This article continues my series of monthly updates on the ratings and attendances of club football games in Australia across all four codes.
April saw the first four rounds of the AFL for season 2015 and the last four rounds of the A-League’s regular season.
I set the Fox ratings cut-off at 150k and 44 games rated above that benchmark. No A-League or Super Rugby games made the benchmark.
The NRL took the top two spots in the ratings, with the Round 7 Monday night game between Cronulla and Souths rating the highest (338k) followed by the Round 6 Monday night game between Souths and North Queensland (325k).
There’s no doubting that Monday nights continue to be a ratings winner for the NRL. The Round 5 Monday night game between Penrith and North Queensland came in seventh with 280k.
The NRL also took fourth and fifth positions with ratings above 300k (the Storm versus the Warriors and the Eels versus the Tigers), rounding out seven of the top 10 positions.
The AFL’s highest rating game was the opening round clash between the Sydney Swans and Essendon (309k). The Anzac Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood came in sixth with (296k).
Other notable results for the AFL were the opening round clash between Melbourne and the Suns with 253k, the opening round clash between Freo and Port with 246k; and the Round 3 all Sydney affair between the Swans and Giants: 192k.
The attendances for April went the other way, with the AFL taking the top 12 spots. Unsurprisingly, the Anzac Day game between Essendon and Collingwood had the highest attendance (88,395) while the next highest was the opening round game between Carlton and Richmond (83,493).
Other games deserving a special mention were Richmond versus Melbourne with 58,175 (5th highest), with the strong hint that this might become a regular fixture. Also, the Port Adelaide versus Hawthorn match pulled 50,675 (6th highest), testing the capacity of the revamped Adelaide Oval.
The NRL’s highest attended game was the Round 5 game between Canterbury-Bankstown and Souths (40,523) at ANZ Stadium, coming in at 13th highest overall.
The Broncos are no strangers to big crowds, and their Round 6 game against the Roosters saw 35,630 in attendance, the 16th highest overall.
Two more NRL games followed with attendances over 35,000:
* the round 5 game between Parramatta and Wests (35,510); and
* the Anzac Day clash between the Roosters and the Dragons (35,110).
Also in Brisbane, the Reds got the highest attendance in Super Rugby (of the Australian sides) with last weekend’s game against the Hurricanes bringing in 26,374 (26th highest overall).
The Victory flew the flag for the A-League and made two entries in our list. First was last weekend’s final round game against the Mariners which pulled 22,285 and also decided the Premier’s Plate. Then was the Round 25 game against the Jets with 19,915.
It’s worth mentioning that the Victory have finished the 2014-15 season with an average home attendance of around 25k, which is a great achievement. It puts them alongside some of the smaller Melbourne AFL teams.
1. Cronulla versus Souths: 338
2. Souths versus North Queensland: 325
3. Sydney Swans versus Essendon: 309
4. Melbourne Storm versus New Zealand Warriors: 306
5. Parramatta versus Wests Tigers: 304
6. Essendon versus Collingwood: 296
7. Penrith versus North Queensland: 280
8. Hawthorn versus Geelong: 270
9. Melbourne Storm versus Sydney Roosters: 260
10. Brisbane Broncos versus Parramatta: 259
11. Collingwood versus Adelaide Crows: 257
12. Carlton versus Richmond: 253
13. Melbourne Demons versus Gold Coast Suns: 253
14. Fremantle versus Port Adelaide: 246
15. Collingwood versus St Kilda: 241
16. West Coast Eagles versus Carlton: 237
17. Penrith versus Manly: 233
18. Newcastle Knights versus St George Illawarra: 232
19. North Queensland versus New Zealand Warriors: 230
20. New Zealand Warriors versus Wests Tigers: 219
21. Richmond versus Melbourne: 217
22. Geelong versus Fremantle: 214
23. Port Adelaide versus Sydney Swans: 211
24. Manly versus Canberra Raiders: 210
25. Adelaide Crows versus North Melbourne: 208
26. Parramatta versus Gold Coast Titans: 205
27. North Melbourne versus Port Adelaide: 203
28. Port Adelaide versus Hawthorn: 201
29. St Kilda versus Carlton: 200
30. Hawthorn versus Western Bulldogs: 199
31. Fremantle versus Sydney Swans: 196
32. Essendon versus Hawthorn: 195
33. Melbourne Storm versus Manly: 193
34. Sydney Swans versus GWS Giants: 192
35. Newcastle Knights versus North Queensland: 183
36. Penrith versus Cronulla: 175
37. Canberra Raiders versus Melbourne Storm: 174
38. Wests Tigers versus Canberra Raiders: 173
39. GWS Giants versus Gold Coast Suns: 161
40. St Kilda versus GWS Giants: 159
41. Carlton versus Essendon: 158
42. West Coast Eagles versus Fremantle: 156
43. Western Bulldogs versus Adelaide Crows: 152
44. Geelong versus Gold Coast Suns: 151
1. Essendon versus Collingwood: 88,395
2. Carlton versus Richmond: 83,493
3. Hawthorn versus Geelong: 73,584
4. Essendon versus Hawthorn: 59,886
5. Richmond versus Melbourne Demons: 58,175
6. Carlton versus Essendon: 54,854
7. Port Adelaide versus Hawthorn: 50,675
8. Richmond versus Western Bulldogs: 49,945
9. Port Adelaide versus Sydney Swans: 49,765
10. Adelaide Crows versus North Melbourne: 46,491
11. Collingwood versus St Kilda: 45,197
12. Adelaide Crows versus Melbourne Demons: 43,713
13. Canterbury-Bankstown versus Souths: 40,523
14. West Coast Eagles versus Fremantle: 39,138
15. Fremantle versus Sydney Swans: 39,009
16. Brisbane Broncos versus Sydney Roosters: 35,630
17. Parramatta versus Wests Tigers: 35,510
18. Sydney Roosters versus St George Illawarra: 35,110
19. West Coast Eagles versus Carlton: 34,588
20. Brisbane Broncos versus Parramatta: 34,398
21. Fremantle versus North Melbourne: 34,099
22. Collingwood versus Adelaide Crows: 33,771
23. Sydney Swans versus GWS Giants: 31,966
24. Brisbane Lions versus Collingwood: 31,240
25. Melbourne Demons versus Gold Coast Suns: 27,013
26. Queensland Reds versus Hurricanes: 26,374
27. Geelong versus Fremantle: 23,723
28. Geelong versus North Melbourne: 23,452
29. Sydney Swans versus Essendon: 23,274
30. North Melbourne versus Port Adelaide: 22,586
31. Brisbane Lions versus Richmond: 22,441
32. Western Bulldogs versus West Coast Eagles: 22,366
33. Melbourne Victory versus Central Coast Mariners: 22,285
34. North Melbourne versus Brisbane Lions: 22,275
35. Geelong versus Gold Coast Suns: 20,813
36. St George Illawarra versus Canterbury-Bankstown: 20,273
37. Western Bulldogs versus Adelaide: 19,915
38. Melbourne Victory versus Newcastle Jets: 19,277
39. St Kilda versus GWS Giants: 18,794
40. Canterbury-Bankstown versus Wests Tigers: 18,521
41. Melbourne Storm versus New Zealand Warriors: 18,179