AFL returns to winning position, NRL remains strong, as World Cup Cricket looms

Sydney v Collingwood
image - Sportingnews Australia

With Game of Thrones over, and the Election now a thing of the past, the ratings lifted for the AFL which was up almost 900,000 viewers on the previous week, giving the code its biggest overall round ratings in a month.

While the NRL continues to dominate the average ratings on Foxtel and Free to air, the AFL holds a slender lead overall on both average ratings and cumulative ratings – this is due to the nature of the AFL's ratings broadcasts into select cities, and the NRL only having three matches on Free to air television.

The highest rating game of the weekend was the AFL's Friday night clash between the Swans and Magpies at the SCG which took in 1.125 million viewers overall and took top billing on free to air and Foxtel markets.


Round 10 of the AFL Premiership season was watched by 3.88 million viewers across the weekend, including 1.865m in the five capitals and 1.414m on Foxtel.

The most watched game of the round was Fridays Sydney v Collingwood clash, with 1.125m viewers tuning into the action from the SCG live on the Seven network and Fox Footy. It was also the most watched game for the AFL on free to air over the weekend with 831,000 viewers on the Seven network and affiliates, and also the top rated Foxtel match up for the weekend with 294,000 viewers.

Total AFL TV audiences for the year have reached 43.6 million, with an average viewership of 486,000 from its 90 matches across Fox and Seven.

After ten rounds of the 2019 AFL season, Fox ratings are up 3.25% to an average of 175,000 (up from 169,000 in 2018). They are still down 10.8% on the same time in 2017.

On Free to Air Television, the league averages 350,000 viewers thanks to its broadcast arrangements, including averaging 310,000 in Melbourne, 101,000 in Perth, 96,000 in Adelaide, 30,000 in Sydney and 28,000 in Brisbane. Regional coverage averages out to 100,000 per match.

Sundays Northern Blues v Sandringham clash attracted 37,000 viewers to the live VFL coverage on Seven Melbourne. Sevens VFL coverage in Melbourne now averages 39,000 for the year. (SANFL and WAFL coverage on Seven in Perth and Adelaide averages 25,000 for the year.)

One match made it into Oztams VPM Top 10 list this week with Adelaide v West Coast sneaking in with 13,000.

Figures were not available for Kayo, or the Live AFL app.


Round 11 of the 2019 NRL Season was watched by 3.603 million viewers across the weekend, including 1.041m in the five capitals, 672,000 in the regions and 1.89m on Fox League.

The most watched game of the round was Thursdays Parramatta v Penrith game with 871,000 viewers across the Nine Network and Fox League, just edging out the Friday game between Newcastle and Sydney. It was also the most watched game on the Nine Network for the round with 630,000 viewers turning into Nine and GEM across the country.

The highest rated NRL game of the round on Fox League was Saturdays Warriors v Broncos game with 292,000 viewers.

Total NRL viewership has reached 42.257 million viewers for the season, with an average broadcast audience of 480,000 across Fox and Nine.

NRL ratings on Fox are down 1% on last year's first 11 rounds, after being up 3.2% the year before (about 3,000 on average). It's worth noting that Fox didn't start simulcasting and such until 2016.

For the 2019 Season, the NRL on Nine is averaging 602,000 viewers across Metro and Regional markets, while on Fox League, the NRL averages 241,000 viewers nationally.

Nine reported that 2.3 million minutes of live matches were streamed this round – up 130% on the same round last year.

Five matches made it into the Oztam ratings this weekend with Saturdays Warriors v Broncos clash finishing highest with 23,000 (equal highest for the year).

On Sunday's state footy on GEM, The Canterbury Cup was watched by 10,000 in Sydney, while the Intrust Cup was watched by 18,000 in Brisbane.

The Canterbury Cup is averaging 33,000 this season, but this figure is significantly affected by the drop from Nine to GEM after Round 5 (ratings plunged 78% from a 46,000 average to 12,000 as it was replaced by Super Netball which averages 30,000 in Sydney since).

A similar tale is told by the Intrust Cup ratings in Brisbane where ratings presently average 21,000 per game, experiencing a 61% drop in ratings after being dropped from Nine – where it rated a 29,000 average - to GEM – where it rates 11,000, and replaced by Super Netball which rates an average audience of 24,000 in Brisbane.

Figures were not available for Kayo or the Live NRL app.

Super Netball

Super Netball ratings held firm in Round 5, with the Saturdays Magpies v Fever game attracting 93,000 viewers on Nine across the country, while Sundays Vixens v Swifts match reeled in 98,000 viewers on Nine across the country, and GEM in Perth.

The afternoon fixtures have rated an average of 86,000 in the five metro markets across the country. Figures for the Netball Live App and Telstra TV are not available at this time.

Super Rugby

Australian Super Rugby sides fared reasonably on Foxtel this weekend with four matches shown on Foxtel. The highest rating Super Rugby game this weekend was the Waratahs v Jaguars' game on Saturday night which attracted 59,000 viewers, while Fridays Chiefs v Reds game was watched by 52,000.

Australian Super Rugby matches averages around 58,000 per game this season, while overall Super Rugby coverage rates somewhat less than 52,000 – with most Sunday games and several late Saturday games not reported at all.

The Sunday replay was viewed by 6,000 people on 10 Bold in the metro markets – one of its lowest ratings for the season.

The Shute Shield had 7,000 folks tune in for the game between Manly and Warringah. The Shield is averaging about 8,000 viewers a match in Sydney this season on 7TWO.

Cricket World Cup

The Cricket World Cup proper hasn't started yet, but you'll be able to catch all the action from that on Nine, Foxtel and Kayo.

The Nine Network will broadcast free-to-air coverage of every Australian game as well as both semi-finals and the final on GEM.

Kayo and Fox Cricket will carry every game of the World Cup, plus selected warm-up matches, starting on May 24, broadcasting in high definition. Where there's a double-header, some matches will be screened on Fox Sports 505.