Andy Murray weighs in on disappointing Australian Open TV numbers
Andy Murray has provided an explanation for why Channel 9’s TV ratings during the 2023 Australian Open were much lower than they were the previous year.
The former No 1 thinks the poor ratings were caused by the absence of Nick Kyrgios, Ashleigh Barty, and Roger Federer from the draw.
Viewership of the just concluded event has decreased by about 40%, according to the Australian TV network, which recently extended its partnership with the first Grand Slam of the year in a $500 million deal that runs through 2030.
Barty, the Melbourne winner the previous year, announced her retirement from competitive tennis shortly after.
Later, in 2022, Serena Williams, a 23-time Major winner, and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer also said goodbye to the sport.
The withdrawal of former World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and doubles champion Kyrgios owing to injuries further hampered the competition’s ability to draw eyes.
Murray said on social media that he believes it might only be domestic viewers of the Australian Open suffered a decline in interest, not those worldwide.
He posted a screenshot of an article claiming that Warner Bros.’ multi-regional streaming service Discovery+ has increased its streaming audience.
The most watched match, according to the cited article, was Murray’s epic five-set victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis.
“Surely a drop off to be expected in Australia with no Federer, Barty or Kyrgios. Not sure that’s the case in every region though,” Murray tweeted.
Murray hopes that the tail-end of his career can be something that provides fans with entertainment.
Speaking after his exit from the Australian Open, Murray said: “I think obviously you never know exactly when the end is going to be.
“I would like to go out playing tennis like this, where I’m competing with the best players in the world in the biggest events and doing myself justice.
“There were maybe times the last year or so where I didn’t really feel like I was playing well, and I didn’t enjoy the way that I was playing.
“Yeah, those sacrifices and that effort that I put in allowed me to get through those matches and play at a high level that I think was entertaining for the people watching.
I felt good about the way that I was playing. It’s more enjoyable for me when I’m playing like that when I’m coming into a major event and really believing that I can do some damage.
But, yeah, I can have a deeper run than the third round of a slam, there’s no question about that. Obviously draws can open up for you.
“I need to also help myself with that. If I was playing at this level last year, I probably wouldn’t be ranked 50, 60 in the world. It’s up to me to try and change that.”
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