The AFL thanks all supporters for a strong start to the 2021 Toyota AFL Finals Series which saw a total average audience of 5.84 million, a 15 per cent increase compared to the first week of the 2019 Toyota AFL Finals Series.

The opening match of the Finals Series between Port Adelaide and the Geelong Cats attracted an overall audience of 1.49 million with the TV audience in Adelaide reaching 178,000 viewers, a 54 per cent increase compared to the first week of the 2019 Toyota AFL Finals Series.
 
Saturday afternoon’s Sydney Swans vs. GWS GIANTS Elimination Final – which was decided by one point – attracted an overall audience of 1.33 million including a Sydney TV audience of 172,000, the highest ever TV audience in Sydney for the first week of finals.
 
An overall audience of 1.52 million tuned in to the Qualifying Final between Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions played on Saturday night, an increase of 22 per cent compared to the same timeslot in 2019. The game also attracted Brisbane’s highest ever Saturday night TV audience in the first week of finals.
 
Sunday’s Elimination Final between the Western Bulldogs and Essendon attracted a national broadcast audience of 1.51m, including an audience in Melbourne of 529,000.
 
Supporters of AFL not only watched in strong numbers, close to 52,000 members and supporters attended matches in Week One of the 2021 Toyota AFL Finals Series.
 
A total of 33,496 South Australians attended the two matches at Adelaide Oval including a sell-out for the Port Adelaide game, while 18,395 Tasmanians attended the two sold out matches played at UTAS Stadium.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said it was great to see supporters at games over the weekend and expressed his thanks to all football fans across the country who are tuning in to the game.
 
“Firstly, I want to acknowledge the continued challenges that so many Australians are facing, both within football and in the broader community,” Mr McLachlan said.
 
“Despite yet another unique season for our game, the interest from fans in the broadcast of AFL games continues to be extremely strong and I want to thank the dedication of everyone in the football community in supporting the opening round of the 2021 Toyota AFL Finals Series.
 
“It was fantastic to see members and supporters back at Adelaide Oval and UTAS Stadium over the weekend and we thank each and every fan in South Australia and Tasmania for their support in attending a match.
 
“I would like to acknowledge each AFL Club, players, coaches, staff, umpires and their families, AFLPA, fans, broadcast and commercial partners, venues and all State and Territory Governments for their ongoing support and ensuring the season continues to progress for supporters across the country.
 
“I also want to thank our long-term broadcast partners, the Seven Network and Foxtel, for their great coverage of the game."

2021 Toyota AFL Finals Series Week One – TV Ratings

The total average audience: 5.84 million

  • 15 per cent increase compared to the first week of finals in 2019
  • 12 per cent increase amongst metro FTA TV markets
  • The highest rating Week One of Finals ever on Foxtel platforms (Foxtel / Kayo / Foxtel Now / Foxtel Go).

Port Adelaide vs. Geelong Cats - Qualifying Final

  • Overall audience: 1.49 million
  • Adelaide’s FTA TV audience was 178,000, up 54 per cent compared to the Friday night match in the first week of finals in 2019.

Sydney Swans vs. GWS GIANTS - Elimination Final

  • Overall audience: 1.33 million (up 16 per cent compared to the same timeslot in 2019)
  • Sydney’s FTA TV audience was 172,000, the highest ever TV audience in Sydney for the first week of finals.

Melbourne vs. Brisbane Lions - Qualifying Final

  • Overall audience: 1.52 million (up 22 per cent compared to the same timeslot in 2019)
  • Brisbane’s TV audience was 103,000, Brisbane’s highest ever Saturday night TV audience in the first week of finals.

Western Bulldogs vs. Essendon - Elimination Final

  • Overall audience: 1.51 million
  • Melbourne’s TV audience of 529,000 was the largest Melbourne FTA TV audience for the year.
  • Western Bulldogs vs. Essendon was the number one streamed AFL game of all time (Kayo / Foxtel Now / Foxtel Go).

Please note: Ratings comparisons have been made with 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season due to that season being the most recent with same season length, overall timing of the season, regular weekend fixtures and game length.