AFL Grand Final Broadcast Viewership Revealed
he 2021 AFL Grand Final drew 3.9 million national viewers on Saturday night, making the event the best performing since the 2016 Grand Final.
The Grand Final rated as the most watched television program so far in 2021, beating out the Olympic Games opening ceremony, which drew 3.81 million viewers, and became the fifth biggest audience for an AFL Grand Final of all time.
Of the 3.9 million viewers, 3.01 million were from metro markets, with the 900,000 regional viewers beating out the numbers for all three NRL State of Origin matches.
Seven Melbourne managing director and head of network sport, Lewis Martin, said: “The historic 2021 AFL Grand Final lived up to the hype and delivered extraordinary audiences on Seven.”
“The AFL is a vital part of Seven’s unrivalled sporting content and once again Australia’s No.1 winter sport has gripped the nation with another unmissable premiership decider,” he said.
Despite the ratings success, AFL Fans Association (AFLFA) president, Cheryl Critchley, said fans would prefer the event returns to its traditional day timeslot, opposed to the night format it has followed the past two years.
“Up until last year, the breakdown was about 65-70% day, 15% twilight, and about 10% night,” Critchley said on a Twitter poll ran by the AFLFA asking fans which timeslot they would prefer next year’s AFL Grand Final to sit in.
“It’s actually got even stronger towards the day after having the two night grand finals.
“The entertainment has been really fantastic and people have enjoyed that side of it, but when you consider the whole package, most prefer the day game because all that’s associated with that.
“I think people like the tradition of it and the ritual of it.
“Some people argue it takes away from [the game] having to wait all day, whereas when it’s in the middle of the day, you’ve got before the game and after, almost in equal proportions,” she said.
Critchley said she would present the poll results to AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan in the AFLFA’s annual post-season meeting with the AFL.
The Twitter poll ran by the AFLFA after the Grand Final on Saturday showed 77.6% of fans would prefer next year’s Grand Final to be in the day timeslot, with 18.8% voting for the twilight timeslot, and 3.7% voting for the night format.