Wimbledon viewer fury with Nick Kyrgios match over Ash Barty

Tennis fans took to social media last night to vent their anger at Seven, which was screening a Nick Kyrgios- Jordan Thompson match from Wimbledon at the same time as Court 1 match between Ash Barty – Saisai Zheng.

Via 7TWO’s “megawall” viewers were forced to swing between both matches intermittently, which may have been the most frustrating solution of all.

Despite progressive score updates, viewers were unable to watch the single match of their choice.

Meanwhile FOX Sports had the Barty game in full.

Update: A Seven spokesperson said: “Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson were tied in the third set of a thrilling contest when Ash walked onto court. We screened as much of Ash’s one-sided game as we could and enabled Foxtel to broadcast it in full.

“The massive audience ratings on 7TWO, which were comparable to a Wimbledon Final, show how engaged Aussies were in the epic five setter between Kyrgios and Thompson.”


  1. It’s a poor excuse really. Seven advertised live and exclusive to them then it ends up on Foxtel? It’s false advertising. Ash is the world number one and this was her first match since being crowned number one. She should get precedence. It’s not good enough. Such a poor choice. The thing is networks always put the men first. Not just seven but nine and ten too with any sport. It’s a boys club. They get shoved the moment the men are around. It’s just a shame. Let’s hope they’ve learnt from it but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Now that I’ve read Seven’s explanation that they are limited by what they are allowed to broadcast, I feel bad for them. Perhaps they should have explained their broadcast restrictions to viewers last night in real time.

  3. I think 7 did the best they could considering they had restrictions. Well done to them as it would of been impossible to please all.

  4. I really don’t understand the outrage.

    I normally would choose a women’s match over a men’s because the men’s are usually boring and too long. But last night I wanted to watch the men, because Jordan Thompson has been improving greatly and he had a very good chance of beating the no-show player. Why not watch this (and Seven made the right decision to show it) over what should have been a very routine first round match for the Number one player. Regular updates and snippets of Barty’s match was fine.

    • seantheaussie

      The number 2 player was knocked out in the first round the previous day, as was Venus Williams who stretched Ash at Birmingham. Routine isn’t routine.

          • seantheaussie

            Look at the first set.
            It is highly competitive until Zheng was serving at 4-5. Only then did the match become one sided.

          • I didn’t say it wasn’t competitive. I said Barty was in no real danger, they’re two different things.

  5. Two Australians playing instead of one. Game 1/2 over and in the balance. Entertainment value due to close tousle. Game already running so do you upset viewers keen to see the finish?
    People commenting on this thread are concentrating on Kyrios. What about a bit of air time to one of the other Aussies who few have heard of?
    7’s decision makes perfect sense.
    What they should be criticised for is not using other of their channels to show Barty’s match, not their choice of matches.

  6. I actually thought the Kyrgios match was more entertaining….featuring two Aussies playing well and getting a bit frustrated…showing some passion. Love that we have a number one in Ash Barty but her match was a bit boring in comparison….of what we saw. Seven did the best they could. They’re in a tough situation.

  7. I am not so caught up in the gender of the participants as their personalities.
    Barty is the exact kind of humble champion Australian’s embrace and like to support.. Kyrgios not so much. Barty could be ranked 100 and Kyrgios number one and I’d still be switching over to Barty if given the choice.

    • I didn’t watch for Kyrgios – he is not worth watching. However the player at the other end of the court is an Australian who deserved a good audience. Just pretend that Kyrgios is as unwatchable as Serena (ie ignore them) and watch the Aussie youngster.

  8. jezza the first original one

    This is exactly what to expect from a fta channel of incompetance. A simple lesson in How to lose an audience and alienate people. Tom Gleeson is right….

  9. Didn’t realise the match was on Foxtel. Checked the 7 release from yesterday posted on this site and it says 7 will show the two best matches each day live and free exclusively. Yet Barty was also on Fox….. Confused.

  10. To me the biggest problem as always is communication to the viewers from the networks and sometimes purposely misleading promotions. If it is the case they can only show one stream on one channel at once, then they should tell us that – rather than having everyone (including myself) giving backlash. It was quite clear last night which match everyone wanted to see. All Seven had to do as to inform everyone at the start and throughout the Kyrgios match, that as soon as Ash Barty was playing they would switch over to cover the Ash Barty game. Or, if it was not an option for Seven to switch over due to legal, technical or rights issues, a simple statement on air and at the bottom of the screen would have prevented the severity of the backlash.

    • I appreciate your reasoning, however why would you switch a match between two Aussies which has just reached the important part. How terrible to invest in two full sets, only to have it chopped off when it is getting interesting.

      • Agreed. Imagine the outrage if Seven left the men’s march to cross to the start of the women’s. There would be just as much uproar.

  11. Goodness me, some of these comments… Anyway, I’m not gonna argue with people who tell me what is right or wrong. Having said that, I will mention a few facts:

    – The 1st tweet is incorrect; The Barty vs Zheng match was not on centre court.
    – Thompson (He’s an Aussie, you know) & Kyrgios are 1 ranking apart; 43 & 44. That’s quite a rare situation that should lead to a close match. Not shocked it went 5 sets.
    – Also, Alex DeMinaur (He’s an Aussie you know… Or are they only Aussies when they’re #1 in the world?) was roughly playing at the same time. He is ranked inside the top 30. I don’t see the outrage for no DeMinaur.

  12. People have a choice to watch it via Foxtel if they choose to pay for it. Seven was presumably limited to showing a single feed at a time, and made the choice to show the men’s match. Either way, an unwinnable situation.

      • So it makes sense from a ratings perspective then to show a match beginning at 11pm rather than wait for 1am match when less people will inevitably watch. They could’ve switched the broadcast to the second match midway through the first, but that would’ve drawn criticism from viewers already watching that match.

        • I’m not sure why this11pm and 1am business has been used (not by you but 7 media) as i went to bed at 11pm and it was 3 sets in on kyrgios and 1 to Barty. There was no 11pm and 1am start with the matches everyone is talking about.

          • It was an 11am UK time (8pm EST) start for the Gentlemen and a 1pm UK time (10pm EST) start for the Ladies. So they did start 2 hours apart and, short of a one sided contest in the earlier one, were always clashing.
            They didn’t ‘ditch’ Barty at all. They were stuck in an unwinnable position of 2 matches at the same time (after all, they aren’t setting the Order of Play) with no way around it, outside of trying to screen both without much by way of advertising- which is what they did.
            If they elected to dump the Gentleman’s match halfway through, more people would have been ‘outraged’ by the decision.

    • Not really unwinnable. 7 advertised the Barty match as being Live and exclusive. They ditched her for the mens match. Thats what the main problem is. They are the ones who promo’d Barty then didnt show it.

  13. A different view:

    I think Seven half expected Nine would agree on a deal to swap all tennis and all cricket, knowing the summer status now.
    But when Nine didn’t want to know about it, Seven were stuck with tennis and just doesn’t seem like they’re giving 100% like their former tennis days. One multi-channel, no studio, barely Aussie commentators and probably a small production unit/budget.
    Only problem is, we now have World Number 1 and French Open champ. Interest has peaked!

  14. seantheaussie

    Someone at Seven literally needs to be fired. Not only was it a bizarre decision that no reasonable person would have made, but they had immediate feedback on social media telling them that it was a bizarre decision.

  15. It certainly was frustrating after all the promos for Wimbledon featuring Ash to turn on & get a totally different match, as d entertaining as it was. Surely they could have used 7Mate as well.

  16. I completely agree … very, very poor form Seven.

    Since the Kyrgios-Thompson match started an hour or so before Barty-Zheng, Seven should have swapped matches once Ash Barty match started and given updates, etc. of the Kyrgios-Thompson match. Having said that, I’m sure that there would have been some who would have been equally upset had Seven done so.

    I also went to 7Plus hoping that I could stream the Barty-Zheng match but alas that was not to be.

    Solution … As per Nick Sculley’s tweet … multiple channels and/or streams.

    Didn’t Seven run multiple live streams for the Olympics? Why not the Tennis?

  17. I thought they did a good job showing both matches. The mens game started well before the womens and therefore people were locked in to that. They can’t show both on separate channels due to broadcast rights.

  18. Given the interest in Ash Barty Seven could probably have justified the cost of broadcasting both matches on 2 channels even if one was an overseas simulcast. People wouldn’t be that fussed if they didn’t have a studio host introducing it either to cut costs. If that is not possible, surely Ash Barty gets priority given her recent results and current position..

  19. Elizabeth H

    Outrageous and disgusting. You would think with the immediate responses on social media 7 would have made immediate changes and stuck with one game, preferably Ash Barty’s game.

    • seantheaussie

      Ash’s first set certainly wasn’t routine.

      Watching sport is vastly more fun when you get to cheer for one side. Aussie vs Aussie is mildly interesting, rather than emotionally engaging.

  20. Barty’s match should have been given priority but I’m sure they hoped the Kyrgios match would give them a ratings lift, what I can’t accept is the it’s in SD and not HD until nearing midnight. Back to Foxtel.

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