A NEW survey has revealed that 2.78 million people now watch the NAB AFL Women's competition on television.
The figure is an increase of 360,000, up from 2.42m in 2019, with key growth in both males and females and across all age groups.
Roy Morgan's Single Source survey interviewed over 50,000 Australians about their TV habits.
The survey found that more men (1.64m) watched AFLW on TV compared to women (1.14m) and that the most popular age group was 50-64, with over 750,000 watching.
TV viewership of the @aflwomens competition increases while others decline. Now 2.78mn people watch #AFLW on TV, up from 2.42mn a year ago – an increase of 360,000. There have been increases for both genders and all age groups... @NicLiv @auswomensport https://t.co/m56AF2DoJJ pic.twitter.com/h3zfZ4sC7O— Roy Morgan (@roymorganonline) June 24, 2020
Industry communications director Julian McCrann said he expected the viewership to grow even further.
"Unfortunately, the AFL Women’s competition will not be returning in 2020 with the season ending prematurely prior to the preliminary finals as the COVID-19 pandemic struck in mid-March. The AFL Women’s competition is watched by 2.78 million Australians and is the only form of AFL competition to increase its TV viewership compared to a year ago," he said.
"In a time when every investment decision is closely analysed to determine where scarce dollars should be directed the success of AFL Women’s in growing TV viewership over the last year should not be under-estimated. Other AFL competitions, as well as rival sporting codes such as the NRL, have experienced declines in TV viewership compared to a year ago and the outperformance by the AFL Women’s competition suggests there is further growth to come for the league formed less than four years ago."
The strong ratings news comes as the AFL on Tuesday reaffirmed its commitment to the AFLW in 2021, with a nine-week home and away season and three-week finals series locked in.