UPDATED: 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.