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Nick Kyrgios’ first Australian Open game can’t match Chris Gayle’s Big Bash fireworks

Nick Kyrgios’ first night win in the Australian Open on Seven drew a prime time metro audience of 644,000 viewers, but the tennis bad boy could not match controversial cricketer Chris Gayle’s theatrics in the Big Bash League which drew 1.02m on Channel Ten.

Australia’s big hope in the tournament Kyrgios beat Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets with Seven keen to promote how its 7Tennis app had broken the previous record for live streams, claiming 550,105 streams on day one of the Grand Slam breaking the previous live streaming record of 488,000 set last year in the Melbourne Cup.

But more viewers were enthralled by what may well have been the final appearance of Gayle, who was at the centre of a storm of sexism accusations a fortnight ago. The West Indian hit 51 runs off his first 12 balls as his Melbourne Renegades team failed to chase down the Adelaide Strikers’ total, and were eliminated from the Big Bash competition.

The first session of the match managed 820,000 viewers including those watching on One in Perth, according to OzTam overnight metro rankings for the confirmed session times.  While the win is a significant summer victory for Ten and the Big Bash, which has performed well throughout the December/January break, it was narrowly pipped on main channel audience share with Seven on 18.3 and Ten on 18.1 per cent, level with Nine.

According to the Oztam Preliminary Ratings Outside of news and sport the ABC’s Back Roads program, hosted by Heather Ewart, continued to perform well in the 8:00pm slot with an audience of 808,000.

Nine’s most watched show of the night, outside of news, was To Catch a Smuggler which had 566,000. Despite Seven having a strong lead-in with the Tennis, Nine’s news bulletin won both the 6:00pm and 6:30pm time slots with 1.157m and 1.141, respectively, compared with 945,000 and 842,000 for Seven.

In main channel audience Nine was still competitive, pulling 18.1 per cent to tie with Ten. The ABC had 13.1 per cent and SBS 3.6 per cent.

Data OzTAM Pty Limited 2015. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

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