SBS’ three-hour train documentary The Ghan averages more than 400,000 viewers

Cricket has dominated the TV ratings for the past few weeks, but last night a three-hour commercial-free documentary on SBS gained traction.

The Ghan, a “slow TV train journey”, aimed to put viewers in the passenger seat of the train as it travels from Adelaide to Darwin. The show ran from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.

According to OzTAM’s overnight preliminary ratings, the first leg of the journey was watched by 436,000 metro viewers across Australia, followed by the second leg’s 406,000.

The third part of the journey captured 392,000 metro viewers. Most of The Ghan’s audience came from Melbourne.

The documentary aired on broadcast television and SBS On Demand and also featured on Facebook Live with commentary by SBS The Feed’s Mark Humphries.

The SBS live video had 22,000 views, 282 likes, 291 comments and 66 shares at time of publication.

Radio Ghan with Mark Humphries

All aboard! Mark Humphries’ dulcet tones are here to accompany you for Australia’s greatest train journey.#TheGhan

Posted by SBS Australia on Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Aside from The Ghan,  it was cricket and news which dominated Sunday evening.

The third session of the Ashes, which saw Australia take four wickets, was the most-watched show of the day, averaging 1.250m metro viewers. It also topped the key advertising demographics, which are defined by the 16-39s, 18-49s and 25-54s age brackets.

That was followed by session two’s 1.072m metro viewers and session one’s 880,000 metro viewers.

Over on Ten, the Big Bash League delivered a sizeable audience for Ten, with 625,000 metro viewers tuning in to the first session between the Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers.

The second session captured 798,000 metro viewers, according to Ten’s confirmed times.

Nine had the most-watched news program of the evening with 1.191m metro viewers, followed by Seven News Sunday’s 944,000 metro viewers.

ABC News had 630,000 metro viewers.

On the free-to-air multi channels, the most-watched program was 2018 Summer of Tennis’ Brisbane International on 7mate, which saw Nick Kyrgios defeat Ryan Harrison to win the men’s final.

Overall, Nine won the night with a main channel share of 17.1%. Ten’s share was 15.9% and Seven’s share was 15.6%. With the help of The Ghan, SBS had a share of 9.3%, just behind the ABC’s 10.8%.


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