The 2013/14 A-League season has already gotten off to the best start possible.
Football results aside, the new attendance record and television ratings were fantastic!
Prior to this round, the overall attendance record was 93,500 with an average attendance rate of 18,700.
The new record as it stands now is a fantastic 100,988 at an average of 20,200 per match.
What makes these numbers look even better is the fact television ratings also increased.
The first three match audiences were provided and no longer did the hype surround Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono.
On Fox Sports, the Sydney FC versus Newcastle Jets match attracted an average audience of 115,000 viewers.
Central Coast Mariners versus Western Sydney Wanderers drew 77,000 viewers while the Melbourne derby rated the highest with an average audience of 124,000.
This brought the overall audience to 316,000 at an average of 105,333 per match.
Last year, Fox Sports averaged 80,000 viewers per match, so signs already look ominous.
Yet to be mentioned was how well SBS2 did for its first ever match on live free-to-air.
Despite having already attracted 20,103 football fans to the Sydney FC versus Newcastle Jets match and the 115,000 on Fox Sports, SBS2 attracted an average viewing of 243,000 (166k metro + 77k regional).
This was SBS2’s best-ever metro 6pm-midnight share – 3.1%.
Even more positive was the reach of this match. 495,000 had tuned into SBS2’s live coverage of the match based on five minute consecutive viewing, so football fans and Australia are becoming more aware there is more access to football.
It may only be early days, and my optimistic approach may be creeping in, but if these numbers are anything to go by its that the strength of football continues to grow while there remains massive potential to improve well beyond our expectations.