RATINGS WRAP | AFL Suffers Viewer Drop-off as ASHES CRICKET Dominates Sports Fans Attention

North Melbourne v Hawthorn was the most-watched AFL game over the weekend with 727,000 viewers.
image - News Corp

The Ashes burst onto the scene over the weekend, delivering a bonanza of ratings in the middle of the AFL and NRL seasons, causing celebrations to erupt in boardrooms of Nine and Cricket Australia, while creating some consternation at AFL Headquarters.

The Ashes was the highest rating sporting event over the past week, with the Thursday night opening session attracting an average national audience of 932,000. The Day 5 opening session on Monday night went even higher at 1.059million viewers.

On Foxtel, the most significant event was Saturday nights Bulldogs v Panthers with 258,000 viewers.


Round 20 of the 2019 NRL Season was watched by 3.159 million people across the Nine and Foxtel Networks, taking the season total to 69.94 million at an average of 460,000 per match.

Friday nights Brisbane v Melbourne game was the most-watched over the weekend with 751,000 viewers – it was also the most-watched on the Nine network with 523,000 viewers across the country.

The most viewed NRL game on Fox League was Saturday nights Bulldogs v Panthers game with 258,000 viewers.

Nine reports that 2.3 million minutes of live matches were streamed via 9NOW, with average viewing up 69% on Round 20 last year.

Only three games made the Oztam VPM rankings, led by the Sharks v Rabbitohs which rated 20,000.

On Sunday, the NSW Canterbury Cup rated 14,000 while the QLD Intrust Cup rated 9,000.


Round 20 of the 2019 AFL season was watched by 3.129 million people across the Seven and Foxtel Networks, taking the season total to 78.97 million at an average of 462,000 per match.

The AFL took something of a hit from the Cricket on Friday and Saturday nights, as Melbourne audiences were divided over what to watch – and would be wary of what's to come over the next month or so.

Friday nights AFL game between North Melbourne v Hawthorn was the most-watched AFL game over the weekend with 727,000 viewers – it was also the most-watched game on Seven with 580,000 viewers.

The most-watched AFL game on Foxtel was Saturday evenings game between Fremantle and Geelong game with 199,000 viewers.

On Sunday, the VFL rated 20,000 viewers.



The Ashes performed particularly well on NINE and 9GEM across the weekend, where it generally rated in the top spot except in Sydney and Brisbane during NRL broadcasts.

Thursday night, despite not out-rating NRL in Brisbane and Sydney, the cricket did out performed the NRL nationally, while on Saturday night in Melbourne, the Cricket on Nine even out-rated the AFL on Seven.

Coverage of the last day delivered a record audience share for a multi-channel in Australia.

Day 1: (First Session) 932,000 & (Second Session) 503,000

Day 2: 744,000 & 497,000 

Day 3: 736,000 & 588,000

Day 4: 792,000 & 542,000

Day 5: 1.059m & 744,000

The Ashes dominated streaming on 9NOW with 6 of the top 10 slots on the Oztam ranks with up to 22,000 Viewers reported.


Super Netball returned to its expected ratings level after a dull return, with over 100,000 viewers watching in the capital cities on Sunday. Saturday's clash pulled in 80,000 viewers in the metro area. Overall the season is rating 86,000 per game on Nine.


The Hungarian Grand Prix rated 96,000 on Fox on Sunday, while Qualifying rated 73,000 on Fox on Saturday.

Data Notes - All data is sourced from OzTAM and RegTAM. Data does not include Kayo, mobile or Telstra TV.