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TV ratings bonanza for AFLW opener

AFLW: Highlights: Carlton v Collingwood The Blues and Magpies clash in the Round 1 of AFLW action

FRIDAY night's historic AFL Women's opening match between Carlton and Collingwood was a ratings hit with nearly a million viewers tuning in.

A national TV audience of 896,000, including 593,000 metropolitan free-to-air viewers, 180,000 regional free-to-air viewers and 123,000 on Fox Footy, watched as the Blues won the inaugural AFLW clash in front of a sold-out crowd at Ikon Park.

The Melbourne metropolitan audience of 424,000 is on par with the average Melbourne metropolitan audience for Friday night AFL matches.

AFL general manager of game and marketing development Simon Lethlean said the AFL’s broadcast partners, the Seven Network, Foxtel and Telstra, along with radio partners, had done an outstanding job in showcasing AFLW to fans around Australia.

"Our broadcast partners have shown great faith in NAB AFL Women’s from day one and invested heavily in delivering a broadcast that is first class as always," he said.

"Last night’s ratings result is great reward for all their hard work.

"We hope fans who watched last night enjoyed the game, and urge all our supporters to continue to get behind AFLW matches throughout the eight-week season."

A capacity crowd of 24,568 packed in to watch the historic clash with a further 2000 spectators turned away after an official lockout was declared.

The AFL has already raised the possibility of moving more AFLW matches in the future to cope with massive demand.

The opening round of AFLW continues on Saturday night with Adelaide taking on GWS and the Western Bulldogs up against Fremantle.