It had everything; an electric atmosphere, drama, momentum swings and a history making conclusion, and according to Gillon McLachlan, these were all intensified by the twilight timeslot.
“Every part of that was compelling,” McLachlan said.
“That twilight nature has not been talked about but it certainly added to it.”
The match, played on a Saturday night in Sydney, was the second most watch game of the year behind the Grand Final. Despite this, McLachlan said the AFL would not move the Grand Final time based on ratings alone.
“I would never recommend moving [the Grand Final time] for ratings,” McLachlan said.
“By what is right for the fans, the traditions of the game and what is fair for the competing teams – those factors will always be put ahead of money,
“We will never put television interests ahead of the football and the match-day experience. We’re unequivocal on this – and we have demonstrated such by leaving the decision on the timing of the grand final with us and by not making it part of the television contract.”
McLachlan conceded that “there is a price” that would make the AFL Commission consider moving the Grand Final from the traditional 2:30pm timeslot. However, McLachlan said the issue was not currently on the agenda for the Commission.