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AO ratings disaster

Channel 9 must have thought they’d done well by winning rights to the Australian Open after losing the rights to the cricket. The Australian Cricket Team had lost a lot of its shine, seen as arrogant and embroiled in scandals and division. Channel 7 was trying to terminate its rights deal.

But now Channel 7 has renewed its association with the ACB and love is everywhere. Meanwhile, the Australian Open was outrated by Home & Away and BBL on the opening night: the 5-city metropolitan average dropped from 635,000 in 2022 to 357,000 in 2023 for the first night session of the Australian Open, a 44% drop.

Nick Kyrgios & Ash Barty, stars of the last AO, were absent. They continued with last year’s playbook of broadcasting Australian players rather than going with the best matches available. That worked last year because Kyrgios and Barty also guaranteed quality matches, but Kubler and Hijikata aren’t equivalent standard bearers.

Then there was the 3 hour suspension of play for heat immediately followed by rain delays.

It also seems the AO has been hit hard by underdogs getting up. Maybe there’s also a changing of the guards problem. I followed tennis a bit more closely a few years ago and the big names are dropping off alarmingly. Fed has gone and Nadal seems to be cooked too. In their stead are a lot of what I regard as no-name players. I was shocked to discover that Casper Ruud is world number 2 now. Apparently he’s more of a clay court player. If someone had asked me who he is, I would have said a soccer player. The top 20 includes players who I don’t really know although I’m aware that they are top players, such as Tiafoe, Sinner, Fritz and Auger-Alliasime. Channel 9 must be hoping that Tsitsipas, Murray/Kokkinakis, Djokovic, and Medvedev stick around. Love them or hate them, they have distinctive personalities and styles that will be easier to sell to viewers.

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #1
I've taken a keen interest in the AO for a long time, but probably watched about 5 minutes this year.

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #2
I've taken a keen interest in the AO for a long time, but probably watched about 5 minutes this year.
I think it's suffering from a number of issues, perhaps the biggest is reduced sponsorship involvement coming out of the pandemic, there is so little related marketing you could be forgiven for forgetting it's on!

But that said, the thing that hurt it the most was probably Barty retiring after last year. We finally had a star who we could not just follow but admire, and in a blink she was gone!
The Force Awakens!

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #3
The tennis has a problem of becoming too exclusive a sport.

Its expensive to go and watch at the open. 

The players are all a bit sameish.

Official partner of the sport is Ralph Lauren polo FFS.
"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #4
A very cranky Mrs Baggers, who loves her tennis. Cranky at the poor scheduling especially the women's. Murray and Kokki finishing at just after 4am today!! Time for a shake-up in the tennis management?
Only our ruthless best, from Board to bootstudders will get us no. 17

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #5
Terrible scheduling.
2012 HAPPENED!!!!!!!

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #6
Considering Kokkinakis previous 48 hours, he would be justified in feeling agrieved.  The rumour is that he had to front up at 9.30 and wait almost the entire day to play 5 points against Fabio Fognini which would have been a factor in the next day running into a 10pm start to an almost 4am finish.  Ridiculous really. 
"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #7
Considering Kokkinakis previous 48 hours, he would be justified in feeling agrieved.  The rumour is that he had to front up at 9.30 and wait almost the entire day to play 5 points against Fabio Fognini which would have been a factor in the next day running into a 10pm start to an almost 4am finish.  Ridiculous really. 
Timing would have a lot to do with the rest of the world and what time they are awake.

Its the curse of living in Australia and wanting to see live sports.
Want to watch an F1 race? Better be awake between 11am and 5am to catch the start.
Want to watch an NFL match?  Best be up at 5am for most games.
Same with Soccer.....

In Australia, we still have to try and accommodate the rest of the worlds schedule, which see late games go into early morning for the international $$$'s.

Not really fair on all those involved. Think of the poor umpires, judges and ball boys/girls - They are 12-15yo's!

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #8
And as was confirmed recently, the ball kids do it for free.

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #9
ch 9 is well aware of its ratings challenge. They offered Nick Kyrgios a King’s ransom to join their commentary team but he turned them down. It’d be nice to have so much money that you can afford to do that. They should have asked Shaq. He’d turn up to the opening of an envelope as long as there was some money in it for him.

Re: AO ratings disaster

Reply #10
ch 9 is well aware of its ratings challenge. They offered Nick Kyrgios a King’s ransom to join their commentary team but he turned them down. It’d be nice to have so much money that you can afford to do that. They should have asked Shaq. He’d turn up to the opening of an envelope as long as there was some money in it for him.

Probably give the ballkids a "free" account so they can have a punt too
Let’s go BIG !