SPORTS RATINGS WRAP | ASHES CRICKET Continues To Dominate AFL and NRL Football Codes

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In another big weekend of sport, the Ashes continued to dominate impacting the Thursday, Friday and Saturday night ratings for the traditional big guns of the winter sporting period.

There is no coincidence that the highest rating FTA and Fox games of the football codes were on Sunday afternoon.

The highest rating sporting event of the weekend was the day three first session of the Ashes test with 841,000 viewers nationally. The cricket out rated the AFL and NRL on Thursday and Friday night, and only narrowly lost to the AFL on Saturday night.

The highest rating game on Foxtel over the weekend was the Richmond v West Coast AFL game on Sunday afternoon which rated 274,000 on Fox Footy.


The addition of Saturday night football screening on free-to-air continues to pay dividends for the NRL, boosting weekend audiences to a total 3.459 million viewers – a big win over the AFL – and taking the season total to 77.37 million at an average match broadcast of 460,000.

Including Representative round, the Origin series and preseason broadcasts, 88.7 million viewers have switched onto professional rugby league in 2019.

Prior to the round starting the SMH reported, NRL ratings were down 13% overall, including down 25% in New Zealand.

The highest rating NRL match for the round was Sunday afternoons Sharks v Dragons clash which attracted 674,000 viewers across Fox League and the Nine network.

The highest rating NRL match on the Nine network was Friday nights Broncos v Panthers game which rated 536,000 across the country. On Fox League, the highest rating game was Saturdays Storm v Raiders match which rated 267,000.

Nine reported that 4.2 million minutes of live matches were streamed on 9NOW, with average Viewers per minute up 22% on last year. Oztam streaming rankings featured 2 NRL matches from this round with the Storm v Raiders reaching 20,000 VPM.

The Canterbury Cup rated 6,000 on GEM on Saturday in Sydney, while the Intrust Cup rated 15,000 in Brisbane.


The AFL had a poor round 22, recording its second-lowest round total for 2019 with 3.026 million viewers switching on over the weekend.

85.59 million viewers have tuned into the AFL this home and away season with the average broadcast reaching 453,000 viewers. When including AFLW, AFLX and the JLT Series, 91.8 million viewers have switched on to professional Australian football in 2019.

Seven last week announced in its annual report that at the close of the financial year that its AFL ratings were up 10% at the end of the fiscal year compared to the same time last year. The Age reported on Friday that AFL ratings are up 7% on the same time as last year.

The highest rating AFL game of the round was Friday nights Demons v Swans game which attracted 633,000 viewers. It was also the highest drawing AFL game on the Seven Network with 496,000 viewers.

The highest rating game on Foxtel was Sunday afternoons Richmond v West Coast clash with 274,000 people tuning in.

On Saturday the SANFL rated 13,000 in Adelaide, while the WAFL had 24,000 viewers in Perth. On Sunday, the VFL had 30,000 viewers in Melbourne.

The Ashes

The Ashes was shown on Nine and GEM depending on where you lived, but nationally it dominated the sports landscape.

794,000 (metro) tuned in for the first session on Thursday – despite rain delays. Friday night recorded 841,000 viewers nationwide. Saturday night also pulled in 548,000 for the first session (metro only). Sunday night reeled in 647,000 viewers nationally.

The Bledisloe

The Bledisloe Cup rated 204,000 on Foxtel on Saturday, while Ten pulled in 452,000 nationally.

On Saturday afternoon the Shute Shield rated 20,000 on 7TWO in Sydney.

Super Netball

Saturdays Netball rated 83,000 in the five cities, while Sunday's game rated 89,000.

Data Notes

Data source is Oztam/RegTAM Preliminary Overnight ratings. Does not include Telstra TV, Kayo or mobile apps.