Ratings fail to capture full picture of Grand Final viewership

Two Roy Morgan Snap SMS Surveys taken after the weekend’s AFL and NRL Grand Finals show millions more Australians watched the two showpiece events than were captured by conventional ‘5 City Metro’ ratings figures. 

A Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey taken on Sunday showed 8.4 million Australians aged 18+ (44.5%) watched the AFL Grand Final much higher than suggested by the official Channel 7 ‘5 City Metro’ ratings of 2.7 million. 

A further Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey taken on Monday showed 6.5 million Australians aged 18+ (34.5%) watched the NRL Grand Final again much higher than suggested by the official Channel 9 ‘5 City Metro’ ratings of 2.3 million. 

AFL Grand Final is more popular in Capital Cities 

Of the 8.4 million Australians that watched the AFL Grand Final over 5.7 million (30.5% of Australia’s population aged 18+) primarily watched the game on TV including 3.8 million in the ‘5 City Metro’ area (a 31.5% share of that market) and a further 1.9 million in the rest of Australia (a slightly lower, 28% share of that market). 

An additional 2.7 million Australians (14.2%) watched the game in another way either at a friend’s house, at the local pub/hotel, via an app or website, at the ground, or in another way not covered. These results are broken-down extensively in our AFL viewership release available here. 

NRL Grand Final is more popular (proportionally) in Rural and Regional areas 

Of the 6.5 million Australians that watched the NRL Grand Final nearly 4.9 million (25.5% of Australia’s population aged 18+) primarily watched the game on TV including 2.8 million in the ‘5 City Metro’ area (a 23% share of that market) and a further 2.0 million in the rest of Australia (a higher 30% share of that market). 

An additional 1.6 million Australians (8.4%) watched the game in another way either at a friend’s house, at the local pub/hotel, via an app or website, at the ground, or in another way not covered. These results are broken-down extensively in our NRL viewership release available here. 

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says: 

“Special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Surveys taken after the AFL and NRL Grand Finals reveal far more Australians watched the two events than is revealed by traditional ‘5 City Metro’ aggregated viewing figures. 

“The good news for Grand Final advertisers and sponsors is that millions of Australians watched the games on TV outside the traditional ‘5 City Metro’ markets and millions more again watched the games at a friend’s house, in a pub or hotel, at the ground or streaming via an app or website. 

“The different time slots for the games also skewed the method used to watch the games. The Saturday afternoon timeslot of the AFL Grand Final drew bigger audiences at pubs and hotels and watching at friend’s houses compared to the NRL Grand Final held in the evening.  

“Streaming the Saturday afternoon AFL Grand Final via an app or website was more likely for Metro area viewers (81,000) than those in the rest of Australia (18,000). The situation was reversed for the night-time NRL decider with more rural and regional viewers (57,000) of the NRL Grand Final streaming via an app or website compared to their ‘5 City Metro area counterparts (37,000). 

“Interestingly, despite the larger audience of the AFL Grand Final than the NRL Grand Final – this difference was entirely a result of larger audiences in Australia’s five largest ‘Capital Cities’. There was little difference in the total viewers in the rest of Australia between the two matches with Roy Morgan showing the NRL Grand Final had a higher number of TV viewers outside the ‘5 City Metro’ area than the AFL Grand Final.” 

Finding No. 7362 – These special snap Roy Morgan SMS surveys were conducted with representative cross-sections of 1,667 Australianaged 18+ on Sunday October 1, 2017 for the AFL Grand Final and 1,626 Australians aged 18+ on Monday October 2, 2017The respondents were asked “Did you watch the AFL/NRL Grand Final?” If YES: “Did you primarily watch the AFL/NRL Grand Final on TV, App, Website, Friend’s House, Pub/Hotel, At the Ground or Other?” 

Roy Morgan SMS Polling was extremely accurate at both the last two Federal Elections.
Results analysed by Roy Morgan Helix Personas are available on a subscription basis.
www.HelixPersonas.com.au 

 

Questions: 

Did you watch the AFL/NRL Grand Final? If YES: “Did you primarily watch the AFL/NRL Grand Final on TV, App, Website, Friend’s House, Pub/Hotel, At the Ground or Other?” 

 

Watching AFL & NRL Grand Finals – The Proportions 

  Australia-wide  Five Capital Cities**  Rest of Australia 
  AFL  NRL  Difference  AFL  NRL  Difference  AFL  NRL  Difference 
  %  %  %  %  %  %  %  %  % 
TV  30.5  25.5  -5  31.5  23  -8.5  28  30  +2 
Friend’s house  5.5  2  -3.5  6  1.5  -4.5  4.5  2.5  -2 
Pub/ Hotel  2  1  -1  2  1  -1  1.5  0.5  -1 
At the Ground  0.5  0.5    1  0.5  -0.5  0.5  0.5   
App/ Website  0.5  0.5    1  0.5    0.5  1  +0.5 
Other  1  0.5  -0.5  1.5  0.5  -1  1  0  -1 
No answer  4.5  4.5    4.5  5    3  4  +1 
TOTAL WATCHED  44.5  34.5  -10.0  46.5  32  -14.5  39  38.5  -0.5 
‘Just the highlights’  9.5  8.5  -1  9.5  9.5    9.5  7  -2.5 
Didn’t watch  46  57  +11  44  58.5  +14.5  51.5  54.5  +3 
TOTAL  100  100    100  100    100  100   

**Five Capital Cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide. 


Watching AFL & NRL Grand Finals

  Australia-wide  Five Capital Cities**  Rest of Australia 
  AFL  NRL  Difference  AFL  NRL  Difference  AFL  NRL  Difference 
  ‘000  ‘000  ‘000  ‘000  ‘000  ‘000  ‘000  ‘000  ‘000 
TV  5,748  4,861  -897  3,849*  2,819*  -1,030  1,899  2,042  143 
Friend’s house  1,031  334  -697  731  173  -558  299  161  -138 
Pub/ Hotel  363  167  -196  253  117  -136  109  50  -59 
At the Ground  100  80  -20  85  40  -45  15  40  +25 
App/ Website  99  94  -5  81  37  -44  18  57  +39 
Other  231  87  -144  166  87  -79  65  0  -65 
No answer  867  848  -19  638  586  -52  228  263  +35 
TOTAL WATCHED  8,439  6,472  -1,967  5,810  3,858  -1,952  2,629  2,613  -16 
‘Just the highlights’  1,826  1,649  -177  1,176  1,171  -5  650  479  -171 
Didn’t watch  8,719  10,818  +2,099  5,196  7,152  +1,956  3,523  3,666  +143 
TOTAL  18,939  18,939    12,181  12,181    6,758  6,758   

Total watched according to OzTam measuring the five Capital City Metro audience (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide). 

*Channel 7: AFL Grand Final: 2,680,000 (http://tvtonight.com.au/2017/10/saturday-30-september-2017.html)
cf. Roy Morgan Metro TV viewership of 3,849,000 (A difference of 1,169,000). 

*Channel 9: NRL Grand Final: 2,325,000 (http://tvtonight.com.au/2017/10/sunday-1-october-2017.html)
cf. Roy Morgan Metro TV viewership of2,819,000(A difference of 494,000).

For further information: 

Contact  Office  Mobile 
Gary Morgan:       +61 3 9224 5213    +61 411 129 094 
Michele Levine:         +61 3 9224 5215    +61 411 129 093 

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