The Australian Football League’s (AFL) huge broadcast rights deals have been proven worthy, with the league streaking ahead of competitors as Australia’s choice of sporting code to watch on television.

In a study released by Roy Morgan Research, Football, in almost all its forms was found to be the big winner.

AFL remains the code with the highest total number of viewers with 36.6% of Australians (estimated at 6.6 million) who will watch games “always” or “occasionally.”

The NRL State of Origin, a short showcase series between Queensland and New South Wales representative players, was the second most watched sporting series, with an impressive showing of loyal viewers, with around 3.6 million Australians ‘almost always’ tuning in.

The Super 14 and A-League have also found a solid audience on pay TV with 8.2% (estimated at 1.5 million) watching Super 14 and 7.8% (estimated at 1.4 million) watching A-League, although their audience is less loyal with a higher ratio of ‘occasional’ viewers at 5.0% and 5.1% respectively.

“Sport has always been a key program area for both FTA and pay TV, with the major football codes delivering the large audiences and marketing synergies that advertisers want,” Roy Morgan Research’s media director Michael Duncan said.

“With the telecast rights for AFL and NRL both up for negotiation soon, all television operators will undoubtedly compete vigorously for these valuable rights.

Duncan tells Marketing magazine the sample size was made up of close to 19 000 respondents aged 14 and over, and data came from face-to-face interviews and surveying. 


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