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Australia's form reversal timely for Nine

AAP logoAAP 28/11/2016 Warren Barnsley

Australia's form turnaround against South Africa in the day-night third Test may have prevented a summer ratings disaster for the Nine Network.

Cricket Australia and Nine will be hailing day-night Test cricket a success after the concept again proved a television ratings winner.

On all four days of the match against South Africa at Adelaide Oval, Nine's coverage banked a top-three spot in daily ratings, with a combination of good weather and Australian dominance helping the network beat its rivals in prime-time.

"If this third Test lived up to audience estimates - and I think it would have exceeded those expectations - they (Nine) would be very, very happy," Fusion Strategy analyst Steve Allen told AAP.

With the home side's humbling by the Proteas in the first two Tests resulting in a ratings drought, Nine and Cricket Australia were relying heavily on the day-night Test lifting its fortunes.

And thanks to the breakthrough victory of the summer in Adelaide, even better ratings for the Gabba pink-ball match against Pakistan next month could be expected.

"If the Australian side had played better leading up to this Test, it would have had higher audiences," he said.

"They would be breathing a sigh of relief that at least by the third Test, the Australian side looks like its got its act together and it's not going to be a ratings disaster for the summer.

"They were looking straight down the barrel of a really tough summer, both in terms of pure ratings and in comparison with the Big Bash League and tennis.

"So they would be very relieved."

The numbers were down from last year's maiden day-night Test, with the 2015 clash against New Zealand recording 700,000 more viewers despite being played over less time.

But with the tick of approval from Nine, Mr Allen expected day-night Test cricket to continue.

Locking in a pink-ball match against England in the 2017-18 home Ashes series would be the next priority for Cricket Australia, he said.

"Nothing beats the Australia-England clash - both for attendance and for ratings," Mr Allen said.

"Other cricket boards would be crazy not to join the party."

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