NRL MAGIC ROUND beats AFL for the first time this year

On a weekend where Foxtels announced results and commentary gave rise to some potential future issues for the codes and their tv rights, the NRLs Magic Round and an outstanding A league final were the stand out highlights of another big weekend in sport.

Friday night AFL was the top rating match of the weekend with over 1 million viewers, including 793,000 on the Seven Network across Australia. The highest rating game on Foxtel was Saturday nights Storm and Eels matchup delivering 332,000 viewers.

Rugby League

The NRL had a big weekend with its Magic Round, beating the AFL for the first time this year in Cumulative ratings, with 3.811 million viewers tuning in.

On Free to Air television, 1.74 million people tuned in to see the Brisbane events on Nine, with Friday nights Sea Eagles/Broncos game the biggest draw with 616,000 viewers across the network.

Foxleague also did well topping 2 million viewers across the weekend, with Saturday nights Storm/Eels clash topping the charts at 332,000 – the second highest for the season. The Residents Cup between NSW and QLD managed 16,000 viewers on GEM in Sydney and Brisbane.

Nine reported that 2.3 million minutes of live matches were streamed live, with average VPM for Round 9 up 124% from Round 9, 2018. The NRL continues to dominate the Oztam VPM ratings list with five matches from this round made it into the Oztam VPM top 10 (with 2 matches not included in this weeks stats anyway), with top billing shared by the Saturday evening/night NRL fixtures with 23,000 a piece.

Australian Football

The AFL scored its lowest round of the season yet with cumulative tv audiences coming in at just over 3.6 million for the round.

On Free to Air television 2.1 million viewers turned to the Seven Network for their footy fix, with 1.5 million in the five cities and 568,000 in the regions. The highest rating match for on Seven was Fridays Swans v Bombers clash with 793,000 viewers. In Adelaide, the Port/Crows Showdown came with 187,00 viewers.

On Foxtel, 1.56 million watched Round 8 with 258,000 folks tuning in for Friday nights AFL.

Fans of the state football should note that the SANFL/WAFL state game wasn’t broadcast, although it was streamed, while the VFL game rated 54,000 on Seven in Melbourne.


At this stage both leagues have no played the same number of games – 72 – even if its over a different number of rounds. At this stage the AFL leads FTA cumulative ratings, with more than 6 million viewers. However the NRL leads the averages due to the AFLs broadcast arrangements.

The NRL is dominating Foxtel this season with a 4 million lead in cumulative ratings with an average of 60,000 viewers more per game on Foxleague. The dominance is reflected in the fact that 17 of the top 20 matches on Fox this footy season are NRL games.

Overall though, the AFL lead on a per match average and cumulative ratings – but it could be overhauled in the short term.

Soccer and A-league

The second week of Aleague finals hit with some much needed hype on Friday night with a great match between Adelaide and Perth that was watched by 130,000 on 10 Bold, including 106,000 on 10 Bold while 56,000 watched on Foxtel. This was followed on Sunday by the Sydney FC v Victory game which was viewed by 65,000 in the capitals and 58,000 on Fox.

Super Netball

Another strong showing for Netball, with its biggest metro audience of the season tuning into Nine on Saturday afternoon as 99,000 watched the Thunderbirds take on the Vixens. The Sunday game also performed well with 80,000 – almost half in Brisbane alone – watching the Lightning take on the Firebirds.

This season Super Netball audiences are averaging 87,000 in the metro markets on Nines main channel.

Rugby Union

A quiet this weekend on the Australian rugby front with Fridays Rebels v Reds clash pulling in 55,000 viewers on Foxtel. The Super Rugby Replay on 10 bold scored 11,000 watchers, while Saturdays Shute Shield was watched by 14,000 on 7two.