Roy Morgan Single Source research in the 12 months to June 2015 showed that:
- 2,321,000 Australians (14+) especially choose to watch AFL matches broadcast on Channel Seven, down from 2,628,000 in the 12 months to June 2013.
- 891,000 especially choose to watch Foxtel’s dedicated AFL channel Fox Footy, up from 841,000 in 2013. Foxtel is jointly owned by News Corp and Telstra.
- 384,000 use Telstra’s AFL Live Official App in an average four weeks, up from 254,000 in 2013. Although the AFL Live Official App is also used by people seeking free stats and match info, a paid subscription allows users to stream live to hand-held mobile devices.
Over the past two years, there has been a clear fragmentation of audiences across Free TV, Pay TV and live streaming: in 2013, over two-thirds of Fox Footy viewers (68%) and AFL Live Official App users (67%) also cited Channel Seven’s matches among those they especially choose to watch. Today, there is less overlap—meaning greater fragmentation: 59% of Fox Footy viewers and 54% of App users also choose to watch matches on Channel Seven. The overlap between Fox Footy and the AFL Live Official App has also declined, from 32% of app users in 2013 to 24% now.
The average gross national audience per round of the premiership season across free-to-air and subscription television remained strong at 4.466 million. The cumulative gross national audience during the home and away season reached close to 103 million (102,722,355), down from 109 million in 2014. The reduction was attributable in part to the fixture containing fewer standalone matches than in 2014.
Seven Network metropolitan audiences were down slightly year-on-year (1.1 per cent), a marginal decline compared to the decline in Australian free-to-air television ratings generally. Overall, there was a 2.6 per cent
decline across FTA (metro and regional) and pay TV ratings in 2015.
The 10 most-watched matches of the 2015 season (national average audiences across free-to-air and subscription television) were:
1. Round 4 – Essendon v Collingwood – 1.399 million (Anzac Day)
2. Round 14 – Collingwood v Hawthorn – 1.378 million
3. Round 10 – Fremantle v Richmond – 1.298 million
4. Round 20 – Sydney Swans v Collingwood – 1.243 million
5. Round 18 – Hawthorn v Richmond – 1.203 million
6. Round 12 – Richmond v West Coast Eagles – 1.198 million
7. Round 13 – Fremantle v Collingwood – 1.192 million
8. Round 11 – Port Adelaide v Geelong – 1.164 million
9. Round 23 – Richmond v North Melbourne – 1.141 million
10. Round 6 – Collingwood v Geelong – 1.137 million
The most-watched Foxtel-produced match timeslot across the season was Saturday twilight with an average of 213,334 viewers nationally per round. The most-watched regular Foxtel broadcast timeslot overall was Friday
night with an average of 254,857 viewers nationally per round. The highest-rating Foxtel broadcast match for the home and away season was the round 20 clash between the Sydney Swans and Collingwood, which attracted
318,941 average national viewers.
The Toyota AFL Finals Series saw a total cumulative audience of 16.588 million across the four weeks, including the Toyota AFL Grand Final.
The finals series began with the highest ratings for an opening week and continued to attract strong numbers throughout, culminating in a national average audience (metropolitan and regional) of 3.534 million for the Grand Final on the Seven Network. This represented a 5.33 per cent decrease on the 3.73 million viewers who tuned into the 2014 Grand Final between the Sydney Swans and Hawthorn. The metropolitan audience of 2.645 million viewers made it the second most-watched program on metropolitan free-to-air television in 2015.
The 2015 Brownlow Medal count on the Seven Network and Fox Footy attracted a record national average audience of 1.718 million across FTA and STV platforms, representing a 3.6 per cent increase on last year’s 1.658 million.
A gross audience of 1.152 million people per week listened to AFL matches during the radio survey periods 4-6 in 2015 (these being the three survey periods that fall during the six months of
This was slightly down on the gross audience of 1.192 million per week in 2014, due largely to the reduced number of standalone matches. Through the popular AFL app, the AFL radio broadcast rights holders averaged a unique audience of 46,000 per match-day during the premiership season and 39,000 per match day during the finals series. This represented an annual growth rate of 25 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.
The total number of downloads of the AFL Live App, AFL Fantasy App and club apps totals more than 4.7 million (3.8 million same time last year). Importantly, and aside from just downloads, the engagement metrics
for our apps have also grown.
International Digital Rights revenue associated with our WatchAFL service grew by more than 20 per cent, with subscriptions up by a similar percentage.