2.6m stop for the Cup

mcupUPDATED: A whopping, dare we say Shocking, 2.67m Australians stopped for the running of the 2009 Melbourne Cup yesterday -the third biggest audience of the year.

Given that it was a daytime event, and that millions more would have watched it in groups at homes, venues, workplaces and more, the success is all the more sweet. It truly lives up to its name as the race that stops the nation.

It stands as Seven’s biggest audience all year, beaten only by MasterChef’s finale, the AFL Grand Final (both TEN) and the premiere of Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Nine). With all the promotion for Seven brands, most especially 7TWO, it will validate the timing of the channel’s launch.

It was also a Cup record, beating the 2005 telecast. 1,319,000 tuned into the race in Melbourne alone.

Seven deservedly won Tuesday with a huge share of 36.1 -well clear of Nine on 24.8 and TEN’s 21.6. But while the race does not factor into primetime shares, it gave Seven enormous lead-ins for the night. Seven News took out 1.68m over Nine News on 985,000 as a result.

The big primetime winner was the Packed to the Rafters wedding, which topped the 2m mark to score 2.07m viewers. Who doesn’t love a wedding on the back of a great Cup run? It was a programmer’s dream.

TEN’s best was a repeat of NCIS on 1.26 while Nine’s 20 to 1 settled on 1.20m.

More pleasing for Nine was a national win by Today (346,000) over Sunrise (333,000). Melbourne viewers didn’t shift either, staying with Today as its preferred choice.

On 7TWO Reaper took 110,000, better than Ugly Betty‘s 105,000.


Week 45


  1. I’m wondering how accurate is the figure is. Are OzTam meters installed in businesses? Our office and the three ones around us (Brisbane) all watched the race at work, but since we weren’t at home with people meters I’m assuming we were never counted.

    Or are the OzTam ratings based on what a person watches, regardless of where they watch? Just a thought.

  2. there have probably been a lot of people upgrading to digital now that 7two is here, especially because of the advertising. So is oztam increasing the number of households they survey? how often do they review their statistics to make sure they are reflecting an actual snapshot of australia?

  3. More people watched the Melbourne Cup this year than last year (2.272 million).
    @ Guy: Sunrise was shown in Perth from 6am to 7am only, before crossing to Melbourne Cup coverage from 7am. This Thursday, Sunrise will be shown from 6am to 8am before Oaks Day telecast starts at 8am. Which is why I suggest that 7Two should air Sunrise live in Perth in 3am to 6am so local people won’t miss out.

  4. Hang on Today beat Sunrise because it wasnt shown in Perth. That is 5 markets to 4. So if you minus Perth’s viewers from Today, Sunrise beat Today. 333,000 to 310,000.

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