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Seven’s last year of Melbourne Cup coverage pulls 1.836m viewers, up from previous year

Seven’s Melbourne Cup race attracted more viewers than 2017, pulling in a metro audience of 1.836m which saw Cross Counter win and shortly afterwards, the death of the sixth horse in five years, The Cliffsofmoher.

The result was up on last year’s 1.797m metro viewers, however down on 2016’s result, 1.986m and 2015’s metro audience of 2.068m.

The presentation pulled a metro audience of 1.439m while The Mounting Yard coverage captured a metro audience of 1.241m. All key advertising demographics – the 16-39s, 18-49s and 25-54s – were led by Melbourne Cup coverage.

Nationally, the race achieved 2.489m.

Yesterday’s coverage was the last for Seven, as the rights will switch to Ten next year. In September, Ten announced it had secured the broadcasting rights to the Melbourne Cup, in a five year deal worth $100m.

At the time, CEO Paul Anderson said he did not believe the network had overpaid for the rights. However Ten will have a difficult task on its hands, after the death of The Cliffsofmoher sparked outrage. Some viewers accused Seven of covering up and ‘ignoring’ what had happened, while others blamed punters and The Melbourne Cup itself.

Following the event, veteran Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney announced The Cliffsofmoher’s death, saying the horse’s misfortune was “so unfortunate” and “sad”.

Outside of the Melbourne Cup coverage, it was a strong performance from Seven. Its 6pm news bulletin pulled  a metro audience of 1.075m, while Nine News attracted 889,000.

Seven also had the most watched entertainment program, with Bride and Prejudice achieving 744,000 metro viewers. Bride and Prejudice pulled larger audiences than Ten’s Ambulance Australia, with 520,000 metro viewers and Nine’s metro audience of 402,000 for Family Food Fight.

The Good Doctor, Seven’s late evening show, also let its time slot, with 678,000 metro viewers.

According to OzTAM’s overnight preliminary ratings, Seven had the biggest evening share, at 24%. The channel beat Nine’s 16.2%, ABC’s 11.8% and Ten’s 11.8%, while SBS managed just 5.9%. From a network perspective, Seven Network achieved a 32.7% share of audience, Nine Network averaged 25.5% and Network Ten was behind ABC Network on shares of 16.9% and 16.5% respectively. SBS Network had a share of 8.4%.

Mumbrella has approached Seven for comment. Ten declined to comment.

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