The first week of 2023 AFL Finals Series broadcast on Seven Network has posted substantial ratings, according to recent viewership data.
The series of matches has significantly impacted the network’s performance across multiple demographics.
The first elimination final on Thursday between Collingwood and Melbourne attracted a national audience of 1.09 million broadcast viewers, peaking at 1.41 million. Notably, the broadcast topped the week’s ratings in the 16 to 39 age group.
Compared to the 2023 regular Thursday night AFL season average, the match saw an increase of 87.4% in viewership. In total, the game reached 3.18 million people nationally, making it the most-watched in its timeslot across multiple age demographics.
On Friday night, the elimination final between Carlton and Sydney Swans was viewed by 3.03 million people. It had an average national viewership of 1.08 million, winning its timeslot in total viewers as well as in the 25 to 54 and 16 to 39 demographics.
The Saturday night match between the Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide garnered 2.51 million viewers, with an average national audience of 823,000. The broadcast led its timeslot in viewership for the 25 to 54 and 16 to 39 demographics.
Regionally, Melbourne’s average audience for the series rose by 67% compared to the regular 2023 AFL season. Similarly, Sydney and Brisbane saw increases of 143% and 110%, respectively.
Over the four games, Seven’s broadcasts accounted for 70% of the overall AFL TV audience, and 75% of the viewership in regional Australia. For the week ending on September 9, the network claimed a 45.1% commercial audience share nationally, marking its ninth consecutive week as the nation’s most-watched network in that category.
Seven Network has also announced that both the upcoming AFL Grand Final and Brownlow Medal ceremony will be available live and free across its various platforms, including its streaming service 7plus. This move is part of Seven’s strategy to make significant cultural events more accessible to the Australian public.
The robust viewership numbers indicate that AFL remains a key driver for Seven Network, especially during the Finals series, although it remains to be seen how this will influence the network’s performance in the remainder of the ratings year.