Will the Swans’ bandwagon roll in 2010?

Redb Roar Rookie

By Redb, Redb is a Roar Rookie

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86 Have your say

    For a team that finished eleventh on the AFL ladder in 2009, you have to admire the loyalty of the Swans fans who turned up for their first game, with a crowd over 30,000.

    There the fans were in that first game against St Kilda covered in red and white from head to toe, cheering on the bloods in what became a tight enthralling game.

    For Sydney, as a sporting city, any crowd over 30,000 is decent no matter the code or sport.

    After round two, and the Swans demolition of the much fancied Adelaide Crows, the Swans now have a spring in the step. Or is that grease in their wheels?

    Almost immediately, the Swans are featuring more prominently in the sport pages of the Sydney papers.

    At least online.

    Prior to the AFL season it was a very low key build up for AFL in the Sydney media.

    The Sydney Morning Herald had even moved its AFL drop down tab to the far right, whilst the Daily Telegraph had relegated the AFL article block below boxing in its online version.

    This in the wake of the mighty Swans bandwagon of 2003- 2007, which came to a halt in 2009.

    In their heyday, 72,000 packed into ANZ Stadium to watch Sydney play Brisbane in a Preliminary Final.

    In 2007, the bandwagon still rolling from the 2005 and 2006 Grand Final appearances, they managed three crowds over 60,000 at ANZ Stadium, such were the winning wheels of the Swans wagon.

    Paul Roos has recruited well, maybe that crowd of 30,000 to the Swan’s first game of 2010 sensed a resurgence. Old wheels had been replaced and the bloods faithful could smell some blood on their opponents in 2010.

    Whilst the Crows are struggling with injuries and poor form, they’re difficult to beat at AAMI Stadium in Adelaide.

    The Swans smashed them in the first half. Rejuvenated with leg speed and traded players out to prove their former clubs wrong, the Swans have Top 8 next to their name all of a sudden.

    When you consider they took St Kilda to within an inch of defeat, the gulf between the Swans and other Top 8 contenders is not as far as many believed.

    Sydney loves a winner.

    Those crowds of 60,000 won’t happen in 2010, but the Swans, in Paul Roos’ last year, will not die easily and that bandwagon already has a shiny look.

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    The Crowd Says (86)

    • April 7th 2010 @ 8:23am
      Paul J said | April 7th 2010 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      Well written Red B.

      Just to play devil’s advocate – do you know the TV figures in Sydney for the Swans games? If they get 30K to the game but still only 100K watching at home then it’s more of the same this year.

      If i was running the Swans i think i’d prefer to have 20K at the game but 200K (or more) watching at home.

      • April 7th 2010 @ 8:27am
        Simmo said | April 7th 2010 @ 8:27am | ! Report

        TV revenue goes to the AFL. Swans get the money for bums on seats. Footy clubs will always prefer to have punters at the stadium rather than at home on the couch.

        • April 7th 2010 @ 8:54am
          Paul J said | April 7th 2010 @ 8:54am | ! Report

          Sure, but TV revenue is where the NRL will make it’s money to then spend on the clubs through grants, as well as development, marketing etc.

          Is this not the same for the AFL?

          • Roar Guru

            April 7th 2010 @ 9:01am
            Redb said | April 7th 2010 @ 9:01am | ! Report

            The AFL has both great crowds and a good TV deal with funds for development.

            I think TV ratings lag on field performance and more positive media coverage for the Swans. Their TV ratigns will grow if they remain competitive and start beating the more fancied teams.

            Ratings and crowds are fluid dynamics.

            The value of a national competition is that when one market is down another is doing well, at the moment Brisbane are the shining light in the non traditional markets.

            Crowds are vital for a game’s mojo. The Swans do well.

          • April 7th 2010 @ 10:49am
            Baz35 said | April 7th 2010 @ 10:49am | ! Report

            Far more revenue is to be had by bums on seats than someone flicking through the channels, particularly for the club who only gets a small share of the TV revenues anyway.

            And the TV revenue is determined once every five years (always significantly higher than League’s btw), and major sponsors often over similar timeframes, so week to week TV ratings have a far more benign impact on a clubs bottom line

            The Rugby League focus on TV ratings I suspect is due to the fact that the gap between it and the AFL is smaller there than on attendance, rather than any objective reasoning

      • April 7th 2010 @ 12:21pm
        JamesP said | April 7th 2010 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

        According to this website http://www.talkingfooty.com/tv_ratings_2010.php

        The ratings for the ANZ stadium game were only 98,000, so they still have a way to go

        In Brisbane (with a third of Sydneys population) the ratings for the Lions v Blues game was 131,000

    • April 7th 2010 @ 8:45am
      JK said | April 7th 2010 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      I actually hadn’t noticed that much press for the Swans, maybe not looking in the right places. It will probably take a bit more for the bandwagon to get going.

      Personally I won’t read too much into the loss against the Saints, the games are always close over the last couple of years, just something about the Swans style that shuts the Saints down, and they lost anyway. The Crows game however different story, they were intense on the ball and accurate with thier disposal’s, Crows gave them a few soft goals though. Impressed with Seaby and Mumford, had a fear Jolly was going to be the biggest loss from last year but Roos has done well.

    • April 7th 2010 @ 9:57am
      Jay said | April 7th 2010 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      good crowd, well done to the swans. they go about their business in a more professional manner than the new gws cowboys (thus they get more support and respect from the sydney people, even though it is largely dependent on their performance).

      with that size crowd, not about extra revenue they might earn, but it would have been electric at the scg.

    • April 7th 2010 @ 10:26am
      LK said | April 7th 2010 @ 10:26am | ! Report

      This article hasn’t attracted the comments I thought it might. You know, “Iron Chef beats Swans matches in the ratings, yada yada yada…”

      Anyway, as a Swans fan there is plenty to be happy about. The results of the first two rounds have been great. The young kids coming through look impressive. Also, the game plan seems to have evolved since the flag (18 goals against the Crowbots!).

      • April 7th 2010 @ 12:22pm
        JamesP said | April 7th 2010 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

        There are many NRL games on Foxtel that get beaten by the Iron Chef too:)

      • Roar Guru

        April 7th 2010 @ 12:55pm
        Redb said | April 7th 2010 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

        Like the description ;Crowbots; – suits them well. When the programming is working uninterupted they are hard to stop but if you pluck out a wire or two they malfunction 🙂

      • April 7th 2010 @ 4:55pm
        Paul J said | April 7th 2010 @ 4:55pm | ! Report


        The Iron Chef situation is still in effect with the Swans and the Lions and it will be with GWS and the Gold Coast. It will be in effect for the Storm if the NRL can manage FTA coverage with the next TV rights and it will be in effect when the NRL goes to Perth in 5 years.

        The next code to get decent TV ratings away from their heartland will be the first.

        • Roar Guru

          April 7th 2010 @ 5:34pm
          Dogs Of War said | April 7th 2010 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

          It’s a funny situation. There is more than enough room for AFL and NRL to co-exist. They offer different products, and both require a couple of generations of TV exposure in the non-heartland states to build that support, and get people used to the other product.

          I really do hope the legisation is changed so that sport can be shown on the secondary channels. It’s a win for all sports lovers around the country, and an even larger win for the sports themselves.

          • Roar Guru

            April 7th 2010 @ 5:45pm
            Dogz R Barkn said | April 7th 2010 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

            Sensible post – agree 100%.

            Further to that – people keep ignoring the fact that about 50% of the Australian population has little interest in sport – that goes for Melbourne as much as anywhere else.

            These are people that all sports can try and attract, and of course they should, they would be remiss in their fiduciary duties if they failed to do so (I’m talking about all the codes).

          • April 8th 2010 @ 10:54am
            Lazza said | April 8th 2010 @ 10:54am | ! Report

            Both codes have been ‘expanding’ since the the early 1990’s but there’s no evidence that they are becoming truly national sports. Good crowds but poor TV ratings just confirms that it’s the expat factor at work rather than converting new fans.

            In pro sport it’s all about TV ratings these days – that’s where the majority of the money comes from.

            • Roar Guru

              April 8th 2010 @ 11:19am
              Redb said | April 8th 2010 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              I think the Brisbane Lions are well beyond the expat factor. Not dominant but a strong No.2.

              TV ratings in heartlands still provide the bread and butter, they’re the base, with expansion providing the jam and at times, honey.

              • April 8th 2010 @ 11:39am
                Rod said | April 8th 2010 @ 11:39am | ! Report

                They’d still be behind the Union mob, the Reds will pull decent crowds when they have a sustained period of good Union on the pitch, they’ll have no problem competing with the Lions for crowds.

                As for TV ratings, if the Reds had FTA, more QLDers would watch them over the Lions guaranteed.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2010 @ 1:31pm
                Redb said | April 8th 2010 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

                I doubt you can guarantee that Rod.

              • April 8th 2010 @ 1:40pm
                Rod said | April 8th 2010 @ 1:40pm | ! Report


                They have been garbage for 10 years and the Reds still average 20k.

              • April 8th 2010 @ 1:40pm
                JamesP said | April 8th 2010 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

                The Lions have been in front of the Reds in QLD since they premiership hatrick in 01 – 03. Their crowds have now built to a comfortable 30k average (give or take), and solid tv ratings (130,000) as I posted above which are good figures for that sized market. The Reds are not of FTA for the same reason the A-League is not on FTA – no one wants to whatch RU or soccer, apart from the International games.

              • April 8th 2010 @ 1:44pm
                Matt said | April 8th 2010 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

                Its a close second with the Reds. Depends on form more or less for 2nd/3rd in Brisvagas.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2010 @ 2:53pm
                AndyRoo said | April 8th 2010 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

                JamesP, either your a fantical AFL fan or you don’t live in Brisbane.

                “The Reds are not of FTA for the same reason the A-League is not on FTA – no one wants to whatch RU or soccer, apart from the International games.”

                If the Reds were on FTA then they would give the Lions a run for their money.
                The reason their not on FTA though is the way their sport is stuctured it gets more money from pay TV and it can’t afford to turn that down.

                The Lions don’t get the coverage they get on FTA purely on merit either, it’s been essentially subsidised by the AFL’s strength in other markets for a long time and is only now getting to the point where they justify it themselves.

                Edit: Rod’s already said it. Unions been in a lul, anyone who watched it prior to this season could see why but your one of the AFL fans that understimate other codes JamesP.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2010 @ 3:07pm
                AndyRoo said | April 8th 2010 @ 3:07pm | ! Report


                The Pay TV ratings dont break it up by state but the Reds ratings look very comaprable to the Lions ratings in Brisbane despite one being on FTA (a huge advantage) and the other on pay TV.

    • April 7th 2010 @ 11:01am
      ac said | April 7th 2010 @ 11:01am | ! Report

      The simple fact is that even when the Swans did get good crowds to the gams the TV Ratings where Poor. I think this has to do a lot with Aussie Footy. It is better to see live at a ground. I went to a Sydney Hawthorn match at the Olympic Stadium and it was great. The next week watch the swans on tv and you miss half the action. Rugby League is a much better product on TV because of its nature. Sorry, but thats how i see it. AFL is much better LIVE at the game. I think the people of Sydney are a little more fickle than Melbournians. If the swans win then its good but if they are not winning they are not very interested. I dont think that will change. But best wishes to the Swannies. I think selling AFL to Western Sydney is gonna be a lot harder than the AFL thinks myself. But, at least they are trying . They are cashed up and so good on them too. But in Sydney Parra, West Tigers and Penrith are a big thing to bring down

      • Roar Guru

        April 7th 2010 @ 3:31pm
        Redb said | April 7th 2010 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

        No probs with that.

        I do think your last sentence is wrong though, it’s not about bringing any other team down for GWS. This self defeating rhetoric is puzzling. Why can’t the teams co-exist, isn’t that what the NRL want for the Storm, coz they cant seriously beleive otherwise.

        • Roar Guru

          April 7th 2010 @ 5:39pm
          Dogs Of War said | April 7th 2010 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

          Agree with you Redb (for once). Really it’s about how long the NRL/AFL are prepared to bankroll the team, because it will be 10-15 years at the very least before it can stand on it’s own 2 feet. It’s one of the issues that have cropped up in the News Ltd exit plan before the IC is implemented. News Ltd understand the importance of bankrolling the Storm for another 5 years, while the rest of the clubs just want the cash for there own club, without thinking what the Storm bring to the table via TV rights, and larger support markets. I think AFL clubs will feel the same if they feel GWS is just a giant sinkhole of money, and it affects their clubs adversely (ie financial strife, AFL unwilling to assist).

          • Roar Guru

            April 7th 2010 @ 5:49pm
            Dogz R Barkn said | April 7th 2010 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

            The Lions and Swans show how important it is to have a presence in every capital city – the cost to the AFL is nothing compared to the riches delivered via sponsorships and TV rights.

            It’s the exact same deal with the Storm, and will be with a revitalised Perth team – it costs a bit, but that’s nothing compared to what it brings to the game over the long haul.

            I’ve already written somewhere else about the basic economics of the 17th and 18th AFL teams – that’s one extra game per round, a minimum of a 12.5% increase in TV rights, or $100 million over 5 years.

            More than likely, that will be a $300 million increase over 5 years.

            When you look at it that way – the decision to create 17th and 18th teams is an absolute no brainer.

    • April 7th 2010 @ 11:12am
      bazza said | April 7th 2010 @ 11:12am | ! Report

      It is good to see the Sydney media finally giving the swans and AFL the coverage that they truly deserve

      • April 8th 2010 @ 12:35am
        cuzybros cuz said | April 8th 2010 @ 12:35am | ! Report

        i disagree with you bazza

      • April 8th 2010 @ 1:48pm
        Matt said | April 8th 2010 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

        Paid ads on Channel 10 and the newspapers, free tickets and compulsory showing of games written into the TV Contract is hardly the AFL “getting the coverage it deserves”

        If it went on ratings, all AFL related media would be shown at 3am after a dodgy European movie on SBS on a Tuesday.

        • Roar Guru

          April 8th 2010 @ 1:57pm
          Redb said | April 8th 2010 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

          yes i think the Herald Sun would run far less articles on its team in Melbourne as well if it didn’t own it.

          again this is not about tv ratings its about crowds for the Swans.

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