Thursday Night AFL Ratings continue to soar as NRL falters

Thursday Night football continues to engage fans across the country with last night’s game between the Geelong Cats and Collingwood at Optus Stadium averaging 1,137,059 national viewers, becoming the fifth-most watched AFL game of the 2020 season.

Thursday night AFL football continues to return strong ratings – averaging 1.15 million fans per game – a 13 per cent increase compared to 2019 figures.

The Geelong vs Collingwood audience was made up of a free-to-air audience of 694,711 metro and 202,683 regional viewers on Seven/7mate. An additional 239,665 people watched the game via Fox Footy (figures exclude streaming)

By comparison, the Thursday night NRL match featuring the Roosters and Raiders attracted a free-to air audience of 351k metro and 240k regional viewers on Nine/9Gem. An additional national audience of 242k watched the game via Fox League (figures exclude streaming).

The Melbourne audience for the AFL averaged 439k, putting it well ahead of the 5 City NRL figure. The NRL had an audience of 202k in Sydney and 122k in Brisbane.
 
Last night’s AFL game was the third-largest Thursday Night television audience for the 2020 season, behind the Round Two game between Collingwood and Richmond (1.63m viewers, the first game of the season restart), and the Round One season-opener between Richmond and Carlton (1.37m viewers).
 
The average audience in Perth for the AFL on Thursday night was 115,186, the second-highest Thursday Night audience in Perth for the 2020 season.
 
Overall, average audiences per game are up 22 per cent on 2019, reflecting the increased interest in the game and the closeness of the competition.
 
Viewership in New South Wales and Queensland continues to rise, up 30 percent on free-to-air television against 2019 figures.
 
AFL General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld expressed his thanks to all football fans across the country who are tuning in to the game, and thanked broadcast partners – the Seven Network, Foxtel and Telstra.

“I want to acknowledge the continued challenges facing so many Australians, in football and in the broader community,”
 
“Despite yet another unique week in our game, the support and the interest from fans in the broadcast of AFL games continues to be extremely strong this year.
 
“I thank the clubs, players, coaches, umpires, staff, and corporate partners for their contribution in ensuring the season continues for our fans.
 
“I also want to thank our long-term broadcast partners, the Seven Network, Foxtel and Telstra, for their ongoing support and commitment to Australian football at all levels of the game.”

Top Five Highest Rating Games for 2020:

1. Round 2 Collingwood v Richmond (Thursday night – 1.63m viewers, the highest ever Thursday night home-and-away television audience)
2. Round 1 Richmond v Carlton (Thursday night – 1.37m viewers)
3. Round 2 Geelong Cats v Hawthorn (Friday night – 1.28m viewers)
4. Round 5 Collingwood v Essendon (Friday night – 1.14m viewers)
5. Round 7 Geelong Cats v Collingwood (Thursday night – 1.14m viewers) 
 

Kevin Perry
Co-Creator and Editor of the TV Blackbox website, Kevin Perry is an experienced media commentator focused on TV Production, Consumer Tech, SVOD & Sports Broadcasting. | Call/Text 0428 275 111
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