AFL expansion proving a ratings winner - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL expansion proving a ratings winner

By Sam Lienert 09/05/2011 05:11:13 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's expansion is already proving a television winner, with Saturday night's inaugural all-Queensland clash setting a ratings record.

The first ever meeting between Gold Coast and Brisbane at the Gabba attracted an average of 354,745 viewers to the Fox Sports broadcast, the pay television provider's highest ever AFL figure.

It topped the 2007 Essendon-Richmond match in which the Bombers farewelled two of their greats, coach Kevin Sheedy and star player James Hird, watched by 328,436 television viewers.

As well as beating that mark, the Gabba match, which was a rare stand-alone Saturday night fixture, also drew a Queensland audience of more than 160,000 on the Ten Network.

That was despite being played on the same night as the crosstown NRL meeting between the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium.

The AFL's expansion, to 17 teams this year and 18 when Greater Western Sydney (GWS) debut next year, has already helped the league sell its 2012-16 television and internet rights for a record $1.253 billion.

Even before the Giants' fully-fledged AFL inception in 2012, they have already delivered Foxtel another of its best ratings results.

The 317,556-strong television audience for their pre-season clash with the Sydney Swans trails only Saturday night's Queensland clash and the 2007 Bombers-Richmond game on Fox Sports' AFL ratings list.

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