Third Test sends FOX Sports ratings soaring

2014-03-05_1234FOX Sports coverage of the third Test of Australia’s tour of South Africa last night scored big numbers.

The second session of the third Test was the number one program on subscription TV yesterday at a whopping 399,000 viewers, the highest rating session ever for a Test match between Australia and the Proteas in South Africa. The first session pulled 347,000 viewers, and was the number two program on Foxtel.

That helped The Back Page Live to a huge 332,000 viewers, becoming the most-watched entertainment show in the history of FOX Sports.

The weekly Tuesday night show, hosted by Tony Squires and Kelli Underwood, screened at the special time of 9.30pm during the lunch interval in the cricket.

Coverage continues tonight from 6:30pm on FOX Sports 3 / 3HD.


  1. At the start of the Ashes I signed up for live streaming on the Cricket Australia App which promised ‘every ball, every game… 365 day subscription’ which I realised was slightly deceitful when the tests against South Africa began and I could no longer get live streaming. In future they should offer different packages – I’d be willing to pay extra for real 365 day access to all Australian cricket matches, but I certainly can’t justify the cost of Foxtel when I’d hardly watch anything else.

  2. It is all well and good to say 10 could pick this up for a ratings hit. Yes it could pick it up next time but these sorts of test match series are picked up long in advance. When the rights were decided Australia were doing awfully, no one could have imagined Australia winning 5 nil against england and now 2-1 against South Africa away. We get an amazing away test match series every 2-3 years, to pick the amazing one would be near impossible.
    Foxtel’s ratings for the Sri Lanka, Pakistan and New Zealand Series I’m sure are not that high. If Australia were struggling against South Africa (which would have seemed likely at the time foxtel picked the series up) then the ratings would have likely of been halved.

    As much as I love cricket and would love 10 to pick it up as I don’t have Foxtel it is hardly 10’s solution for ratings glory!

  3. @ David Knox, It is a no brainer that one of the FTA channels should have had a crack at securing the rights. We are late on day 5 and still have no idea how it is going to play out. I reckon any channel would have got a Million viewers FTA and then some. So this is such a missed opportunity for FTA TV. So hopefully its a lesson in investment opportunity Australia vs whoever will rate. As long at is on Prime Time in Oz.

  4. Ten couldn’t have shown it on their main channel because they have to establish a regular lineup and keep the few viewers they have left. On One it would be stripping viewers away from Ten as well as the other networks.

    If the series is close and interesting stuff happens in the first two sessions then it can rate OK. But you are committing to showing cricket from possibly 7pm (if there is catch up time) through most of primetime. And if nothing interesting is happening, or it rains, you get nothing.

  5. If Nine had it, it would at least be in HD on GEM.
    Would not mind betting Nine is running the numbers to see what it can do in the future? Foxtel’s over-priced mostly stalled 30% penetration is what limits Foxtel, and encourages the FTA networks.

  6. If it was on ten it would get over 800,000. I think the reason they didn’t get it was because they would have been forced to buy other tours of South Africa with teams that people wouldn’t want to watch but I can’t see any harm putting them on One HD as they did it with the champions league T20

  7. Andrew- exactly my thoughts. Ch10 will need to be willing to spend the big dollars, big sports rights don’t come cheap. AFL, NRL and International cricket are arguably the big 3. What I don’t understand is why the networks haven’t shown interest in Australian overseas tours, apart from the Ashes. SA and the sub continent time zones are favourable and would surely pull very good numbers.

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