Even as Novak Djokovic continues to march towards history, his Australian Open final against Daniil Medvedev recorded a new low for TV audience in the country.
Djokovic defeated Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in Sunday’s final to win his ninth Australian Open title and 18th major overall.
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The match, which was telecast on Channel Nine, was watched by 1.173 million people across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, down from just over 1.5 million last year. It was the lowest rating night time men’s final ever and the lowest men’s final since 2003.
The rescheduled Australian Open, which was pushed to a February start because of the pandemic, has taken a ratings hit. Till Sunday’s final, the TV audience was down by nearly a third as compared to 2020.
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Overall, the average viewership for all matches in the key five city metro market prior to Djokovic’s clash with Medvedev was down from 522,000 per day last year to 366,000.
Naomi Osaka’s final win over Jennifer Brady was watched by just under 850,000 people. That figure was also down from 1.171 million last year.
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Joanna Barnes, national head of trading at media agency PHD Media, told The Australian, “A lack of crowds also impacts viewer experience too, and an injured Federer who we generally love to watch and guarantees thrilling matches has been a huge loss to this tournament.”
A Nine spokesman said the lower ratings on free-to-air were largely offset by record viewing on digital as people streamed matches on desktop and mobile.
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