SPORT RATINGS | Viewers love the Footy during COVID lockdown weekend

As COVID continues to cause havoc with sport across the nation, it was a big weekend in sport with the AFL, NRL and Rugby Union all featuring across a busy weekend, as the A-league prepares to restart this Thursday.

The highest sports fixture across the weekend was Thursday nights AFL game between the Lions and Cats with 998,000 viewers, with the games 772,000 viewers on the Seven network also making it the most-watched on free to air television.

The most-watched event on Foxtel was Saturday nights Raiders v Storm clash with 314,000 viewers.

As always, please note the all ratings data is sourced from OzTAM and RegTAM and does not include Kayo, 9Now, other streaming services or mobile application data unless specified.

Australian Football League

Round 6 of the AFL rated more than 4.7 million viewers across the Seven network and Fox League, as the AFL reached 28.9 million viewers for the season, down -2.09%, but excluding ANZAC Day and ANZAC Day eve clashes which are typically big drawers on the television and held in the corresponding round 6 last year.

The highest rating AFL game of the round was Thursdays nights Cats/Lions clash which rated 998,000 viewers, including 772,000 on the Seven Network (including 53,000 in Brisbane, more than double the previous Thursday night clash), it was also the rounds top rating Fox Footy clash with 226,000 viewers reported.

For the AFL, the match average across both free and subscription television is down 0.25% on the same period in 2019 to an average 545,000 per game. Free-to-air television is up 11.3% to an average of 422,000, with metro viewing up 13.8%, including increases in Sydney (7.6%), Melbourne (11.2%) and Brisbane (26.7%). The Lions average viewership is up 38% on its own.

 The Seven broadcast average is also up 7.16% to an average of 576,000 nationally. (this is based on the single national broadcast figure reported by Seven for a particular broadcast slot regardless of the number of matches shown nationally).

The AFL’s Foxtel average is down 0.8% on 2019, with a game in hand. Foxtel accounts for just over a third (34%) of the AFL ratings.

National Rugby League

Round 9 of the NRL season rated more than 3.5 million viewers across the Nine Network and Fox League, as the NRL reach 33 million viewers for the season, down 4.92% on the 2019 season, but from two fewer matches, including ANZAC day fixtures (held in round 7, 2019)

The highest rating NRL game of the round was  the Sunday afternoon clash between the Knights and Panthers which averaged approximately 800,000 viewers including 328,000 metro viewers on Nine and GEM, an estimated 240,000 regional viewers and 292,000 viewers on Fox League.

Saturday nights clash between the Raiders and Storm was the highest rating NRL game on Fox League with 314,000 viewers.

For the NRL, broadcast averages across both free and subscription television are down -4.74% to an average of 463,000 per game. FTA averages are down 4.33% to an average of 580,000 per game, with both the major Brisbane and Sydney markets down, while the three GEM cities are up 10.94%.

Foxtel ratings averages are up 1.14% to an average of 245,000. Foxtel ratings make up 53% of the total NRL ratings pie.


On Sunday the Spielberg Formula One Race averaged 98,000 on Foxtel, while Saturday qualifying rated 78,000.

Rugby Union

Saturdays Waratahs v Force rated 70,000 on Foxtel, while Friday nights Rebels v Reds rated 53,000.

Jason Lassey
Jason Lassey is a sports industry blogger focussed on the Attendances, Financials and TV Ratings of professional sport in Australia. A long time Carlton supporter, he longs for the heady days of 1995 to come around once more.

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