A-League boosted by big crowds but TV ratings slide

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Some mixed news for the A-League in the opening round

The A-League is back and the opening round saw encouraging crowd numbers, but some less than impressive TV ratings. 

Every home side in Round 1 attracted crowd figures higher than the average number they pulled in last season with Adelaide United kicking things off with a respectable and vocal 10,018 at Hindmarsh Stadium. 

A massive crowd of 40,504 then turned up at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night for the Melbourne derby, a figure which smashed last season's highest crowd turnout of 36,433 for a Sydney derby at ANZ Stadium in Round 10.

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The encouraging fan numbers continued in Wellington with 9,174 fans rocking up at Westpac Stadium - a figure 1000 larger than any they pulled in last season.

Brisbane Roar went even better at a wet Suncorp Stadium as 14,859 watched on, with John Aloisi's side largest home crowd number last season just 12,019.

Double digits were also hit at NIB Stadium with a figure of 10,206 beating Perth's average home attendance last season by over a thousand fans. 

While the turnout was good in the stands, there were some worrying TV ratings in Round 1. 

Just 67,000 watched the season opener between Adelaide United and Sydney FC on Friday night with the game shown exclusively on Fox Sports.

That figure was the lowest viewership number for the first game of the season since the 2011/12 season and was 33,000 fewer than the same game last season.

The Melbourne derby on Saturday night then attracted just 69,000 via Fox Sports, but was simulcast on One with no figure available as yet from them.

While TV ratings appear to be well down, it's worth noting that streams made available by the My Football app and Telstra have inevitably eaten into the figure.

It's not good reading for Fox Sports however, who have been putting significant money into the A-League and should be commended on some otherwise great coverage of the competition in Round 1. 

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