Victoria Bitter ODI Series v India
Australia-India ODIs a ratings hit
Australia's ODI series a ratings winner for the Nine Network, and the first Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars T20 will be live on Channel Nine
19 January 2016, 08:51 AM AEST
The Victoria Bitter ODI series has produced some of the highest television ratings of this Australian summer of cricket, with a peak national audience of more than 2.7 million people tuning in on the Nine Network for Australia's series-clinching win at the MCG on Sunday night.
Having peaked at more than 2.6 million nationally for both of the opening two matches of the series, game three peaked at 2.784 million around the country on the Nine Network as Glenn Maxwell steered Australia to a third consecutive victory.
The 1.392 million average across the five Australian metro cities during Sunday night's run chase makes it the second-highest rating session of cricket this summer, behind only the 1.614 million that tuned in for the first night session of the historic Day-Night Test in Adelaide in late November.
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The ODI series has been responsible for three of the top five highest metro ratings this summer, with two matches still to come in Canberra on Wednesday and Sydney on Saturday.
The ratings for this series means that cricket has delivered 12 of the top 30 most-watched sports programs on Australian television since the start of 2015, according to numbers from Oztam.
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Four of the 12 came during the ICC World Cup in February and March last year, five have been other ODI matches outside the World Cup while the other three have been from the Nine Network’s coverage of Test matches.
"We're delighted with the ratings for this ODI series so far, as we have been for previous one-day series," said Nine's executive director of cricket Brad McNamara.
"It's been widely reported that one-day international cricket is dying, but that's not something we're seeing in the ratings."
The pulling power of the Indian team has also played a major role in some strong crowd numbers so far during this ODI series, with tickets for games four and five also selling well.
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Around 15,000 fans were in attendance for the opening match of the series at the WACA Ground on Tuesday, an impressive crowd for what was essentially a day game in a week where plenty of Australians returned to work after the festive period.
Almost 29,000 people saw Australia chase down another record target in game two at The Gabba on Friday night, with the matches in Perth and Brisbane being the final international fixtures at those venues this summer.
A total of 47,638 fans watched game three at the MCG on Sunday night and another bumper crowd is expected for the second T20 international at the venue on January 29.
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Another 10,500 fans are expected at Canberra's Manuka Oval on Wednesday and another 35,000 anticipated at the SCG on Saturday, while more big crowds are tipped for the T20 internationals in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney that follow.
Meanwhile, the Nine Network has confirmed it will broadcast the three Twenty20 Internationals between the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars and India, to be played as double-headers alongside the men's matches.
The first match, in Adelaide on January 26, will be shown on Channel 9 from 2:30pm and will be hosted by Wide World of Sports presenter, Yvonne Sampson.
The following matches in Melbourne (January 29) and Sydney (January 31) will be broadcast on GEM.
Nine Network’s Head of Sport, Steve Crawley said: "There’s something special about the Southern Stars, and what better way to spend Australia Day than by watching the champion T20 women’s team in the afternoon against India and then the men at night."
The Nine Network has a number of experts in place for the three T20s, including Southern Stars legend Mel Jones, cricket.com.au reporter and Middlesex captain Isabelle Westbury and Nine Network reporter Caty Price, plus unprecedented access to both teams.