The AFLW may only be a couple of rounds into existence, but the competition is already kicking goals bigger than anyone could have expected. Goals that are sure to benefit the AFL in more ways than one.
Last weekend saw the new women’s competition draw more viewers than both the A-League and the Brisbane Tens, a massive achievement for an extremely new competition.
The overnight success of the AFLW is proof that fans will tune in regardless of gender, giving rival codes something to ponder over the coming months.
Some have already dabbled in televising their women’s league, with a handful of W-League soccer matches and around a quarter of the Big Bash cricket games, though broadcasting every game of the season is a real possibility for other sports after witnessing the sudden success of the AFLW.
One interesting facet of the league will be how the viewership fares when the AFL returns in just over a month’s time.
With the AFL being one of the strongest rating Australian sporting programs, new fans from the AFLW are certain to turn to the men’s competition after the women’s comp ends on March 25th. The women’s league is sure to have pulled in new fans, increasing the demographic, and growing the game even more, a massive win for the AFL.
While Aussie Rules already has an edge over their main competitor rugby league, due to the majority of the NRL clubs residing in New South Wales or Queensland, they will have another edge with the rugby league only bringing in a women’s competition this season, although not televised.
If all goes to plan for the AFL, televising the women’s league should see an influx in both membership and attendance for clubs across Australia. Already beating the ratings of the A-League after two rounds, it is hard to pinpoint where the ratings will be come Grand Final day, though with the numbers they are throwing up now, it would come as no surprise to see them become giant killers against rival codes in the weeks to come.
Only five weeks until a ball is kicked in the AFL, so how the women’s league affects it will soon be revealed, but no matter if the result is big or small, it is sure to be another positive for the AFL in 2017.