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The return of the 2020 AFL season brings 1m metro viewers to Seven

The AFL is back for 2020 with 1.002m metro viewers tuning in for the first match since the COVID-19 suspension. Seven aired the game between the Collingwood Magpies and Richmond Tigers on its main channel in Melbourne and Adelaide and on 7mate in all other states.

1.275m national viewers watched the match and it topped all three of the key advertising demographics – 16-39s, 18-49s and 25-54s.

In Melbourne, 668,000 metro viewers watched the match, making it the most-watched program of Thursday night in the market. 119,000 metro viewers tuned in in Adelaide, putting the match just behind Seven News which drew 122,000.

Seven just signed a new deal for the broadcast rights of the sport. The broadcaster now holds the FTA rights until 2024, paying $730m for them.

In the same slot, Nine aired the NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Brisbane Broncos. The game aired on Nine’s main channel in Sydney and Brisbane and on 9Gem in the other states, delivering 394,000 metro viewers and 619,000 nationally.

Against the two sports, Ten’s Masterchef Australia delivered 875,000 metro viewers and 1.157m nationally. Celebrity Gogglebox USA delivered 462,000 metro viewers following.

Seven News was still the most-watched program on Thursday overall with 1.104m metro viewers tuning in. Nine News delivered 980,000 metro viewers and ABC News 722,000.

The win for the night went to Seven with a 25.2% audience share for its main channel and 36.6% as a network. Nine held 16.1% and 22.6%, Ten 14.6% and 20.3% and ABC 8.5% and 12.3%. The most-watched multi-channel was 7mate with 5.4%.

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