2019 TV Ratings – The 2019 AFL Annual Report
All data below lifted verbatim from the 2019 AFL Annual Report, pgs 55-57
Overall television industry ratings (free-to-air and subscription television) experienced a year-on-year increase of 2.2 per cent (3.969 million per home and away round, compared with 3.885 million in 2018). This number does not include digital viewership and occurred despite a decline in television industry ratings generally. The strength of the result was also evident in that it occurred despite the impact of other sporting events such as the cricket World Cup, the French Open and Wimbledon tennis grand slams and the Ashes at various points during the season.
The cumulative gross national audience during the home and away season exceeded 91 million (91,293,403), which was up on the 89.3 million (89,348,093) in 2018. The 91 million viewers comprised 57.41 million viewers on free-to-air and 33.89 million viewers on subscription television.
The cumulative gross national audience during the home and away season of 3,360,022 (approximately 2.4m viewers on free-to-air and 942,000 on subscription television) was 27 per cent ahead of the 2,672,022 cumulative gross national audience in 2018.
Thursday and Friday night matches were again consistently high-rating slots. The national average audience for these matches was 1,004,129 across free-to-air and subscription television, with Friday night matches attracting a national average audience of 999,606 across free-to-air and subscription television (up 4.3 per cent on the 2018 average of 958,432) and the eight Thursday night matches attracting a national average audience of 1,016,565 across free-to-air and subscription television.
The 10 most-watched matches of the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season (national average audiences across free-to-air and subscription television) were:
1. Round 6 – Essendon v Collingwood – 1.427 million (Anzac Day)
2. Round 1 – Collingwood v Geelong Cats – 1.266 million
3. Round 1 – Carlton v Richmond – 1.257 million
4. Round 17 – West Coast Eagles v Collingwood – 1.184 million
5. Round 6 – Richmond v Melbourne – 1.175 million
6. Round 10 – Sydney Swans v Collingwood – 1.141 million
7. Round 3 – Adelaide Crows v Geelong Cats – 1.133 million
8. Round 2 – Richmond v Collingwood – 1.098 million
9. Round 2 – Sydney Swans v Adelaide Crows – 1.096 million
10. Round 15 – Geelong Cats v Adelaide Crows – 1.089 million
The gross cumulative audience for the 2019 Toyota AFL Finals Series was 14,856,305. This marks a decrease of 10.1 per cent on the total national viewership for the 2018 Toyota AFL Finals Series (16,528,256).
The 2019 Toyota AFL Grand Final national average audience (metropolitan and regional) of 2.96 million (2,958,416) on the Seven Network was 13 per cent down on the 3.39 million who tuned into the 2018 Grand Final between the West Coast Eagles and Collingwood. This decline was impacted in particular by the one-sided nature of a number of the finals, including the Grand Final.
Despite it being one-sided, the combined five mainland capital city metropolitan audience of 2,213,877 viewers for the 2019 Toyota AFL Grand Final made it the most-watched program on metropolitan free-to-air television in 2019.
Streaming of live match minutes through the App grew by 10 per cent compared with 2018. This extraordinary result was built on the foundation of more than two million AFL Live Pass subscribers.
With AFL Media’s comprehensive coverage of both AFL and AFLW competitions, afl.com.au continued to be the online sporting destination of choice for fans across the country. More than 23.79 million unique visitors flocked to the platform in 2019, while 1.8 million unique visitors visited the new AFLW website, womens.afl.