AFL fans get behind Monday night footy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL fans get behind Monday night footy

By Adam Cooper 12/05/2009 06:29:24 PM Comments (0)

The AFL is delighted with the success of Monday night football but admits fears of saturation might prevent the fixture becoming a weekly event.

Monday night's St Kilda-Collingwood clash drew 46,880 fans to Etihad Stadium and was a ratings winner for the Seven Network, as the most-watched television game this season.

The strong attendance and television return - Seven claimed the game earned the day's highest ratings in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth - enhanced the view the AFL will make the timeslot permanent from 2012, when the competition expands to an extra game per round through the two expansion teams.

But chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan said the AFL had to be mindful of stretching the round too far over too many days when the competition expands.

"We need to make sure the weekends aren't too long, and that we're not playing Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday every week - I don't know that's sustainable," he said on Tuesday.

"But I certainly think as one-offs or three or four times in a different slot (the timeslot will work) ... rather then being the football weekend.

"We'll continue to look, we'll trial some more next year and we'll make an assessment at the end of all that."

With the AFL yet to settle on a preferred extra timeslot, McLachlan said it was possible the league would schedule a mix of Monday nights, Thursday nights and Saturday twilight games from 2012.

Although a game between high-drawing Collingwood and the ladder-leading Saints does not provide the most accurate gauge for the future, McLachlan said the AFL would always schedule high-drawing teams to play on Monday nights.

The AFL will experiment with its fixturing in 2010 to determine what is the best slot, or combination of fixtures, for the looming ninth game.

"We'll have a good view by the end of next year what we do long term," McLachlan said.

The Monday night slot has its critics, as some people think stretching the round over four days is too much, and some fans claim it is not family-friendly at the start of the week.

But McLachlan hailed the 2009 experiment "a great success".

"In the end, all we can look to is the fact there was a full house there last night, there was a great television product, there was a great game, a great experience, and the people who were there enjoyed being there," he said.

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