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Record AGP ratings for Fox Sports, increase for Network 10

Daniel Herrero

Monday 18th March, 2019 - 5:56pm

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Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok, who is seen on Fox Sports in Australia pic: Karun Chandhok Twitter

Fox Sports has achieved record ratings for its telecast of the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix while Network 10 saw an increase on its 2018 figures.

The pay television network reported an average 320,000 viewers for its race telecast and a peak of 514,000.

This year’s season-opener, won in comprehensive fashion by Valtteri Bottas, is therefore the highest-rating F1 race on Fox Sports ever, a title previously held by last year’s AGP.

F1 Qualifying and Practice 3 also broke records for Fox Sports, as did the final Supercars race of the weekend, which became its most-watched from Albert Park.

Yesterday’s F1 race was the first shown in ultra high definition by Fox Sports, which takes sister network Sky Sports’ telecasts for its F1 coverage.

Whilst disappointing for Daniel Ricciardo, our customers just loved the great racing and for the first time ever having F1 available in 4K Ultra HD,” said Head of Fox Sports, Peter Campbell.

“Our Australian Grand Prix coverage was boosted by the Supercars Melbourne 400 which also recorded its highest ever audience for this event, reflecting the great crowds at the track and adding to a big weekend on sports that included record audiences watching our F1, Supercars and NRL broadcasts on Foxtel, Kayo and our other digital services Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go.

“With the F1 season now underway we look forward to bringing fans our unrivalled motorsport coverage throughout the year, with every event exclusively live and in 4K Ultra HD on Fox Sports.”

On free-to-air, 10 pulled in an average 964,000 viewers nationally (peak 1.14 million) according to Mediaweek.

Its five-city metro figure of 689,000 viewers reversed most of its losses from the year prior, and topped its timeslot across those markets.

The Grand Prix also enjoyed its biggest four-day crowd since 2005 and a record Friday turnout in its Melbourne era.

Helping the television and attendance metrics would have been the avoidance of a clash with Round 1 of the AFL Premiership Season, with the AGP having been held a week earlier than in 2018.

The weekend did, however, see the kick-off of another major Fox Sports property in the form of the National Rugby League season.

The results come after Fox Sports also drew record figures for its Adelaide 500 coverage.

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