Despite being “Mr Collingwood”, the AFL hasn’t done the well-connected
Eddie McGuire’s other employer, the Network Nine, much of a favour with
the start of the 2005 season.

The kick-off, for what promises to be a competitive season (St Kilda
and Port to play in the last game?), is Maundy Thursday, Good Friday
Eve, or Thursday night, as it is more commonly known – March 24. The
first round then continues over the holiday weekend, with no game
scheduled for Good Friday, and the second round is the following
weekend.

So what, you say? Well TV’s “official ratings” break over the two week
Easter break, so in terms of “official” boasting rights, it will not be
of any help to Nine if the AFL helps boost audiences over those two
weekends.

Likewise the struggling Ten Network, is also having problems with its ratings. Ten said in its rating chat on Monday:

TEN solid, steady, seriously focused

After the most hotly contested week of the year in 16-39, TEN still leads the 2005 ratings in the under 40 demographic.

Yes it is all those things, except the audience share is down on a year
ago, Seven is nibbling away at the 16 to 39 age group (with Nine adding
its own bite or three with a close win in the demographic last week)
and programs like X-Factor are fading fast.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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