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NRL Grand Final Audience Climbs But Fails To Beat AFL

Channel Seven is enjoying a rare ratings win after it pulled a national audience of 3.812 million during the Richmond vs Geelong Grand Final, a whopping 900,000 million more viewers than last night’s NRL clash.

The 2020 AFL Grand Final delivered Seven a huge audience, pushing the network to a record-setting 76% primetime commercial network share.

This is the highest network share recorded in the history of OzTAM ratings.

Seven’s successful night of sports comes as Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes holds talks with US company ViacomCBS, which owns Channel 10, about a possible merger.

The potential merger, first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, would dramatically reshape Australia’s already shrinking local media industry.

The match was the biggest AFL Grand Final since 2016 and the biggest audience in Melbourne ever recorded, with 1.583 million people tuning in to watch the Richmond Tigers clinch the Geelong Cats 81 -50.

The five-city metro figures were as followed:

  • Sydney – 413k
  • Melbourne – 1.583 mil
  • Brisbane – 383k
  • Adelaide – 265k
  • Perth – 335k

In 2019, a national audience of 2.939 million tuned in to watch Richmond thrash the Giants during the Grand Final.

In 2018, the Collingwood vs West Coast won a national audience of 3.378 million, the 2017 GF between Richmond and Adelaide Crows delivered 3.524 million and in 2016 the Western Bulldogs clash against the Sydney Swans had an audience of 4.089 million.

The highest rating Grand Final in the past decade was the 2012 match between Sydney Swans and Hawthorn, which saw an average national audience of 4.415 million.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s NRL Grand Final between Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm, which saw the Storm claim victory 26-20, failed to beat the AFL.

The Sydney-based Grand Final garnered Channel Nine a national audience of 2.967, nearly 900,000 less than the AFL.

The match brought Nine to an overall primetime primary share of 42.6%.

Average audience ratings grew slightly in comparison to the 2019 Grand Final, which saw a 2.641 million people tune in. Last year’s NRL match was the lowest rating since 2003.

The five-city metro figures for the match were as followed:

  • Sydney – 848k
  • Melbourne – 608k
  • Brisbane – 492k
  • Adelaide – 75k
  • Perth – 80k


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