THURSDAY night football has proven a ratings winner for Channel Seven, with an average of 731,000 free-to-air viewers switching on to its seven games in the timeslot this season.

An average of 257,000 have tuned in on pay television.

But while the prime-time slot is clearly popular with couch-based supporters, both Seven and Fox Footy are well aware teams require six-day breaks, meaning the opportunity for more games in the coming years are limited.

Determined to try and keep viewers pressing Seven on Thursday nights, Seven is pitching its The Front Bar panel show directly against Channel Nine's The Footy Show in a bid to win over fans of light-hearted footy entertainment.

"Thursday night footy is a winner and the fans have voted with the remotes, now we look forward to The Front Bar entertaining us in that slot," Seven Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin said.

Last season the AFL played its first-ever Thursday night final, and it's understood the timeslot remains under serious consideration for the first week of finals this September. The AFL's official fixture already lists Thursday 7 September as the start date for finals weekend.

Of the four venues used for the mid-season series of Thursday night games, Adelaide Oval proved most popular thanks to parochial local fans. 

The 'city of churches' hosted two of the five fixtures in recent weeks, with bumper crowds of 37,910 and 45,312 respectively. 


Round 10: Geelong defeated Port Adelaide by 2 points
Seven: 753k Fox Footy: 247k      
Crowd: 24,909 at Simonds Stadium

Round 11: Port Adelaide defeated Hawthorn by 51 points
Seven: 634k Fox Footy: 210k      
Crowd: 37,910 at Adelaide Oval

Round 12: Sydney defeated Western Bulldogs by 46 points
Seven: 595k Fox Footy: 193k       
Crowd: 20,692 at SCG

Round 13: West Coast defeated Geelong by 13 points
Seven: 800k Fox Footy: 249k      
Crowd: 35,719 at Domain Stadium

Round 14: Hawthorn defeated Adelaide by 14 points
Seven: 731k Fox Footy: 258k      
Crowd: 45,312 at Adelaide Oval 

(TV figures are averages)