Avoiding a head-to-head clash with My Kitchen Rules while on a secondary channel, plus five huge games over seven days across the Easter and Anzac Day period has given the AFL an early-season television viewing boom in its quest to avoid a repeat of its poor 2018 ratings.
Feature matches on Anzac Eve, Anzac Day, Easter Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday – which due to a calendar quirk were played across seven days – were watched by almost six per cent more people across Australia as opposed to the same games in 2018. Those 2018 fixtures were played in rounds two and five.
Meanwhile, Fox Sports’ AFL ratings in 2019 are up more than five per cent from the previous season, while the entire Easter 2019 round had 13 per cent more viewers than the entire easter round in 2018.
An average of 836,000 people watched the Anzac Eve game between Melbourne and Richmond on Channel Seven this year, as opposed to 604,000 in 2018 on 7mate. The marquee game was shown on 7mate in 2017 and 2018 because the network did not want to move My Kitchen Rules.