The Australian Open 2023 ratings are in and organisers are met with mixed emotions about how the tournament went.
Following a record-breaking fortnight in 2022, where a total of 12.5 million people tuned into the opening Grand Slam of the tennis calendar, this year’s edition failed to live up to the expectation.
According to Channel 9’s ratings snapshot, 10.064 millions fans switched the tennis on from January 16 until the men’s final on Sunday night.
A massive contribution to this number was the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas, with 2.311 million (peak audience) added to the total figure, making up just over 20 per cent for the fortnight.
Given the setback, there have been multiple theories as to why the 2023 slam didn’t perform as well as previous years.
Maybe it was because many Australian players didn’t progress to the later stages on the men’s and women’s singles draws.
Maybe it was the absence of Nick Kyrgios who has taken the tennis world by storm due to his unique behaviours and undoubtedly superstar talent.
Maybe Rafael Nadal’s early exit in the second round would’ve stripped plenty of views from the seasonal tennis fans while men’s world No.1 Carlos Alcaraz didn’t even jump on the court due to injury.
Ash Barty’s retirement also meant the Australian didn’t defend her title, which ironically was the highest rating Australian Open Women’s Final of all time at an average of 3.577 million viewers.
Compared to the battle between 2023 winner Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina, with a difference of over 2.5 million people (on average) for the evening tuning in.
Even Daniil Medvedev – who described the Aussie crowd in 2022 as having a “low IQ” – shock loss in the third round could’ve been a reason for the decrease in TV audience.
It also may have something to do with the scheduling of games, given the fact that some men and women’s singles matches began after 11pm, whilst some finished well into the early hours of the morning.
However, tournament director Craig Tiley and his team would be encouraged by the amount of supporters that came along to the Australian Open on foot, bringing total attendance and a new record of 902,213 over three weeks (including qualifying week).
Of the accumulated tally, 93 per cent was attributed to the main two weeks of the Grand Slam, with 839,192 on site from January 16 through to 29.
In total, an incredible 839,192 fans attended the Australian Open over two weeks – a tournament all-time record – bringing total attendance, including qualifying week, to 902,312. #AusOpen #AO2023
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2023
Tiley said pre-tournament that the target of 900,000 is a starting point after a COVID-19 ravaged couple of years, which limited the overall capacity.
According to SEN, Nine recently re-signed to host the Australian Open through until 2030 on a deal reportedly worth $500 million.
Channel 7 previously broadcast the tennis for over 40 years, until their competitor took over from 2020.
Australian Open ratings – Channel 9
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