Wednesday 23 February 2011

New kids on the block Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney proved a smash hit for the AFL with their TV ratings last weekend.

If that interest is reflected at NEAFL level to some degree, then the former QAFL clubs are in for a bumper season

The AFL competition debut of the Suns and Giants took place in Blacktown on Saturday night, drawing a huge viewing audience around the country.The three matches in the NAB Cup involving the Suns, Giants and Sydney Swans, each shown live on FoxSports, averaged 281,054 viewers across the night.The peak national audience of 311,692 occurred during the Swans-Suns match, representing the highest-rating Pay Television program for the year to date.AFL chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan said the AFL was delighted in the level of interest the first outing for the Suns and the Giants had drawn, and said the Round 1 average national audience for the six NAB Cup fixtures across Channel 7, Channel 10 and FoxSports had been 363,746 viewers, representing an increasing of 4.1 per cent on last year’s figure.“The review of the new format for the opening round of the 2011 NAB Cup has provided us with both very strong attendances at the games, and some outstanding television figures,” McLachlan said.“To get such good crowds at all the venues for our first matches of the 2011 year was a great credit to all the clubs involved, and this was backed by a rise in viewership at home.

“Carlton, Richmond and Collingwood averaged an audience in excess of 700,000 in the opening match on Channel 10 last week while Brisbane, Essendon and St Kilda averaged just short of 600,000 for the first Friday night of the year on Channel 7 over the weekend.

“The viewing numbers for the Swans, Suns and Giants were exceptionally pleasing, coupled with a sell-out crowd of just under 10,000.”

FoxSports will broadcast the Suns’ next match in the NAB Cup this week, when they play West Coast at Patersons Stadium in Perth on Sunday February 27, and will also broadcast Thursday night’s encounter between Essendon and Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

Channel 7 will broadcast Friday night’s Collingwood v Sydney Swans match at Etihad Stadium and Channel 10 will broadcast Saturday’s Geelong Cats v St Kilda game at Etihad Stadium.

Round 1 NAB Cup Television Audiences:

Adelaide/Melbourne/Port Adelaide – averaged 202,591 nationally on Fox Sports

Carlton/Richmond/Collingwood – averaged 712,657 nationally on Network Ten

West Coast/Hawthorn/Fremantle – averaged 157,205 nationally on Fox Sports

Brisbane/Essendon/St Kilda – averaged 596,372 nationally on Channel Seven

GWS/Sydney/Gold Coast – averaged 281,054 nationally on Fox Sports

Geelong/North Melbourne/Western Bulldogs – averaged 179,331 viewers nationally on Fox Sports

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