A general view is seen during the round 12 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Collingwood Magpies at Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 9, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Watson: Time for a twilight Grand Final

Essendon legend and media personality Tim Watson believes the AFL Grand Final should finally be moved to a twilight time slot in 2017.

The time of the Grand Final is hotly debated every September, and Watson suggested that the huge television audience that tuned into to watch the Western Bulldogs defeat Greater Western Sydney last Saturday evening indicates the AFL should change the time of the game.

Last weekend’s preliminary final, which started at 5.15pm AEST, drew an average national TV audience of 2.387 million viewers.

“With all the (TV) figures that came out about the Prelim Final at the weekend, how many people watched that game between the Giants and the Bulldogs it was the second largest audience for a Preliminary Final,” Watson said on SEN Radio on Tuesday morning.

“I think a contributing factor to that right across the country has been the fact it was a twilight game too.

“There’s been this whole discussion whether we go night time, don’t go night time. I think we are ready for a twilight Grand Final next year.

“I don’t know if the AFL are going to warm to that idea or not.

“But I would think based on the fact that they want this game to be seen by as many people as they possibly can get there to watch the game then I think it’s just a no-brainer that they shift it to that time.

“Whether we like it or not, we all love the game of AFL football, but it is an event as well.”