A-League finale sets ratings record

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has been boosted by the news that the 2012-13 season of the A-League delivered record television ratings for broadcast partner Fox Sports.

The A-League season concluded on Sunday with the Grand Final serving up an intriguing match-up between debutant franchise Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners. The Mariners had fallen at the final hurdle on three previous occasions, but won their first title by defeating Western Sydney 2-0 in front of a crowd of 42,000 at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

The 2012-13 A-League season has delivered record crowd attendances and TV ratings and Sunday’s game drew a record 296,000 viewership for Fox Sports. The game surpassed the previous record, the 2007 Grand Final between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United, by 14,000 viewers, and smashed last year’s Grand Final average audience by an increase of 38%. It led Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany to state his belief that football is now gaining a strong foothold in the Australian market.

“At the beginning of the season the headlines were all about marquee signings which no doubt helped raise the league’s profile and crowd attendance but, the real story at the end of the day, was the emergence of quality teams and contests that captivated fans,” he said. “This season was the most watched season in the competition’s history with more than 2.8 million viewers tuning in to Fox Sports’ live coverage with average audiences up 23% on last year. With over 33 weeks of prime time coverage, the Hyundai A-League is emerging as a real gem for us in summer and has well and truly cemented itself in the Australian sporting fabric.”