Ashes gives SBS best night of the year

5090sbs_ashes__4SBS had its best night of the year last night, thanks to the 2009 Ashes Series.

The network took a huge 13.4% share, nearly matching ABC’s 15.5%.

The Ashes averaged 679,000 for its first session, which also bumped up SBS World News (Late) to 535,000. An encouraging sign for the network given its five matches continue to late August.

The viewing night was also unusual due to the continued coverage of the death of Michael Jackson. Nine’s repeat of the Michael Jackson Memorial took 1m followed by a concert in Bucharest at 9pm averaging 854,000. An extended Seven News and a later Today Tonight took out 1.49m and 1.05 respectively. None of which could dent MasterChef Australia which had its best weeknight of the year with 1.93m. That’s pretty much where TEN’s good fortune ended.

Elsewhere the finale of Thank God You’re Here clung to 1.37m and The Chaser dipped below the 1m mark at 992,000 for the ABC.

The early morning Michael Jackson coverage was topped by Sunrise 126,000 (even without Perth), over Today‘s 106.000.

Trouble still hovers over THIS afternoon at just 202,000 -its lowest figure yet. Maybe it’s time to add more Ashes coverage?

Week 28


  1. The sbs three man commentary team of magill.martin and mathews have been throwing rubbish comments on two english players because there were born in south africa but i did not hear one comment about keppler wessels who was captain of south africa and australia. Talking about being very very bias.

  2. Between Fox and SBS they couldn’t have sprung for a few plane tickets and given us an Australian commentary team? They’re showing the same thing anyway. We’re stuck with the English feed.

    Cheap bastards.

  3. If the Ashes only delivered SBS 680000 viewers, there’s no way Nine would’ve wanted to screen it live themselves (if they had the chance to), as they’d require at least twice that many viewers for it to be viable to them.

  4. Why would Le Tour be on the anti-siphoning list???? People have only started watching since Cadel Evans has been going well. It never rated well before that. The list was also made four or five years ago so Le Tour would not have even been considered.

  5. Nine was First with live coverage of MJ – car highway helicopter chase was fascinating. Very OJ.
    Layla doing the moonwalk. ha ha. love her.

    Seven sunrise coverage of MJ was the best!
    Nice crosses to Fed square.
    Good to see Molly on tv again. Great recounts of his encouters with MJ and especially with his trip to Perth!

    Ten had a nice 30 minute best of MJ at the end of memorial – great way to end things.

    ABC news had live coverage from the American ABC news which included the infamous Martin Bashier.

    The live concert at Budapest is on youtube but still great to see MJ in action.

    The tour de france was way more interesting than the Ashes!

  6. Really? I couldn’t stand MacGill hosting. I was flipping between Fox Sports and SBS during the drinks breaks and it was only Fox Sports who had people talking about cricket. SBS seemed to have extended ad breaks. I know its the same Sky Sports coverage but I will stick with Fox Sports. I found their studio commentators more insightful than SBS.

  7. @mac, @johnson, @sameer

    Re the anti-siphoning. Close but no cigar. The anti-siphoning list is a list of sporting events that the Government has determined should be available on free-to-air television for viewing by the general public. It is called the anti-siphoning list because it aims to prevent these events being ‘siphoned off’ by subscription television to the detriment of free-to-air viewers.

    The anti-siphoning scheme does not reserve listed events solely for free-to-air broadcasters. For example, the anti-siphoning scheme does not:

    1. oblige free-to-air broadcasters to buy the rights to events on the list
    2. guarantee free-to-air broadcasters exclusive rights to events on the list
    3. compel free-to-air broadcasters that acquire the rights to events on the list to broadcast the events live or in full.

    Subscription television licensees can acquire the rights to broadcast events on the anti-siphoning list if rights are not acquired by free-to-air broadcasters or if those rights are held by:

    1. commercial television licensees who have the right to televise the event to more than 50 per cent of the Australian population
    2. either the ABC or SBS.

    David – there’s possibly a column in this, for a slow news day.

  8. I think The Chaser need more oxygen. They need to keep working hard on the show but the total lach of contraversy has kept them out of the free publicity zone.
    It is almost unfair when you look at the last three eps which were quite good.

    I like SBS’s coverage of the Ashes. When they come back from the UK coverage to the panel I enjoy the hosting of Magill, the confidence of Mathews and the contempory Martin.

  9. Thanks for the info Johnson…

    As for the anti-siphoning list, having sports on the 2nd SD is a good way to push people to go digital but I think the laws need review with the likes of ONE HD now in the mix. Maybe this would put a stop to sport running overtime and messing with the regular programing if they had the 2nd SD option?

  10. While 7 & 9 continued there pissing contest over MJs grave SBS & 10 gave us what we want, fresh tv in Master Chef and Live Ashes cricket.

  11. @ mac: ABC and SBS is exempt from anti-siphoning restrictions, which is why SBS can show the cricket on the main channel and Tour de France on the secondary channel.
    @ Craig: Nine didn’t want the Ashes because it clashed with its coverage of rugby league, Wimbledon, and British Open golf. Plus, after the ratings success of the 2005 Ashes series, SBS approached the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pretty early about the rights to this year’s series, and they signed the deal in 2007.

  12. This Afternoon was wall-to-wall Michael Jackson yesterday – ridiculous. There are many many people like me out there who (despite working in radio for over a decade) consider him to be nothing more than a pedophile, a child molester and a creep, not deserving of all this bloviated adulation.

  13. this a great example of why the anti siphoning list is a bad idea, as if both the ashes and the tour de france arn’t on the list sbs can still show tour de franc on sbs 2 if it was one they anti siphoning list they would be unable to as you cant show a sporting event on a secondary channel until it been shown on the main channel if the sport is on the list

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