Battle of the Football Codes – AFL wins the TV battle
According to Roy Morgan in March 2014, when it comes to watching on TV, the AFL wins clearly, while the NRL is itself far ahead of Soccer and Rugby Union. Once again, men clearly outnumber women in terms of watching these sports on TV.
- AFL: 7.83 million (41.0%). Men: 4.38 million (46.4% of men); Women: 3.45 million (35.7%);
- NRL: 6.73 million (35.3%). Men: 4.05 million (43.0%); Women: 2.68 million (27.7%);
- Soccer: 4.01 million (21.0%). Men: 2.70 million (28.6%); Women: 1.31 million (13.5%);
- Rugby Union: 3.53 million (18.5%). Men 2.41 million (25.6%); Women: 1.13 million (11
All information from the AFL 2014 Annual Report
The 2014 Toyota AFL Premiership Season again attracted strong audiences around the country, via the Seven Network’s free-to-air television broadcast or through Foxtel/Fox Footy’s subscription television platform.
The premiership season continued to be the most watched national sports competition in 2014, with a total average aggregate audience of 4,727,623 people each week throughout the season.
The average gross national audience per round of the premiership season across free-to-air and subscription television was 4.727 million (4.729 million in 2013). The cumulative gross national audience during the home and away season was nearly 109 million (108,735,321) – an almost identical result to that in 2013.
The Toyota AFL Finals Series saw a total cumulative audience of 16.578 million across the four weeks, including the Toyota AFL Grand Final.
Seven Network metropolitan audiences were down slightly year-on-year (2.6 per cent), a smaller decline than the decline for Australian television ratings generally. Free-to-air regional audiences recorded a marginal increase of 0.5 per cent, while viewership on subscription television increased by 2.1 per cent year-on-year.
The 10 most watched matches of the 2014 Toyota AFL Premiership Season (national average audiences across free-to-air and subscription television) were:
1. Round 6: Collingwood v Essendon – 1.595 million (Anzac Day)
2. Round 8: Sydney Swans v Hawthorn – 1.508 million
3. Round 18: Hawthorn v Sydney Swans – 1.314 million
4. Round 7: Carlton v Collingwood – 1.310 million
5. Round 5: Geelong Cats v Hawthorn – 1.274 million (Easter Monday)
6. Round 17: Adelaide Crows v Hawthorn – 1.273 million
7. Round 13: Carlton v Hawthorn – 1.246 million
8. Round 14: Richmond v Sydney Swans – 1.241 million
9. Round 19: Sydney Swans v Essendon – 1.206 million
10. Round 10: Port Adelaide v Hawthorn – 1.201 million
The most-watched regular Foxtel-produced match across the season was the Saturday twilight timeslot, with an average of 234,519 viewers nationally each round. The most-watched regular Foxtel
broadcast timeslot overall was Friday night, with an average of 279,887 viewers nationally each round.
The highest-rating Foxtel broadcast match for the home and away season was the round 18 clash between Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans, which attracted 381,421 average national viewers.
The Toyota AFL Grand Final was the most watched program of the year on Australian metropolitan free-to-air television with an audience of more than 2.828 million people in the five mainland metropolitan markets.
The national average audience in metropolitan and regional Australia for the Seven Network’s telecast was 3,733,409. The average Grand Final audience was slightly higher than last year’s audience of 3.634 million for the match between Hawthorn and Fremantle. It was, however, down on the 4.081 million who watched the 2012 match between Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans – with this disparity between 2012 and 2014 largely due to the one-sided nature of the 2014 contest.
In terms of total reach, the Grand Final coverage was seen by 6.24 million people nationally, on par with 2013.
In partnership with Telstra, our digital media network retained its position as Australia’s most popular sporting digital destination. From January to October 2014 inclusive, aggregate unique visitors to AFL.com.au, club websites, both mobile and desktop, the AFL Live application and the 18 club applications grew by more than 29 per cent on 2013 to more than 89 million. Downloads of the AFL live app, club apps and Fantasy app totalled 3.8 million compared with 2.9 million in 2013.
The inaugural 10-episode series, which saw 13 aspiring footballers battle it out for a spot on an AFL list, was a hit for Foxtel’s flagship general entertainment channel, FOX8. Its average national weekly audience of 136,126 saw it become the fifth most-watched sports program on subscription television for 2014.
An average 1.220 million people a week listened to AFL matches during the radio survey periods 4-6 in 2014 (these being the three survey periods that fall during the six months of the season).
The app/web stream for AFL radio broadcast rights holders via the popular AFL app had an average unique audience of 24,000 per match-day for the Premiership Season and an average unique audience of 20,000 per match-day for the Finals Series. A further 13,000 average unique listeners tuned into web streams on the AFL website per match-day for the Premiership Season.