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AFL says Sunday night footy can't be justified as fans stay away

Scott free, Clarko back and more Monday's Footy Feed with Matt Thompson
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire at the MCG on Sunday night
SUNDAY night football is all but dead, with the AFL saying it has heard the fans' opposition to the timeslot.

Just 40,936 fans showed up for the Collingwood-Carlton clash at the MCG on Sunday night - the lowest attendance between the sides since a 1921 semi-final attracted 37,813.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire was so incensed by the low crowd that he demanded compensation from the AFL.

The game attracted strong TV ratings, however, with 1.019 million tuning in.

The AFL has now completed its trial of Thursday night (six) and Sunday night matches (six) and chief executive Gillon McLachlan said it was clear fans had voted with their feet and Thursday night was the preference.

"It is the AFL's view that the trial in 2014 has shown us that there is a place for Thursday night matches as event games in our schedule but there is not the same appetite for Sunday night in the fixture," McLachlan said in a statement.

"Sunday night matches have drawn strong viewer numbers on both the Fox Footy Channel and the Seven Network but crowd numbers have been strongly impacted, particularly in the games played in this timeslot in Melbourne in rounds one, three, 12 and last night."

McLachlan said crowd attendances were an essential part of the AFL's strategies.

"We will always look at new initiatives - just as we have done in the past with Friday night and Saturday twilight football - but match-day attendance is a core ingredient of the success of our game and, in this instance, we acknowledge the very strong feedback from our fans and our clubs in relation to Sunday night football, particularly in Victoria."

"While the two national Seven/Fox Footy Sunday night matches (rounds 3 and 15) have drawn comparable television viewers to a Friday night game, the impact on attendance does not justify moving matches into this new timeslot and the AFL remains committed to attendances at the ground as critical to our game."


THURSDAY NIGHT
ROUND
 
MATCH
 
BROADCASTER
 
AVG. TV AUDIENCE
 
CROWD
 
1

 
Geelong vs. Adelaide Crows
 
FOX
 
446,754
 
23,622
 
2
 
Richmond vs. Carlton
 
SEVEN
 
1,084,586
 
62,037
 
5
 
Brisbane Lions vs. Richmond
 
SEVEN
 
1,060,444
 
20,676
 
9
 
Adelaide Crows vs. Collingwood
 
SEVEN
 
1,193,119
 
50,051
 
11
 
Sydney Swans vs. Geelong Cats
 
SEVEN
 
1,029,669
 
37,355
 
19
 
Fremantle vs. Carlton
 
SEVEN
 
-
 
-
 

SUNDAY NIGHT
ROUND
 
MATCH
 
BROADCASTER
 
AVG. TV AUDIENCE
 
CROWD
 
1
 
Carlton vs. Port Adelaide
 
FOX
 
446,297
 
24,640
 
1
 
West Coast Eagles vs. Western Bulldogs
 
FOX
 
353,921
 
36,752
 
3 Essendon vs. Carlton
 
SEVEN
 
979,585
 
62,730
 
11 West Coast Eagles vs. North Melbourne
 
FOX
 
319,688
 
35,914
 
12
 
North Melbourne vs. Richmond
 
FOX
 
196,172
 
32,977
 
15
 
Collingwood vs. Carlton
 
SEVEN

 
1,019,315
 
40,939