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Forgettable Fridays: Has anybody watched a 6pm game this season?

Who's tuning in for the early Friday night game? By the look of things, not many. (AAP Image/SNPA, Adam Binns)
Roar Guru
13th April, 2017
51

After all the backlash that came from both clubs and fans regarding Monday night football, I am surprised that the solution was a 6pm Friday game.

Just like Mondays, the games are for TV audiences only and the crowd numbers prove this.

The Roosters, Panthers and Warriors have all received their smallest crowds this season while hosting a game in this timeslot. The Warriors case is particularly interesting as the game would have kicked off at a more convenient time in their time zone.

The Bulldogs have also had disappointing crowds in the time slot, but their records are a bit skewed as they have taken those games to Belmore and Forsyth Barr Stadium in New Zealand. Their one game at ANZ stadium was also on a Thursday night in torrential rain.

The only club to buck this trend is the Knights, who had a respectable crowd of 16,929 last Friday.

This problem is definitely compounded by Sydney traffic, so I feel sorry for the Rabbitohs and Dragons, who host games in this timeslot over the coming weeks.

It seems the NRL and Fox Sports have recognised this, with the Warriors hosting a lot of games in what will be 8pm New Zealand time.

[latest_videos_strip category=”rugby-league” name=”League”]

Like Monday night football, the perennial battlers, who don’t rate big on Channel Nine, generally have to absorb the brunt of the low ticket sales when playing on Friday evenings.

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What’s more, not only are the games hard to attend but can prove difficult to catch on TV – the Round 5 match between the Roosters and Manly is the only 6pm Friday game I have viewed.

Long commutes home from work, Sydney traffic, getting dinner organised for the family, and unwinding for a few hours at the end of the week can all prove obstacles when trying to find a Fox Sports telecast to park in front of.

I’m sure there will be some people out there who love this new addition, but I see it as another instance of the television networks holding the clubs and the fans to ransom.

My solution is two games on a Friday night, both played at 8pm, with one telecast on Channel Nine and Fox Sports providing the option to show both.

This might be wishful thinking, and I guess TV ratings will be the final indicator of if the 6pm timeslot sticks around.

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