The opening round of the 2021 AFL Premiership Season on the Seven Network was a very welcome return for sports fans, winning its timeslots and cementing the AFL’s standing as the #1 winter sport.
The four blockbuster games on Channel 7 and 7mate reached 3.8 million viewers nationally, including 2.84 million in the capital cities.
Seven’s live and free coverage on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and yesterday ranked #1 in its timeslots among all people and 25 to 54s, and captured 77% of all AFL TV viewers.
Seven’s average national audience of 713,000 included solid increases in the northern states. In Brisbane, the number of people watching Seven’s coverage jumped 15% year-on-year. Across regional Australia, Seven’s audience was up 3%.
Brisbane audience: Up 54 per cent compared to Round One in 2019. Up 59 per cent compared to the 2015 – 2019 five year average for Round One.
Sydney audience: Up 17 per cent compared to the 2015 – 2019 five year average for the Thursday night season-opener.
Melbourne audience: Friday night footy was up 16 per cent in Melbourne compared to the 2019 season average. Saturday night’s Essendon v Hawthorn match was up seven per cent compared to an average Saturday night game in 2019.
- Last Thursday’s Richmond v Carlton season opener, which saw an average audience of 365,000, was the second-best average audience for a season opener in subscription television history. Other Round One highlights included:
- Adelaide v Geelong was the number two game of the round with an average audience of 335,000 and the highest rating clash for this fixture since 2016.
- Saturday night’s Essendon v Hawthorn and Brisbane v Sydney games had a cumulative audience of 365,000, up 15% on the cumulative audience of Round 1 Saturday night in 2019 (Bulldogs v Sydney and Brisbane v West Coast) and up 46% on Round 1 Saturday night last year (GWS v Geelong and Gold Coast v Port Adelaide).
- Sunday night’s West Coast v Gold Coast game had an average audience of 239,000, up 18% on 2019 Round 1 Sunday night average (Fremantle v North Melbourne) and up 9% on last year (West Coast v Melbourne).
- 19.03 – Seven owns Thursday night (Seven media release)
- 21.03 – AFL kicking goals (Seven media release)
- 22.03 – Seven grows 25-54s audience (Seven media release)
- 22.03 – AFL hits the mark on Seven (Seven media release)
- 23.03 – Scores and audience up in strong start to 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season (AFL Media)
- 25.03 – Foxtel Media Bullish about AFL 2021 season following round 1 (Foxtel Media Release via TV_Blackbox)