This article continues my series of monthly updates on the ratings and attendances of club football games in Australia across all four codes.
This month’s list is of even greater interest given the mega broadcasting deals the NRL and AFL have managed to negotiate in the last few weeks (noting that the NRL is yet to negotiate the Pay TV or online components of their deal).
Once again the NRL had the highest rating game on Fox with the Round 24 top of the table clash between the Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos (322,000).
The NRL had one other game rate over 300,000, another Saturday night clash between top four teams, the Round 25 clash between the Storm and Cowboys (301,000).
All in all, the NRL had six of the top 10 rating games, a reminder to all that the NRL remains extremely important to Fox Sports (of which they will be reminded in upcoming negotiations).
The AFL had the second highest rating game, with the Sydney Swans versus Collingwood attracting 317,000 viewers.
Another top of the table clash, between the two West Australian teams, had the equal fourth highest rating game (275,000).
The AFL had the top 18 most attended matches for August, starting with the Fremantle versus GWS Giants game (34,625) and culminating with the recent Collingwood versus Richmond match (63,178).
In all, there were four AFL games which attracted over 50,000 patrons, with the second best attended match being Geelong versus Hawthorn (55,802).
The Adelaide Crows hosted the third and fourth best attended games, in fact, the Adelaide Crows had three home games among the top six most attended games: versus the Eagles (53,445); versus Richmond (50,094) and versus Brisbane Lions (46,609).
Both Adelaide teams have had an extraordinary season in 2015 in terms of attendances.
In the NRL, the Broncos had the best attended game, coming in at 19th overall with its match against Canterbury-Bankstown (34,082), and also the next highest with its match against the Dragons (33,480).
As an aside, I often get asked about free-to-air ratings, which is a far more complicated exercise than many realise, however, on this occasion, I am able to provide figures on the four highest rating games for August.
1. NRL, North Queensland versus Souths, Metro: 631,000; Regional: 407,000; Total: 1,038,000.
2. AFL, Sydney Swans versus Collingwood, Metro: 676,000; Fox: 317,000; Total: 993,000.
3. NRL, Brisbane versus St George Illawarra, Metro: 612,000; Regional: 360,000; Total: 972,000.
4. NRL, Souths versus Canterbury-Bankstown, Metro: 612,000; Regional: 322,000; Total: 934,000.
One interesting aspect about these figures is the importance of regional ratings to the NRL. It’s also interesting the extent to which an AFL game is able to get high ratings on both platforms despite being simulcast.
Unfortunately, I do not have available any regional ratings for the one AFL game above, but the Tasmanian ratings alone would have been enough to push that game into the top spot (a reminder as to why I try not to worry myself too much with FTA ratings).
Fox TV Ratings for August
1. Sydney Roosters versus Brisbane Broncos: 322k
2. Sydney Swans versus Collingwwod: 317k
3. Melbourne Storm versus North Queensland: 301k
4. Manly versus Brisbane Broncos: 275k
5. Fremantle versus West Coast Eagles: 275k
6. Sydney Roosters versus Parramatta: 270k
7. Canberra Raiders versus Wests Tigers: 267k
8. Geelong versus Collingwood: 254k
9. West Coast Eagles versus Western Bulldogs: 253k
10. North Queensland versus Canberra Raiders: 252k
11. Cronulla versus North Queensland: 249k
12. New Zealand Warriors versus North Queensland: 248k
13. Cronulla versus Melbourne Storm: 247k
14. Hawthorn versus Port Adelaide: 245k
15. Gold Coast Titans versus Paramatta: 244k
16. Geelong versus Hawthorn: 241k
17. Newcastle Knights versus Canterbury-Bankstown: 237k
18. Adelaide Crows versus Richmond: 234k
19. North Melbourne versus Western Bulldogs: 228k
20. Adelaide Crows versus West Coast Eagles: 224k
21. North Melbourne versus Fremantle: 204k
22. St Kilda versus Geelong: 202k
23. Sydney Swans versus Adelaide Crows: 197k
24. Wests Tigers versus Newcastle Knights: 190k
25. St Kilda versus Geelong: 190k
26. New Zealand Warriors versus St George Illawarra: 184k
27. West Coast Eagles versus Hawthorn: 184k
28. Essendon versus Richmond: 183k
29. Canberra Raiders versus Penrith: 179k
30. Port Adelaide versus GWS Giants: 174k
31. Canberra Raiders versus Manly: 173k
32. Cronulla versus Wests: 171k
33. Geelong versus Sydney Swans: 169k
34. Penrith versus New Zealand Warriors: 165k
35. Brisbane Lions versus Gold Coast Suns: 164k
36. Parramatta versus Penrith : 163k
37. Collingwood versus Richmond: 162k
38. Gold Coast Titans versus Canberra Raiders: 161k
39. St George Illawarra versus Newcastle Knights: 160k
40. Melbourne Demons versus North Melbourne: 158k
41. Collingwood versus Melbourne Demons: 155k
42. Port Adelaide versus St Kilda: 153k
43. Fremantle versus GWS Giants: 150k
Attendances for August
1. Collingwood versus Richmond: 63,178
2. Geelong versus Hawthorn: 55,802
3. Adelaide Crows versus West Coast Eagles: 53,445
4. Adelaide Crows versus Richmond: 50,094
5. Collingwood versus Carlton: 48,133
6. Adelaide Crows versus Brisbane Lions: 46,609
7. Fremantle versus West Coast Eagles: 41,959
8. Geelong versus Collingwood: 40,582
9. Sydney Swans versus Adelaide Crows: 38,690
10. Richmond versus Gold Coast Suns: 38,508
11. Sydney Swans versus Collingwood: 38,408
12. Collingwood versus Melbourne: 37,894
13. Essendon versus Richmond: 37,864
14. West Coast Eagles versus Western Bulldogs: 37,733
15. North Melbourne versus Western Bulldogs: 37,299
16. Port Adelaide versus St Kilda: 36,850
17. West Coast Eagles versus Hawthorn 34,843
18. Fremantle versus GWS Giants: 34,625
19. Brisbane Broncos versus Canterbury-Bankstown: 34,082
20. Carlton versus Melbourne Demons: 33,962
21. Fremantle versus Melbourne Demons: 33,529
22. Brisbane Broncos versus St George Illawarra: 33,480
23. Essendon versus Western Bulldogs: 33,466
24. Port Adelaide versus GWS Giants: 33,281
25. Melbourne Demons versus North Melbourne: 30,695
26. Hawthorn versus Port Adelaide: 28,657
27. Geelong versus Sydney Swans: 27,910
28. St Kilda versus Sydney Swans: 27,856
29. Western Bulldogs versus Melbourne Demons: 27,805
30. Souths versus Canterbury-Bankstown: 26,503
31. Essendon versus Adelaide Crows: 25,914
32. Carlton versus North Melbourne: 25,251
33. St Kilda versus Geelong: 25,245
34. North Melbourne versus Fremantle: 23,857
35. Newcastle Knights versus Canterbury-Bankstown: 23,604
36. Geelong versus Brisbane Lions: 21,914
37. Western Bulldogs versus Port Adelaide: 20,590
38. Brisbane Lions versus Gold Coast Suns: 20,025
39. GWS Gians versus Sydney Swans: 19,507
40. Sydney Roosters versus Brisbane Broncos: 19,137
41. New Zealand Warriors versus St George-Illawarra: 18,317
42. Brisbane Lions versus Carlton: 17,744
43. Newcastle Knights versus Sydney Roosters: 17,718
44. North Queensland versus Souths: 16,685