Channel 10's first Melbourne Cup broadcast in 18 years loses half a million viewers compared to Seven's coverage in 2018
The Melbourne Cup, known as 'the race that stops the nation', did not deliver exactly blockbuster ratings for Channel 10 on Tuesday.
According to Mumbrella, the network's coverage of the event drew 500,000 fewer viewers than Channel Seven's coverage in 2018.
Channel 10 had reportedly paid $ 100million to secure the broadcast rights for the Melbourne Cup Carnival until 2023.
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Disappointing: The Melbourne Cup, known as 'the race that stops the nation', did not deliver exactly blockbuster ratings for Channel 10 on Tuesday. Pictured: Channel 10 racing presenter Francesca Cumani and horse trainer Peter Moody at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday
This year marked the first time Channel 10 had screened the race in 18 years, after the rights were lost to Seven.
Figures suggest that 1.32 million metro viewers tuned in to watch the 3pm race on Tuesday, which was won by Vow and Declare.
Channel 10 is disputing these numbers, however, saying the total metro audience was in fact 1.44 million because the race finished at a later time.
Even with the revised figures, it was still the lowest viewership for a Melbourne Cup broadcast in five years.
Poor ratings: Channel 10's coverage represented the lowest viewership for a Melbourne Cup broadcast in five years. Pictured: Craig Williams riding Vow and Declare to victory on Tuesday
In 2018, Seven recorded 1,836 million metro viewers, while coverage of the race between 2015 and 2017 averaged around 1,943 million.
The dip of 500,000 viewers comes after ABC's 7.30 aired a special investigation into the dark side of the horse racing industry in October.
Animal welfare activists also took credit for Taylor Swift pulling out of the event after she was scheduled to perform.
Swift was announced in September as a headline performer on Cup Day.
But the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses launched a social media campaign asking Swift to say #NupToTheCup and, within a fortnight, the singer had withdrawn due to 'logistically impossible' scheduling.
Days before the event, model and Lexus ambassador Megan Gale also abandoned plans to attend.
Late scratching: Animal welfare activists took credit for Taylor Swift (pictured) pulling out of the event after she was scheduled to perform
Meanwhile, Australians took to Twitter to claim that Channel 10's coverage of the race was 'disgraceful'.
Many said the broadcast rights should be given back to Seven.
The coverage was marred by technical glitches and the absence of racing commentator Bruce McAvaney, who hosts Seven's coverage.
Backlash: Meanwhile, Australians took to Twitter to claim that Channel 10's coverage of the race was 'disgraceful'. Pictured: Studio 10 hosts Georgia Love Kerri-Anne Kennerley
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