Fox Sports records big increase in Adelaide 500 ratings

Jessica Yates, Mark Skaife, Craig Lowndes, and Neil Crompton were part of Fox Sports’ telecasts

Fox Sports has hailed its record-breaking Superloop Adelaide 500 ratings with significant increases across each day of the telecast.

This year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season-opener featured a number of new elements which should have had a positive impact on interest in the event.

Not only did the new Ford Mustang make its debut, there was also a revamp to the event timetable which saw twilight sessions, including Race 1 on Saturday, and a first-ever Thursday practice session for the Supercars Championship field.

The event also marked the debut of Craig Lowndes as a television pundit for Fox Sports, which has drawn criticism for the axing of his predecessor, Russell Ingall.

According to Fox Sports, its ratings for the Adelaide 500 were its highest ever.

It claims increases of 85 percent increase (year on year) in ratings for Supercars Trackside on Wednesday night, 97 percent for the rescheduled Practice 1, 25 percent for Friday’s Armor All Qualifying session, 48 percent for Saturday’s Armor All Top 10 Shootout, and 20 percent for Sunday’s Race 2 of the season.

On Sunday, with the exception of a pre-season Australian Rules Football fixture in 10th position, Adelaide 500 programs swept the subscription television (STV) ratings top 15 according to data reported by Mediaweek and TV Tonight.

The top-rating segment of the telecast (which is coded into multiple programs for ratings purposes) drew 227,000 viewers on Fox Sports compared to 183,000 on the corresponding day of 2018 when an overseas test match between South Africa and Australia topped STV ratings.

Supercars’ highest-rating program segment finished a close second to an India v Australia one day international on the Saturday of this year’s event with 152,000 viewers, but still beat the highest-rating segment from Saturday of 2018 at 145,000 viewers.

Peter Campbell, Head of Fox Sports, said, “What a fantastic way to start the season with an action-packed weekend of racing on the streets of Adelaide.

“The Adelaide street circuit always lends itself to great racing and great drama, and we had plenty of both across all days of racing.

“I’d like to commend Craig Lowndes in his first appearance as a presenter alongside Mark Skaife and Jess Yates – who fitted in seamlessly to our commentary line-up as well as the broadcast team that bring the series to life.

“We look forward to the next championship round at the Australian Grand Prix when Supercars and the inaugural Formula 1 race of 2019 light up our screens together all on the one weekend.”

On free-to-air, Network 10 picked up small increases in five-city metro figures for the two 250km races.

Sunday’s podium ratings jumped 100,000 viewers from 2018 to 2019 on Network 10, although this year’s figures may have been affected by the delay to the race which saw a later, time-certain finish that would have fallen into the podium’s coded rating block.

In any event, the figures represent an improvement on 2018 ratings.

The Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, which incorporates Supercars’ Beaurepeaires Melbourne 400, takes place from March 14-17.

Ratings: Fox Sports

Metric 2018 2019 Change
Sunday top-rating segment Live: Supercars Adelaide 183,000 (STV 2nd) Live: Supercars Adelaide 227,000 (STV 1st) 24.0%
Saturday top-rating segment Live: Supercars Adelaide 145,000 (STV 3rd) Live: Supercars Adelaide 152,000 (STV 2nd) 4.8%

Ratings: Network 10 Five-city metro

Program segment 2018 2019 Change
Sunday race 344,000 347,000 0.9%
Sunday podium 284,000 385,000 35.6%
Saturday race 231,000 245,000 6.1%
Saturday podium Not in Top 20 Not in Top 20 N/A

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