The growth in the AFL’s digital footprint was well received by fans, with an average of 5000 weekly users streaming VFL matches and a further 2000 average users live streaming WAFL matches.
Viewership for the WAFL competition in 2022 attracted nearly 750,000 people across the Channel 7 Network and the AFL website as fans consumed the best in local football. The 2022 Grand Final also produced an audience of
nearly 240,000 across the screens of Channel 7 through metropolitan and regional WA.
During the minor round season, SANFL matches on Channel 7 recorded an average audience of 23,167 (+4,681 on 2021) and a market share of 37% (+7% on 2021). The broadcast viewership in finals were even better, with an average audience of 47,445 (+683 on 2021) and a market share of 52% (+8% on 2021).
The Hostplus SANFL Women’s League Grand Final was broadcast live on Channel 7 and 7plus for the first time in 2022 with an average audience of 18,000 and market share of 34%, excellent numbers that highlight the growth and interest in the elite women’s competition.
2022 AFLW Season 6 and 7
Almost one million Australians tuned in to the broadcasts of Round One in Season 7 (954,000 viewers in total and a three per cent increase compared to FTA in 2021). In Melbourne, audiences were up 30 per cent compared to Round One of 2021, while in Sydney, audiences were up 21 per cent compared to Round One, 2021.
The St Kilda-Richmond clash at Frankston to kick off Season Six on a Friday night in January was a huge ratings success, with an average audience of more than 376,000 making it the most-watched home and away game of 2022, closely followed by the Western Bulldogs v Melbourne game the following night
- Premiership Season viewership – 5,857,630
- Finals – 1.04m
- Grand Final viewership – 392,452
- Premiership Season viewership – 7,133,650
- Finals 1.42m
- Grand Final viewership – 439,545
2022 AFL Home and Away Season
Total AFL audiences during the 2022 season were estimated at 106.265m, with an average audience of 537,000 watching 265.662m hours of footy. This includes estimated data for Kayo, based on published data earlier in the season that gave a ratio of 0.89 to Fox STB ratings. According to the AFL 2022 Annual Report the total average audience for the 2022 Season was 125.5 million (including finals), a one per cent increase when compared with 2021 and up 13 per cent on 2019.
Audience numbers increased by five per cent year-on-year for subscription television and there were major increases across the streaming platforms (Kayo and Foxtel Now/Go).
According to the 2019 AFL Annual Report – The cumulative national audience during the home and away season exceeded 91m (91,293,403), which was up on the 89.3m (89,348,093) in 2018. This comprised 57.41m viewers on FTA and 33.89m viewers on paytv.
Sevens audiences account for 46% of AFL ratings, with Fox Group taking out 54% during the season. Sevens season average across all matches was 278,000, including Metro audience averages of 211,000.
Foxtel set top box ratings came in at 30.94m for the season, averaging 157,000 per game. In 2021, matches on Foxtel rated an average of 243,000 during the season. Based on early season data we believe Kayo comes in at around 136,000 per game for a total around 26.86m.
According to the 2021 AFL Annual Report streaming was worth about 90,000 viewers per game for the season.
For Seven – all metro shown matches
- Syd 2.489m @ 28,000 per game
- Mel 16.916m @ 223,000
- Bri 2.435m @ 27,000
- Adl 6.57m @ 77,000
- Per 6.355m @ 73,000
24 AFL games in the H&A season reached over a million viewers,
While 24 AFL matches may have reached the million mark this season – including streaming, its worth noting that in 2012 a total of 45 AFL matches averaged a national audience of more than one million viewers, compared to 17 such matches in 2011.
The most watched AFL team in 2022 appears to have been Melbourne, followed by Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs.
#1 Melb 16.91m (769k ave)
#2 Coll 16.188m (736k)
#3 WB 16.032m (729k)
#4 Carl 14.951m (680k)
#5 Rich 14.346m (652k)
A tale of 5 cities
In Adelaide the overall FTA average was 77,000 on Seven, but the Crows averaged 85,000 viewers, while the Power averaged 91,000. Both Adelaide sides were in the bottom half of the leagues ratings with the Power coming in 12th, Adelaide 16th. In 2021, Crows games averaged 86,000, while Port games averaged 93,000.
In Brisbane, the city average for the season on FTA was just 27,000. Matches involving Brisbane averaged 43,000, while the Suns averaged 23,000 per game. The Suns were the second lowest rating team in the AFL for 2022, while Brisbane came in at #7. In 2021, Matches involving Brisbane rateds an average of 59,000, while matches involving Gold Coast rated an average of 25,000.
In Melbourne, the city average for 2022 was 223,000. 5 clubs – Dees, Pies, Dogs, Blues and Tigers beat this mark. The average is bought down by North Melbournes lone Melbourne broadcast game audience of 83,000. North were the lowest rating team of the season, but hardly any FTA. In 2021, the average rating for Melbourne FTA was 273,000.
In Perth, the city FTA average for 2022 was 73,000. Matches involving Fremantle drew 96,000 viewers on average, while West Coast averaged 95,000. The WA sides finished 11th and 14th in the overall team viewing ratings for the season.
In Sydney, the citys AFL FTA average was 28,000 per game. Matches involving the Swans averaging 51,000 per game on 7/7mate, while the Giants again struggled for audience, pulling in 24,000 viewers per game on FTA. Overall, the Swans came in 8th for viewing, the Giants were 15th. In 2021, Matches involving the Swans rated an average of 62,000, whjile matches involving GWS rated 29,000.
On Foxfooty/503, the major players were #1 Collingwood #2 Melbourne #3 Geelong #4 Richmond #5 Carlton While the bottom was held up by North, Crows, Giants and the Suns.
The Finals rated a total of 14.917m on Fox and Seven with an average audience of 1.864m.
On Seven, the Final Series reached 7.8 million Australian nationally, with an average broadcast audience of 1.1 million.
Nationally, Seven’s audience was up on the 2021 Final Series (the audience of which was boosted by lockdowns in some cities). The Sydney broadcast audience jumped 23% year-on-year, while the Perth audience was up 22% and the Brisbane audience increased 10%. Seven accounted for 75% of the overall television viewing of the Finals Series.
The Finals were watch by 2.955m on Foxtel set top boxes and a further estimated 2.555m on Kayo.
2022 was the highest-rating finals series since 2016 and the first time that viewership has exceeded 10 million total viewers in the first two weeks of a finals series
The Grand Final
2022 AFL Grand Final Ratings
- Seven National 3.06m
- Metro 2.179m
- Reg 718,000
- 7plus 95,000
According to Seven
- AFL Grand Final: 3.06 million total viewers nationally. Reached 4.74 million on broadcast. With consolidation and VOZ this figure averaged 3.186m
- AFL Grand Final: Presentations: 2.54 million total viewers nationally. Reached 3.77 million on broadcast.
- AFL Grand Final: On The Ground: 2.33 million total viewers nationally.
- AFL Grand Final: Pre-Match entertainment: 1.05 million total viewers nationally.
- AFL Grand Final: Post Match: 351,000 total viewers nationally.
The Seven Network’s live, free and exclusive coverage of the 2022 AFL Grand Final yesterday reached a national audience of 5.76 million Australians on Channel 7.
The AFL Grand Final is the #1 TV program in the 2022 ratings survey year (based on overnight audiences) and scored an average total television audience of 3.06 million viewers, including 2.96 million viewers nationally and 2.18 million in the capital cities.
Seven’s 2022 AFL Grand Final audience is up nationally on the last daytime Final in 2019 between Richmond and the GWS Giants.
On 7plus, an additional 95,000 viewers watched Geelong Cats triumph over the Sydney Swans on connected TVs, with 14 million minutes streamed.
Geelong Cats’ victory dominated its timeslot in the capital cities with a 90.1% share of viewers during the game in total people, and an 91.7% share of 25 to 54s and 94% share in 16 to 39s.
In Melbourne, the Grand Final recorded a 97.7% share of viewers during the game, with Sydney recording an 80.5% share of viewers in its timeslot.
Streaming viewership continues to grow on Foxtel services, with streaming across Foxtel GO/Now and Kayo Sports growing 37% YoY, accounting for 47% of the Foxtel Group audiences across the season. Significantly, 80% of all AFL streaming minutes were viewed on a TV screen
Broadcast nationally on the Seven Network, the average audience was 1.16 million, reflecting similar 2021 audience numbers despite the late scheduling change.
- AFL Preseason 1.089m
- AFL H&A Season 106.265m
- AFL Finals 19.169m
- Total TV 125.457m (estimated)
- Total TV 125.5m (offical)
- Total Attendance 6.752m
- Attendance + TV 133.276m
- Total TV Viewing Hours 316.310m
- Oztam VOZ, Total TV and subscription tv reports and 7PR. Streaming data estimates from 2022 season published trends that show a ratio of 0.89 Kayo to Fox STB. Offical data from AFL 2022 Annual Report and Foxtel media releases.