is their official statement:

Following Sunday’s ITF Board meeting in Moldova, Aljaz Bedene’s appeal against a decision to deny him eligibility to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup, was unsuccessful.


Michael Downey LTA Chief Executive said: “We are very disappointed for Aljaz and with the outcome of the appeal hearing on Sunday. The LTA has fully supported him in his endeavour to represent the country he rightfully and proudly calls home. In terms of next steps, we will consider the options and continue to consult with Aljaz.”


Aljaz Bedene said: “Of course I am very sad with today’s result and that it has not gone the way I had hoped. I would like to thank all the fans, my team and the LTA for continuing to support me all the way. I will have to assess my situation now before I decide on what steps to take next.”


The ITF did approve the appeal of Russian -born Daria Gavrilova to play Fed Cup for Australia. She changed her nationality in 2015.


Here is the official release from the ITF:

Announcement by the ITF Board of Directors


The ITF Board of Directors met in Chisinau, Moldova on 20 and 21 March and heard three appeals about eligibility to compete in its international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.


Appeal by the Lawn Tennis Association on behalf of Aljaz Bedene


The Board determined that the applicable version of the ITF Davis Cup Regulations for the appeal at hand were the 2015 version.


The Board considered all written and oral submissions made by the LTA, Aljaz Bedene, Tenis Slovenia and the original decision maker, the Davis Cup Committee, along with all evidence received before and during the hearing, all on a “de novo” basis.


In all the circumstances, the Board determined that an exception should not be made pursuant to Article 35(d) of the ITF Davis Cup Regulations.


Mr Bedene is not eligible to represent Great Britain in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.


Appeal by the Belarus Tennis Federation on behalf of Maxim Dubarenco


The Board determined that the applicable version of the ITF Davis Cup Regulations for the appeal at hand were the 2015 version.


The Board considered all written and oral submissions made by the Belarus Tennis Federation, the Moldova Republic Tennis Federation and the original decision maker, the Davis Cup Committee.


In all the circumstances, the Board determined that an exception should not be made pursuant to Article 35(d) of the ITF Davis Cup Regulations.


Mr Dubarenco is not eligible to represent Belarus in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.


Appeal by Tennis Australia on behalf of Daria Gavrilova


The Board determined that the applicable version of the ITF Fed Cup Regulations for the appeal at hand were the 2015 version.


The Board considered all written and oral submissions made by Tennis Australia, Daria Gavrilova, the Russian Tennis Federation and the original decision maker, the Fed Cup Committee.


In all the circumstances, the Board determined that an exception should be made pursuant to Article 31(b) of the ITF Fed Cup Regulations.


Miss Gavrilova is now eligible to represent Australia in Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.




Australian Open 2015 – The final word from Tennis Australia


Australian Open 2015 – The final word from Tennis Australia


(February 1, 2015) For two weeks the world’s top tennis players have excited and delighted fans at Melbourne Park.


Now, as top seeds Serena Williams (USA) and Novak Djokovic (SRB) celebrate their Grand Slam victories, we look back at Australian Open 2015.


On-court action

  • World No.1 and tournament top seed Serena Williams (USA) won her sixth Australian Open crown and 19th Grand Slam title with victory over [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS) 6-3 7-6(5). Williams was presented the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup by tennis legend Martina Navratilova (USA) on the 30th anniversary of her 1985 title win


  • World No.1 [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) celebrated his fifth Australian Open title and eighth Grand Slam victory with a four-set win over [6] Andy Murray (GBR) 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0. Djokovic received the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup from Australian tennis icon Roy Emerson (Qld) on the 50th anniversary of his 1965 championship victory


  • Simone Bolelli (ITA) and Fabio Fognini (ITA) claimed the men’s doubles title, defeating French pair Pierre Hugues-Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4 6-4


  • Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) and Lucie Safarova (CZE) took out the women’s doubles, posting a 6-4 7-6(5) win over [14] Yung-Jan Chan (TPE) and Jie Zheng (CHN)


  • 7 seeds Martina Hingis (SUI) and Leander Paes (IND) took out the mixed doubles crown ahead of defending champions [3] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) and Daniel Nestor (CAN) 6-4 6-3


  • Unseeded Tereza Mihalikova (SVK) defeated [14] Katie Swan (GBR) 6-1 6-4 to win the girls’ singles title


  • Russian top seed Roman Safiullin won the boys’ singles championship, defeating [7] Seong-chan Hong (KOR) 7-5 7-6(2)


  • Fifteen Grand Slam champions contested the main singles draw: [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB), [2] Roger Federer (SUI), [3] Rafael Nadal (ESP), [4] Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI), [6] Andy Murray (GBR), Lleyton Hewitt (AUS), [1] Serena Williams (USA), [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS), [4] Petra Kvitova (CZE), [5] Ana Ivanovic (SRB), [18] Venus Williams (USA), [20] Samantha Stosur (AUS), Victoria Azarenka (BLR), Francesca Schiavone (ITA) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)


  • Forty-nine nations were represented among the 256 players competing in main draw singles. There were 41 countries represented in the men’s singles, including 12 players from Spain, and 34 in the women’s singles draw, including 16 players from the USA. The USA was the most represented nation overall, with 21 players in action


  • A total of 704 players competed across all events, including juniors, wheelies and legends


  • Marius Copil (ROU) sent down the fastest serve of the tournament at 242km/h, while Milos Raonic (CAN) served the most aces of any player in the men’s draw with 114 to his name


  • Serena Williams (USA) posted the fastest serve in the women’s draw at 204km/h and served the most aces of any female player with 88 in total


  • Seventeen Australians took part in the main draw singles, with 11 players advancing to the second round, three to the third round, two to the fourth round and one to the quarterfinals


  • Aussie Nick Kyrgios (ACT) won his way into the quarters with wins over Federico Delbonis (ARG), Ivo Karlovic (CRO), Malek Jaziri (TUN) and Andreas Seppi (ITA) before falling to [6] Andy Murray (GBR)


  • Aussie juniors Jake Delaney (NSW) and Marc Polmans (Vic) overcame [8] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) and Alex Molcan (SVK) 0-6 6-2 [10-8] to take out their maiden Grand Slam boys’ doubles crown


  • Seventeen former top 10 players – including three former world No.1s: Mats Wilander (SWE), Martina Navratilova (USA) and Lindsay Davenport (USA) – contested the Big Mac Legends event


  • Dylan Alcott (Vic) took out the quad wheelchair singles title, becoming the first Australian to win the competition. Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and Jiske Griffioen (NED) took out the men’s and women’s wheelchair singles titles respectively. Top seeds Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and Stephane Houdet (FRA) won the men’s wheelchair doubles, while [1] Yui Kamiji (JPN) and Jordanne Whiley (GBR) claimed the women’s wheelchair doubles. David Wagner (USA) teamed with Andrew Lapthorne (GBR) to win the quad wheelchair doubles.



  • A record 703,899 fans flocked to Australian Open 2015, smashing the previous record of 686,006 set in 2012


  • Ten sessions attracted a record crowd, including a first Monday day/night record of 71,151 The previous first Monday day/night record of 63,595 fans was set in 2014


  • Heineken Saturday on the middle weekend of the tournament was the busiest of the 2015 event, with 81,031 fans on site at Melbourne Park


  • More than 1800 tennis fans sailed to Melbourne Park on P&O Cruises’ second annual Australian Open cruise


  • Famous faces from across the sporting world to attend the event included: Adam Scott, Steve Smith, Steve Waugh, Lydia Lassila, Layne Beachley, Cameron Smith, Jimmy Bartel, Gary Ablett Jnr, Liz Cambage, Billy Slater, Ian Thorpe, Adam Goodes, David Hale, Liesel Jones and Sharelle McMahon


  • Other famous faces in the crowd included: Eric Bana, Toni Collette, Geoffrey Rush, Magda Szubanski, Kate Ritchie, Ryan Corr, Josh Thomas, Carla Zampatti and Livinia Nixon, musicians Kenny Rogers, Niall Horan, Kate Ceberano and Natalie Bassingthwaite, celebrity chefs Heston Blumenthal and Matt Preston, Australian of the Year Rosie Batty along with finalist Deborra-Lee Furness


  • Fans on Grand Slam Oval were entertained by headline music acts Sneaky Sound System, Sheppard, Megan Washington, The Potbelleez, Daryl Braithwaite and more



  • More than 650 journalists, photographers and videographers from 283 media outlets provided detailed coverage of the Australian Open, including 296 international media from 44 different countries. There were 78 Asian media representatives on site, including 37 from Japan and 25 from China.


Tournament operations

  • The Wilson stringers hut restrung 4763 racquets, using more than 57km of string


  • 71 racquets were rapidly restrung for players during matches


  • [1] Serena Williams (USA) had the most racquets restrung of all players in the main draw, sending 86 racquets to the stringers


  • Matches were officiated by 360 chair umpires, linespersons and Hawkeye reviewers from 34 Approximately 68 umpires and 228 linespeople per day officiated matches in the early rounds of the tournament


  • There were 380 ballkids including 327 from Victoria, 25 from interstate, 20 from Korea, six from China and two from Singapore


  • Players and celebrities including world No.3 Rafael Nadal (ESP), two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka (BLR), four-time men’s singles champion Jim Courier (USA) and tennis legends Chris Evert (USA) and Goran Ivanisevic (CRO) participated in video interviews for Kia Open Drive. Videos can be viewed on the official Australian Open YouTube channel


  • 8412 staff, contractors and volunteers employed by Tennis Australia, Melbourne Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT) and catering suppliers Delaware North worked behind the scenes to deliver Australian Open 2015.


Community tennis

  • Almost 14,500 fans attended the third annual Kids Tennis Day presented by Nickelodeon on Saturday 17 January, highlighted by the Rod Laver Arena Spectacular featuring Roger Federer (SUI), Ana Ivanovic (SRB), Victoria Azarenka (BLR), Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) and Australian rising stars Nick Kyrgios (ACT) and Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA)


  • More than 1000 tennis fans played ANZ Tennis Hot Shots on Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, show courts and multiple outside courts ahead of the day sessions during the tournament


  • More than 12,000 visitors played ANZ Tennis Hot Shots on Court 4 and on the mini courts in Garden Square including Australia’s Bernard Tomic (Qld) and Australian test cricket captain Steve Smith


  • More than 30,000 people visited ANZ Fan Zone


  • Cardio Tennis showcases featured on Margaret Court Arena in front of thousands of fans for the first time prior to night matches during the tournament


  • Eight-year-old Anna Bishop, an ANZ Tennis Hot Shot of the Year nominee, had a hit of tennis on Rod Laver Arena with Novak Djokovic (SRB) and was part of the women’s singles trophy presentation


  • In the weeks leading up to Australian Open 2015, the brand new tennis format FAST4 was launched in Australia, first in Sydney with Roger Federer (SUI) and Lleyton Hewitt (SA) participating in One Night with Federer and Hewitt, then in Melbourne with Rafa’s Summer Set. Rafael Nadal (ESP) played FAST4 against Omar Jasika (Vic), Mark Philippoussis (Vic) and Fernando Verdasco (ESP) on Margaret Court Arena. John McEnroe and Patrick Rafter went head to head at the Apia International Sydney, while the Australian Open Big Mac Legends tournament also featured the FAST4 format


  • More than 7000 kids and parents enjoyed a Disney experience over the last three days of the tournament. Hisense Arena was transformed into a magical family experience, featuring the much loved Disney and Disney-Pixar worlds of Never Land (Disney Fairies and Jake the Never Land Pirate), Arendelle (Frozen), Radiator Springs (Cars), Andy’s Room (Toy Story) and San Fransokyo (Big Hero 6)


  • The AO Tennis Blitz matched up tennis-loving towns around Australia with all 256 main draw singles players. Women’s champion Serena Williams (USA) was supported throughout her Australian Open 2015 campaign by Casino, NSW. Men’s champion Novak Djokovic (SRB) was supported by Kendall, NSW. Towns ‘won’ a player by completing tennis challenges in the lead-up to the event


  • Australian tennis great Neale Fraser was honoured at the annual Legends Lunch. Fraser was joined at the celebratory event by fellow legends of the sport Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Martina Navratilova and many more.


Digital and social media

  • Before the men’s final there were more than 5 million unique visitors to throughout the tournament period


  • The most popular female players of the event were Madison Keys (212,748 player profile views), Eugenie Bouchard (198,381), Serena Williams (195,585), Maria Sharapova (176,404) and Ekaterina Makarova (129,614). The most popular male players were Nick Kyrgios (208,863), Novak Djokovic (180,102), Rafael Nadal (159,638), Roger Federer (153,255) and Andy Murray (128,000)



  • On Twitter, @australianopen grew to 711,319 followers. The most retweeted #ausopen post was @jnarls’ video link: “We’re ready for you – Australian Open 2015″


  • The official Australian Open App was downloaded 1,199,509 times across iPhone, iPad and Android devices.


*Digital and social media figures as at 5pm, Sunday 1 February 2015