Crows score rare showing on national TV - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows score rare showing on national TV

By Daniel Brettig 29/05/2008 04:07:24 PM Comments (0)

In terms of memberships, Adelaide are the AFL's biggest club.

The league's last membership tally in mid-2007 gave the Crows 50,976 paid up supporters, nearly 5,000 clear of nearest rival West Coast.

Yet before Friday night, if you did not live in South Australia you would not have been able to watch a free-to-air telecast of a single Crows match in 2008.

Every Adelaide fixture over the first nine rounds of the season has been a Foxtel production, keeping the club away from the vast majority of the nation's television viewers.

By contrast, not a single Victorian club has had fewer than three of their matches covered by the Seven or Ten networks, while Collingwood and Essendon have only once been missing from nationwide free-to-air schedules.

Not surprisingly for the league's most coveted market, Sydney have enjoyed the greatest support among non-Victorian clubs with four national broadcasts.

They are statistics that say much about the Melbourne-centric nature of the current AFL television rights deal, and show exactly why Adelaide coach Neil Craig is keen to get a performance out of his team against Essendon on Friday night.

"Based on the ratings and the viewers involved if you could play Friday nights every week you'd probably take it, because of the exposure that clubs get, not only for players and the way you want to present yourself as a club, but sponsors, everyone, so it's a premium time for a game of footy, so you need to maximise it," Craig said.

"You're putting out there how you want to be seen in the competition and so we'll be no different to Essendon, treating the game as it should be treated.

"Friday night is great, I know the players enjoy it, and the way the last week has unfolded it becomes a more important game for us."

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