A-League strong, but AFL continues TV ratings dominance

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By Cutback, Cutback is a Roar Rookie

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    Foxtel’s massive investment in AFL is continuing to pay off, with AFL games securing good ratings over the past weekend.

    In a weekend of no live pay TV NRL coverage, the Friday night St Kilda vs Fremantle game was the top ratings sports event, with 271,000 national viewers.

    The Saturday Adelaide vs GWS Giants game was watched by 194,000 viewers, while West Coast Eagles vs Hawthorn received 160,000 viewers.

    Also on Saturday the Waratahs vs Rebels match was watched 149,000 viewers, a rare entry this season for Australian Super Rugby TV figures to crack the 100,000 viewer mark.

    Ratings for Super Rugby have suffered in 2012 thanks to the lack of a strong and successful Australian side like the title-winning Queensland Reds of last year.

    The AFL has continued to rate well on Fox Sports, sharing top billing throughout the season with the NRL.

    Each week the NRL and AFL have dominated the highest ratings spots.

    Yesterday the A-League grand final was watched by an audience of 200,600, a decent figure when compared to the 2011 and 2010 grand finals.

    But it was not the top-rating sports program on pay TV on Sunday, with the Geelong vs Richmond and Melbourne vs Bulldogs matches pulling in 224,100 and 209,500 each respectively.

    In 2011 the A-league grand final was watched by 204,000 viewers while the 2010 edition had an audience of 176,000.

    Yesterday the grand final post-game show watched by 156,700 and the pre-game show was watched by 52,400.

    The A-League grand final was up against rugby league’s City-Country Origin game on Nine in the same timeslot, and that match was watched by a metro total people audience of 478,000.

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    The Crowd Says (101)

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 3:04pm
      JamesP said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

      Careful Cutback, you might just put a few of the soccer fraternity in their place 🙂

      I think its quite fair and reasonable to say that the vast majority of the country did not even know the A-league Grand Final was on yesterday…

      Beware the sleeping giant 🙂

      • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:18pm
        Norm said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

        The Australian soccer scribe said 1 mill woukdmaje be watching the A-league!!

        • April 29th 2012 @ 2:20pm
          Reality check said | April 29th 2012 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

          Go to any workplace and there is discussions on AFL footy in the southern states, NRL in the northern. A-League NEVER discussed. Bugger all interest.

          A-League soccer has got a LONG way to go to command anything more than nominal amounts of tv monies. It is summer ‘filler’ tv, like re-runs of Growing Pains on Gem or old WSC matches during rain breaks.

          • Roar Guru

            April 29th 2012 @ 2:59pm
            Fussball ist unser leben said | April 29th 2012 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

            Depends on your workplace. At my workplace the conversation is 100% football – HAL, EPL, Bundesliga, La Liga, UCL, Serie A, SPL, Ligue1, J-League, K-League, MLS, World Cup, etc. etc.

            Not a single person has any interest in AFL or NRL.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 9:58pm
              ManInBlack said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

              How’s the decor down at Whitlam Square??

    • Roar Guru

      April 23rd 2012 @ 3:11pm
      The Cattery said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

      Considering there was no NRL on the weekend on Fox, the AFL’s ratings were ok, but they weren’t out of this world.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 23rd 2012 @ 3:25pm
        stam said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

        Could the same logic therefore be applied to the grand final?
        No need to defend the aleague, it’s doing as well as to be expected, there’s plenty of positives to look at

        • April 23rd 2012 @ 3:36pm
          Matt F said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

          It could probably be applied to all of the sports that were shown this weekend. They all seem to be at about the same level that they are without when the NRL is shown.

          Actually Super Rugby seems to have risen. I guess that NRL fans decided to watch that instead, which makes sense I guess.

        • Roar Guru

          April 23rd 2012 @ 4:10pm
          The Cattery said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

          not having a go at anything, as Matt F says, everything is pretty much where you’d expect it to be, there’s no real story here.

          • Roar Rookie

            April 23rd 2012 @ 5:35pm
            stam said | April 23rd 2012 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

            I know your not, I was stating that it was unnecessary for you to defend the aleague by downplaying the afl.

    • Roar Guru

      April 23rd 2012 @ 3:35pm
      mds1970 said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

      The big increase in the Super 15 rugby union may well be explained by the lack of NRL games. We’ll get a better guage of that if they go back down next week.
      The A-League would have to be happy with their grand final rating.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 3:40pm
      Cameron said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

      I initially thoght that a 271000 national audiience for Friday night football was quite poor, but then realised the author is quoting only fox figures and would explain why even city v country NRL easily beat it (free to air figure).
      I cant believe the GWS game outrated even hawks v eagles, goes to show what a black hole sat night is (why do they even scheduale games in that timeslot?).
      Would love to know Sydney ratings for the GWS game, improving or declining?

      • April 23rd 2012 @ 3:53pm
        micka said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

        Cameron, the Hawks and Eagles was also shown on Seven for free, dunno if that really impacts on Pay viewing but figured it would.

      • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:02pm
        Australian Rules said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:02pm | ! Report


        The figures above are for Pay TV Ratings only.

        Friday night (StK v Freo) drew 711,000 (Ch7) + 70,000 (7mate) + 271,000 (Fox)

        The Hawks v Eagles game had about 746,000 on Sat night.
        GWS about 360k…drawing 26,000 in Sydney on 7mate (which has been about standard).


      • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:03pm
        Matt F said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

        Hawks/Eagles was shown on FTA around the country except Brisbane, who had the Q-clash (shocking name) so that would have split the audience up. Admittedly GWS/Adelaide would have been shown on FTA in Sydney & Adelaide but they’re much smaller AFL markets then the rest so wouldn’t have taken away as much of the audience. hawks/Eagles was also directly up against the Q-clash whilst Adelaide/GWS had wasn’t up against any other AFL match for the majority of the match. For what it’s worth, AFL on Saturday nights almost always outrates AFL on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

        It’s hard to track down FTA ratings in Sydney now. Because of the terms of the new deal all AFL matches on FTA in Sydney are on 7mate instead of the main channel. This means that it technically counts as a seperate program to the AFL on the main channel (even if it’s the same game strangely enough) so the Sydney figure doesn’t make the Top 20 list, which is where most TV websites cut off from.

        I vaguely remember hearing that GWS’ first game was about 60-65k on FTA, though given it was against the Swans I’m not sure if it’s an accurate guide?

        • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:30pm
          Whites said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

          @mediaweekaus will often release 7mate and GEM ratings on their twitter feed.

          • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:52pm
            Matt F said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

            I didn’t know that. Thanks. AR’s comment above also shows that the talkingfooty website gets it as well. Now I know where to go.

      • April 23rd 2012 @ 8:06pm
        Ted Skinner said | April 23rd 2012 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

        7 Mate ratings in Sydney was 26K for GWS game. So their ratings are declining.

        • April 23rd 2012 @ 9:22pm
          Jack Russell said | April 23rd 2012 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

          Isn’t that about what the Melbourne Storm are rating on GEM in Melbourne?

          Not that either are great figures, but at least with GWS there would have been an audience on Fox as well…..

          • Roar Guru

            April 23rd 2012 @ 9:28pm
            The Cattery said | April 23rd 2012 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

            Yes, last time the Storm was on GEM, about 3 weeks ago, they got 26k as well, but it must be said that a further 3k was watching in Adelaide.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 10:11pm
              ManInBlack said | May 1st 2012 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

              so, based on the sample sizes for Oztam,

              3K watching in Adelaide might actually be 3 people in the one household watching it!?!?!?

              I’m sick of the OzTam extrapolatins – – they desperately need a larger sample size.

              • May 4th 2012 @ 6:08pm
                wotdoo said | May 4th 2012 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

                here is a panel for each of OzTAM’s five metropolitan markets, comprising a total of 3,135 homes:

                Sydney: 865 homes
                Melbourne: 705
                Brisbane: 615
                Adelaide: 475
                Perth: 475

                this sample size is an absolute pathectic joke

              • Roar Guru

                May 4th 2012 @ 6:15pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | May 4th 2012 @ 6:15pm | ! Report


                Please tell me you’re joking? (I’m sure you’re not)

                How reliable is your information?

                I’m not a statistician but I can’t ses how 705 households in Melbourne can accurately reflect the whole population of 4 million!!

                Thanks for the info.

          • April 24th 2012 @ 9:36am
            JamesP said | April 24th 2012 @ 9:36am | ! Report

            Would be very interesting to get a state by state breakdown of the Fox figures. All we know for sure is that the penetration rate is greatest in NSW (plus of course they have the biggest population).

            Swans figures for yesterday afternoon were 50k on FTA plus whatever you want to add on Fox.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 23rd 2012 @ 3:58pm
      ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 23rd 2012 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

      What about the rest of the world?
      Football isn’t only played in Australia.

      The A-League grand final was shown live in over 100 countries around the world through Fox, Star Asia, PerfecTV, Sky and other major Pay TV affiliates and networks around the world to an estimated audience of between 30 to 50 million viewers.

      Ratings that the AFL can only ever dream about.

      • Roar Guru

        April 23rd 2012 @ 4:06pm
        Redb said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

        Well the A League should be able be able to command billons for their TV deal if that was material. But alas for you it is not.

        The A League Tv deal may even go down according to some media analysts. It is not even in the same stratoshere as the AFL deal on Foxtel.

        Perhaps its best not to say anything let the numbers do the talking but worth pointing out to the ‘rina’s. 🙂

        • Roar Rookie

          April 24th 2012 @ 1:26pm
          ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 24th 2012 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          Foxtell on-sell the rights to other international networks and they make additional revenue – that’s why they are agreeing to pay the FFA more.

          How much more is the big question, but it should be material enough to help the FFA and A-League clubs out of a financial hole and keep the competition running for a few more years.

          There is also a big push from A-League owners at the latest FFA Owners forum to get A-League on FTA.
          If Foxtel lose their exclusivity rights that will also affect the value of the deal. depends on waht they get from the other media sources and online.

          The FFA have made a fairly good recovery from the Palmer and Tinkler attacks and with a second Sydney team, the sold out grand final and increased crowds, ratings and revenues this year – will be very interesting to be a fly on the wall at the next round of negotiations.

      • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:10pm
        Cameron said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

        Good point, but the AFL GF would also be shown in alot of countries, perhaps not as many as 100, so again would be interesting to see int ratings (although very hard to find). I imagine there would be a small but not insignificant international audience for the AFL GF as it is a unique sport that would create curiosity, however the a league i think would still have more viewers.

      • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:18pm
        micka said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

        ItsCalled AussieRules

        Where something is shown isn’t equivalent to who watched it. Or do you mean it was actually shown to a measured number of viewers (30-50mill is a big margin of error)?

        AFL was on Australian free to air and available to a nationwide audience. Does that mean it was shown to an estimated 22 million viewers? AFL has internet broadcasting and pay tv affiliations in other countries too. These were not taken into account in the figures above.

        I will be the first to agree that the A League would garner infinitely more international interest and attention that the AFL but we are comparing apples and apples in this article

        • Roar Rookie

          April 24th 2012 @ 1:36pm
          ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 24th 2012 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

          All ratings are estimates – they don’t actually knoock on everyone in the world’s door and ask them what they are watching.
          They do samples and extrapolate an estimate.

      • Roar Guru

        April 25th 2012 @ 6:29am
        The_Wookie said | April 25th 2012 @ 6:29am | ! Report

        Ratings or reach? The two are often confused. And if its ratings, Id be delighted to see some sort of documentation to back that assertion.

    • Roar Guru

      April 23rd 2012 @ 4:03pm
      Redb said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

      Not particularly strong ratings for Friday night but given it was St Kilda v Freo pretty good.

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