FOX SPORTS has posted its best stand-alone round of Supercars coverage since Sandown’s second event of the Repco Supercars Championship schedule, thanks to strong audiences tuning in to Townsville 2.0.
Despite having only a week to promote the fact the round was happening, Fox’s average race audience jumped 10% week to week as they returned to their exclusive rights – with no sharing with Channel 7 this time around – for the second North Queensland event.
After pulling their best Saturday race audience (135,000) since Race 3 at Sandown, Sunday was even more solid.
120,000 watched the midday Race 18 while 140,000 tuned in to see the belter Townsville finale’ as Cam Waters held out Shane van Gisbergen in one of the best races this year so far, making it the fourth most-watched race on Fox Sports this year.
Logged separately from the race, the Race 19 podium drew 150,000 in to see hear Matt Naulty’s audio stylings as Cam and co collected their silverware.
This helped the post-race show, Supercars Trackside, draw a very healthy 92,000 as the team dissected the weekend.
Saturday’s race 17 drew an average audience of 135,000 on Fox Sports, a nine percent gain over their largest audience last weekend when the coverage was split with Channel 7.
It appears the decision to shift the race to later in the day to avoid a clash with the adjacent North Queensland Cowboys game paid dividends with the healthy audience, despite plenty of footy competition on Saturday.
Five games of footy – either AFL or NRL – and their supporting pre or post-game shows were all that headed the Townsville sprint race in the Saturday ratings, the car race the 11th most-watched show on Subscription TV.
Worth noting: ignore what is reported in the official OzTam reports, which suggest it was Practice that drew the 135,000 number on Saturday. We’ve confirmed with our sources that the ratings reporting agency didn’t keep up with the last-minute schedule changes at Townsville (ironically put in place to avoid a clash with the Cowboys NRL clash) and as such recorded an incorrect number against the various Supercars-coded sessions.
Townsville’s total cumulative audience was up 16% across the two events this year, rewarding the investment from the local council and QLD Government for stepping up to put on the second round two years in a row.
FOX Sports’ audience remains up just over 1% year-on-year to the same point in the calendar, while Supercars overall average race audiences are up 15% to the same point.
The next stop, borders permitting, will be Queensland Raceway in August – slated to be another Fox Sports / Kayo-only round.
While the original event planned for that weekend, the Sydney SuperNight, was set to be shown on Channel 7, the free-to-air broadcaster will understandably be keen to keep their powder dry for some prime-time Supercars racing.
FAST FACTS: THE MIDDAY RACE
Generally starting at or around midday, the second race in the three-race Supercars weekend Sprint format is generally the least-watched of any given round as people go about their Sundays before settling in front of the couch later in the day.
Race 18 on Sunday was a solid performer for Fox Sports with the 120,000 audience the second largest ‘midday’ race of the year so far. Here’s how they’ve stacked up:
Race 4, Sandown: 139,000
Race 7, Symmons: 116,000
Race 10, The Bend: 111,000
Race 13, Darwin: 101,000 (Channel 7 drew 249,000, compared to 388,000 for the later race)
Race 18, Townsville 120,000
Last year the ‘midday’ race averaged 121,000 for Fox. The five contested so far this season? exactly the same.
AFTER launching to a metro audience of 808,000 one week ago, Channel 9 will be pleased that their reality hit Beauty and the Geek retained much of its audience in week two.
After Monday night’s show dropped to 622,000 and Tuesday’s to 577,000, tough competition on Sunday night saw the first makeover episode of the series draw 776,000 in Australia’s metro areas on Channel 9.
While the OzTam ratings chart indicated a much lower number, TV Tonight reported that a coding error caused the much lower number in the low 400s to be initially reported, which would have given Channel 9 exec’s a heart attack.
Clearly driven by Australia’s version of Mansell Mania, BATG went up against Australian Survivor’s launch episode (a rare hit for Channel 10 at 752,000) and Farmer Wants a Wife on Sunday night, beating both.
Clearly Channel 9’s audiences are bolstered by the enormous number of motorsport people tuning in to the show, almost all of them, we understand, for the first time.
The Ladies Man will be in action once again tonight (Monday) and Tuesday this week.
Working full time in the motorsport industry since 2004, Richard has established himself within the group of Australia’s core motorsport broadcasters, covering the support card at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix for Channel 10, the Bathurst 12 Hour for Channel 7 and Porsche Carrera Cup & Touring Car Masters for FOX Sports’ Supercars coverage. Pretends to be a PR guy / Journalist and sometimes photographer to make ends meet when not yelling at a television in a padded room.
You might also like!
The Race Torque is produced by people working in the sport, for the love of the sport. TRT tells the stories less told, adds insight and informed opinion about current events and adds great imagery and video content to the mix. TRT: The stories behind the sport.