AFL grand final pulls almost 3m metro viewers for Seven, beating NRL’s next day result for Nine

The AFL grand final has scored its highest ratings since 2016, with Saturday night’s showdown between the Richmond Tigers and Geelong Cats attracting 2.979m metro viewers, and 3.812m nationally, to Seven.

1.583m Melburnians watched from home as the two local teams competed in Queensland – Richmond defeated Geelong by 31 points – due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Victoria. Communal viewing in the city was strictly limited under ongoing lockdown conditions that mean only two people can visit a household, once a day.

The Melbourne result was more than triple the viewing audience of any other city, with 413,000 viewers in Sydney, 383,000 in Brisbane, 335,000 in Perth, and 265,000 in Adelaide.

The AFL grand final kicked off at 7:30pm on Saturday

The bulk of the audience, 2.304m metro viewers, stuck around for the post-match presentations, while 1.481m metro viewers tuned in for the pre-game entertainment and 1.008m for the post-match coverage.

The game beat out metro audiences for the 2019 (2.197m), 2018 (2.601m), and 2017 (2.801m) grand finals, but couldn’t match 2016’s result of an average of 3.039m viewers in the cities, the highest ratings since 2006.

The high viewing numbers meant Seven had a 65.8% network share on Saturday, 60.8% of which came from Channel Seven itself.

A day later, on Sunday, it was the NRL’s turn on Nine. The grand final match between the Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm, played at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, drew 2.103m metro viewers across all five capital cities, including 848,000 in Sydney, 608,000 in Melbourne, 492,000 in Brisbane, 80,000 in Perth, and 75,000 in Adelaide.

When combined with the regions, the Storm’s 26-20 victory was watched by 2.967m people, and gave Nine a 49.3% network share last night.

The ratings were better than last year’s grand final, which saw 1.866m metro viewers watched the Sydney Roosters triumph against the Canberra Raiders, but worse than 2018 (2.122m) and 2017 (2.325m).


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.