Ashes whitewash sealed in Sydney
Australia completes a 5-0 destruction of England, fielding an unchanged team throughout the Ashes series.PT1M24S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-30brz 620 349 January 5, 2014
Almost 3 million viewers watched Australia trounce England in Sunday's Ashes telecast – and more than 1.5 million saw Lleyton Hewitt beat Roger Federer at the Brisbane International.
Indeed, sport delivered large audiences to all three commercial networks, with Channel Ten's Big Bash cricket peaking at almost 1.2 million nationally.
Channel Nine's day three coverage of the 5-0 whitewash attracted a national peak audience of 2.97 million and an average of 2.63 million – making it highest-rating New Year's session ever. It is also the second highest-rating Test match behind the 2006 Boxing Day Test, also an Ashes match.
Fifth Test, Sydney - Day Three
Jane McGrath day at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the Jane McGrath silk is laid out in front of the Members stand. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Not surprisingly, there was a spike in Ashes posts on social media, with almost 1200 tweets per minute containing the #Ashes tag during the third session. That hashtag dominated Twitter yesterday and was used in almost 830,000 tweets throughout the series.
The Seven network also benefitted from an Australian victory, with Lleyton Hewitt's win drawing a peak audience of 1.56 million to 7-Two. The broadcast averaged 1.12 million viewers.
Channel Ten's investment in the KFC T20 Big Bash League appears to be paying off with strong ratings, as the network aims to rebuild itself by making sport a pillar of its programming. Session two of game 16 peaked at 1.19 million viewers with an average of 934,000 viewers nationally.
Brett Lee and Jordan Silk of the Sydney Sixers during the Big Bash League match. Photo: Getty Images
(Note: all figures from this point refer to the five major capital cities, as full regional figures are not yet available.)
Despite the three sessions of yesterdays Ashes taking out the top three spots of the metropolitan ratings, the top 10 list was not entirely filled by sport.
A prelimary list supplied to Fairfax Media showed that Nine News drew 1.13 million viewers in the metropolitan areas while Seven News attracted 961,000.
Foyle's War on ABC1 had 920,000, followed by Nine's The Great Barrier Reef (829,000) and 60 Minutes (785,000).