Game Of Thrones Footy delivers strong audiences for Foxtel, but WINX is the real star on Seven

Winx wins final race before retirement with Queen Elizabeth Stakes title at Royal Randwick  image - ABC

Winx wins final race before retirement with Queen Elizabeth Stakes title at Royal Randwick
image - ABC

In a week where Game of Thrones dominated the TV landscape – including Foxtel’s sports coverage with themed AFL & NRL rounds, the winter sporting codes had another good ratings week.

The AFL’s stellar start to the season continued, while NRL audiences trail the first 5 rounds of 2018 by only a small margin. Even the Winx farewell scored 902,000 on Seven (577,000 metro and 325,000 regional)..

The most watched game of the weekend was Thursday nights AFL with 990,000 viewers, closely followed by the AFL on Friday night with 980,000 and the NRL on Thursday night with 950,000.

Thursday night was also a winner for the NRL with 950,000 watching across Nine and Foxtel. Saturday night delivered an A-League audience of 66,000 (35,000 on FTA, 31,000 on Fox) and Super Rugby (49,000 on Fox).

There are as always no Kayo figures available, and VPM ratings were dominated by Married at First Sight and Game of Thrones.


Round 4 of the AFL Premiership season was watched by its lowest audience this season, but still topped 4 million viewers across the 9 matches broadcast over the weekend.  Total AFL ratings are up nearly 20% on last season.

AFL Ratings are up in every TV market. Metro ratings are up by 16%, led by Melbourne which is up 28% on the first four rounds of 2018. Regional markets are up 28% and Foxtel is also up 9%.

If you thought AFL on Thursday night was going to change any time soon, it looks kind of doubtful at this point.

Thursday nights Swans v Dees clash at the SCG attracted the most total viewers with 991,000 watching over the course of the game including 761,000 on the Seven network (the most watched AFL game on Free to Air television over the weekend) and its affiliates nationally and 230,000 on Fox Footy.

For the first time this season, neither Thursday or Friday games were able to top one million viewers.

Friday nights clash between the Pies and the Bulldogs was the most watched AFL game on Foxtel attracting 239,000 viewers.

In State footy, the SANFL had 20,000 viewers on Saturday afternoon on Seven.


Round 5 of the NRL Premiership season was watched by its lowest audience of the season, but 3.67m viewers still tuned in for the 8 matches broadcast over the weekend. Total NRL ratings are down slightly by 4.3% on last season.

In the 5 capitals ratings, ratings are up 4.3%, led by Sydney broadcasts which are up almost 9%, while Brisbane is up almost 4.5% on the first five rounds of last year. The GEM markets are faring less well, down more than 5% on last year. Regional ratings are down 8%, and Fox League trails last year ever so slightly down 1.4%.

Thursday nights Broncos v Tigers clash was the top rating NRL game on Free to Air and on Foxtel with 675,000 watching on the Nine network and its affiliates nationally, and a further 275,000 watching on Fox League.

Nine reported that the 9now streamed 2.4 million minutes of live NRL matches this round, a figure which is up 178% on last season. Figures for Kayo are not included or supplied.


Round 25 of the 2018-19 A-league season had 35,000 viewers in the metro area on 10 bold. The last three weeks have averaged 35,000 viewers in the capital cities on free to air television.

Friday nights Foxtel rating for Brisbane and Wellington was the lowest Friday broadcast of the year with just 12,000 viewers, making it one of the lowest of the season.

The Sydney derby on Saturday attracted 31,000 viewers to its coverage on Foxtel, in addition to Tens broadcast.

The A-league season average on Foxtel is down to 34,000 per game, and will finish the season well down on the 51,000 it averaged last season.

Super Rugby

Round of the Super Rugby on Foxtel saw Saturdays Brumbies v Lions hit 49,000 viewers, while Friday’s game between the Rebels and the Stormers managed 44,000.

Across the season, Australian rugby sides are averaging 66,000 viewers on Foxtel for the year, up from the 60,000 reported by Fairfax media in May 2018. While, the average for all Super Rugby matches is less than 62,000.