SPORTS RATINGS | AFL Soars, NRL declines and A-LEAGUE flops

It was another big weekend on our sporting televisions with the A-league having a reasonably quiet return, while the AFL had its second-biggest weekend for the year, and the NRL its lowest.

The highest rating fixture of the weekend was the Thursday night clash between Geelong and Collingwood which totalled in at 1.137m. It was also the highest rating free to air fixture with 897,000 viewers across the Seven Network.

The highest rating game for the weekend on Foxtel was the NRL Saturday night Sea Eagles and Eels match with 282,000 viewers on Fox League.

Motorsport was a big part of the Foxtel top 20 programs on Saturday with half the programming being either Supercars, Super2 or Formula One. The trend continued on Sunday with half the programming being all of those mentioned above as well as Moto GP.

As always, all data is sourced from the OzTAM and RegTAM services and does not include Kayo or Mobile subscriber data unless specified.

AFL

The AFL recorded its second-highest rating weekend for the season to date in Round 7, with 5.1 million viewers tuning in, taking the league to almost 34 million viewers for the season on Seven and Foxtel at an average of 548,000 viewers per game, up 4% on the same time last season, with a game in hand.

The highest rating game of the round for the AFL on both Seven and Fox Footy was the Thursday night clash between Geelong and Collingwood which totalled in at 1.137m. This is the 7th game this season to pass the million audience mark. 897,000 watched on Seven and 7mate nationally, with 240,000 people watched across the nation on Foxtel.

In Perth, the Western Derby had its third-highest audience in a decade with 262,000 people switching on, with plenty more in the WA regional zones.

The Seven Network would be pleased with Metro ratings up 13% to an average of 314,000 and national ratings up 10.7% to 414,000 compared to the same time last year. There have been increased audiences in Sydney (+6.5%), Melbourne (+13.4%) and Brisbane (+23.6%) while ratings in Adelaide are well down (-19%) and in Perth as well (-9.9%).

Foxtel ratings are up slightly, up 2.61% to an average of 187,000 per game. Foxtel ratings account for 34% of the AFLs total audience in 2020.

An increase in the number of prime time Thursday night matches, fewer timeslot clashes, shorter games, Brisbane performing well and Victorians being locked in are all likely to have played a part in the ratings this season.

NRL

Round 10 was the lowest rating round of the season for the NRL with 3.376 million viewers, taking the season total to 36.703 million at an average of 458,000 viewers per game – down 5.95% on the same time last season.

The highest rating game of the round for the NRL was the Thursday night clash between the Roosters and Raiders which rated 833,000 and was its highest rating game on Nine with 591,000 viewers.

The highest rating game for the weekend on Foxtel for the NRL was Saturday nights Sea Eagles and Eels match with 282,000 viewers on Fox League.

For the Nine Network, metro ratings on Nine and GEM are down 6.21% to an average 349,000 for the year, and national free to air television is down 4.89% to an average rating of 575,000. There has been an increase in the secondary zones of Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth with ratings up 7.28% to an average of 29,000, however the primary territories of Sydney (-7.6%) and Brisbane (-10.9%).

Foxtel is holding steady this year, up 0.7% to an average of 243,000 per game. Foxtel ratings account for 52% of the NRL season total in 2020.

For the NRL, the continued wave of Brisbane Broncos matches combined with poor form is likely to have played a part here.

Rugby Union

Saturdays Waratahs v Brumbies was the top rating Rugby clash with 53,000 viewers. Fridays Reds and Force clash rated 47,000.

A-League and Soccer

The A-League had a somewhat muted return, with 12,000 watching the opening game of the return weekend on Friday. 9,000 watched Saturdays Perth v Central Coast, while also rating 53,000 on the ABC.

Roy Morgan reports that the W-league is experiencing viewing growth at a time other soccer competitions are experiencing a decline as 879,000 Australians say they watched the W-league, up 43% on 12 months ago.

Supercars

Saturdays Supercars at the Sydney Motorsports Park rated 122,000 on Foxtel, with another 121,000 tuning in on Sunday.

Formula One

Fridays Hungarian Grand Prix practice rated 30,000 on Foxtel, with Saturdays Qualifying rating 83,000 and 92,000 tuning in for the race on Sunday.

Moto GP

Sundays Moto GP in Spain rated 129,000 metro viewers on 10 Bold and a further 60,000 viewers on Foxtel.

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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