FOXTEL HAS RELEASED NEW VIEWER DATA HIGHLIGHTING THE SUCCESS OF THE AFL’S RECENT FESTIVAL OF FOOTY AND MID-YEAR NRL SEASON.
Fox Footy live audiences for AFL Rounds 9 to 12 were up 14% compared with the previous eight rounds. The festival of footy, which featured 33 matches over 20-days, was up 59% compared to the same rounds in 2019.
Released for the first time, the data covers traditional Foxtel set-top box customers together with streaming platforms Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and the fast-growing Kayo.
It highlights massive fan engagement with the 2020 AFL season so far with live audiences up +34% compared to the first 12 rounds of the 2019 season. Average audiences for Foxtel are up 10%, and Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and Kayo audiences are up over 200%. Foxtel also notes audiences for live FOX Footy-produced matches are up 44% so far this season
Shorter match durations and the AFL’s scheduling with fewer match overlaps and more standalone prime time matches have help boost ratings for Fox Footy.
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Seven said its coverage across rounds 9-12 reached 4.7 million people nationally and 3.69 million in metro markets.
The network reported average national audiences of 702,000, up 18 per cent on the same time last year, and an average metro audience of 538,000, up 24.2 per cent on the same time last year.
In Melbourne, audiences had leapt a staggering 37.9 per cent, while in Brisbane – where the Victorian clubs are housed in hubs and the majority of matches are played – there had been a significant leap of 24.6 per cent in a rugby-league market the AFL is keen to win.
Seven had strong ratings for Thursday night matches but there was a no year-on-year comparison.
However, a detailed breakdown of the other major timeslots has shown a 23 per cent lift nationally and 27.7 lift in metro regions on a Friday night, a 35.4 per cent lift nationally and 35 per cent metro increase on Saturday nights, while Sunday afternoon matches are up 17.8 nationally and 23.8 in metro regions.
NRL fans have also been tuning in during COVID, with audiences on Fox League, up 18% compared to the corresponding Rounds 1 to 14 of the 2019 season.
2020 is now the number one rating NRL season ever for the Foxtel Group with audiences, up over 150% across its set-top box and internet subscription businesses.
The post-COVID season return saw Round 3 generate the biggest audience for an NRL round in Foxtel history, while the Round 6 clash between the Roosters and the Eels recorded the largest NRL audience of all-time with a cumulative average of 507,000.
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With many fans unable to attend the footy in person because of COVID-19 restrictions, viewers have sought out Fox Footy and Fox League to keep up with the footy action.
Foxtel recently reported its sports streaming platform Kayo now has 590,000 active subscribers (542,000 paying). The result was a significant increase on the February figure of 370,000 paying subscribers and came after a global sports shut down due to COVID.
Foxtel Sports Executive Director Steve Crawley said: