2.98m AFL Grand Final, 65.8% record OzTAM share.

Into the history books it goes….

2.98m viewers watched Richmond win their third AFL Grand Final in four years last night -the biggest audience all year. Adding in regional viewers the numbers rose to 3.81m viewers.

In Melbourne alone there were 1.58m viewers -the biggest GF audience ever in Melbourne- followed by Sydney at 413,000.

The first-ever night time Grand Final drew a phenomenal 65.8% share for Seven -the highest ever recorded since OzTAM began in 2001.

The primetime match contrast with 2019’s 2.2m which was the lowest metro audience for the Grand Final since OzTAM records began (2.94m with regional).

The win has pushed Seven into a neck and neck battle with Nine for the year overall -both at 17 weeks each, both at 37.6 % commercial share in Total People.

Angus Ross, Seven’s Director of Programming, said: “We lead every key demo since June, a huge turnaround from the first half of the year. The success of our new prime time tentpole strategy, with Big Brother, Farmer and now SAS, has proven hugely successful for us. Add to that the AFL, which has seen significant year on year ratings growth, and our unbeatable content spine, and it’s clear that momentum is with us at Seven. It’s going to be a tight race to the end of the year.

“We’ve been able to level the score in 2020 with a schedule significantly impacted by COVID-19 – we’re down two and a half prime time tentpoles and lost the AFL for two months. Imagine what we’ll be able to do in 2021 with a fully loaded prime time schedule, a full AFL season and of course, the Tokyo Olympics – set to be the biggest event ever.”

This post updates.


  1. Substantial primetime share of 65.8%. This may have been the first time in more than 10 years that we’ve seen primetime shares of over 60%. Back in 2003 RWC, Seven recorded about 4.02 million viewers which may be about 60% primetime share.

  2. There is a disturbing trend emerging where traditions are necessarily changed this year, to a format that some have been trying to push for years. When it works (this year) those people claim victory and want to cement the change for all time.

    This year is not normal. A night-time Grand Final was accepted by the fans because this year is abnormal, as was the change of location. Lots of things are grudgingly tolerated this year, because everyone wants to make the best of the situation.

    It doesn’t mean that the fans will accept any of this willingly when normality returns. The only advocates of night GFs are those who gain from ratings. The fans have pushed back for years because they just don’t want it.

    Night GFs may now be forced on the fans, but it cannot be claimed it was done because they enjoyed it this year. They didn’t, they just accepted what had to be done for…

  3. You know people have been saying for years that the A.F.L grand final would get higher ratings if it were played at night,and these figures certainly confirm that.I think it will be very hard for the A.F.L to go back to an afternoon grand final, after the ratings success of this match l

  4. You’d have to think that it was a close game too so that would help the numbers, if it was a blow out in the first or second quarter people would drop off to watch something else.

  5. Maybe the reason we got the best viewed game figures ever, is because the game was played at night? Possibly people are more likely to watch a “primetime” Grand Final, rather than a day Grand Final?

  6. The number aren’t surprising, we have a lock down. The AFL also might be more appealing for women due to it not being as rough as rugby league.

  7. I gotta say it was a great game. It had everything. Injuries, heroic feats, (that last goal by Dustin Martin was amazing) and legends swansong. And although I’m usually always a traditionalist, I think the night final really worked.

  8. So happy the final was on at night. Agree the entertainment was quite questionable in the pre show, however the half time look brillent. I hope if they do move to a night time, the AFL can come up with something during the day to entertain families and viewers. Not sure if a pre final state of origin could work…

  9. It’s not great to compare the game against last year. As Richmond played GWS who have a very small supporter base or care factor in comparison.

    Look at 2017 (rich, Adelaide) and 2018 (Collingwood, West Coast) instead for ratings comparisons.

  10. Even Caroline Wilson said on the ABC Insiders Sport this morning that the AFL might of expected higher figures. When you look at the fact that Melbourne was locked up, no one going to mates homes, no 100k at the MCG, no one at the pubs or casinos, the figures look low. And the fact that 2 Victorian clubs, the first time in 9 years should of created more viewers. Playing it at night just lacked the atmosphere of a day Grand Final.

    • Very odd comments considering Seven claimed share of 76.0% (excludes ABC, SBS) as the highest ever recorded since OzTAM began in 2001. Boy some people are hard please.

      • The figures were big @Gama1524 but not a record in total numbers. What is odd is that you would exlude ABC figures in your calculations, a network that does ok on a Saturday night.

        • A lot of TV Commentators are saying that such as: “The result pushed the Seven Network to a record­-setting 76.0% primetime commercial network share and Channel 7 to a record­-setting 70.3% primetime commercial channel share.” Meaning the other 5.7% was on the Secondary Channels, so @Gama1524 is just relaying what Seven themselves have said (does say that).

          Why would they do that? As it is important due to advertising and how much they can charge, if they can say 70.3% of all Australian eyeballs were on Seven from 6pm onwards then that means dollars. Hey who knows, marketed right we could get a similar to the U.S.A. Super Bowl and have special ads made for launch during the AFL Grand Final (due to the high viewership).

    • It’s also relative though, if you take that last year for the MCG GF the Richmond Members Ticket Allocation was 17,000 as was GWS (same for Magpies/Eagles 2018), so that is only 17,000 more Richmond fans of the 103,000 members that would watch compared to last year without the game being at the MCG. As the same 86,000 Members that missed out last year would have likely watched on TV last year and that same amount still would be this year even if it was at the MCG. Then at the MCG you have all the Corporate Tickets and etc., and often those come from Interstate as well as the AFL want to wine and dine their Sponsors, a lot are likely Sydney based.

      So really that 100,000 at the MCG is often a very small portion of Melbourne people and Pubs and Clubs (Melb have one Casino), average capacity would be an average of 200-300, so even then say at 1,000 of those venues on 300 average…

  11. I was fortunate to be there last night at the ‘Gabba. Amazing spectacle.
    I’m guessing Seven will give the AFL whatever it wants now for a permanent night (or at least twilight) grand final.

  12. Thats huge. No wonder they’ve been pushing for a night GF. Logistically it makes sense. I prefer to watch AFL at night too but i know so many are against it staying.

    Will be interesting if they can take the year but with State of Origin games coming up plus an NRL GF tonight, they’ve got an uphill battle. Especially when they don’t have AFL to bail them out anymore. I still expect Nine to win the year but stranger things have happened.

  13. I’m surprised it is not higher, given that everyone in Melbourne had to watch it at home and not a mates place, pub or MCG (all of which don’t count towards oztam figures)

    • I figure that is due to the spread over Greater Melbourne of the OzTam Ratings Boxes, if there were a higher percentage say in the Geelong Area and Richmond Area then yep it would be way higher. However as a measure of what the General Populous Watched, then I would say that is an accurate picture of how it would play out each year if the Game wasn’t shown at Clubs and Pubs. As take Seven alone *last year and it was Metro 23.1% vs this year Metro 60.8% that’s an increase of 37.7% and the MCG at 100,014 Attendance last year could be a significant part of the 2,979,000 this year as it’s up 782,000 on last years 2,197,000, leaving 681,986 extra others watching (if you take out the MCG Crowd).

      *Via: https://tvtonight.com.au/2019/09/saturday-28-september-2019.html

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