Are the networks paying too much for the broadcast rights to the AFL and NRL? Decade-low audiences for both codes' grand finals would suggest so.
The AFL national TV audience fell under 3 million for the first time in 13 years last week, and the audience for Sunday night’s NRL grand final was one of the lowest for a decade at 2.64 million. Both were sharply lower than 2018 and 2017 finals. You have to wonder if that’s value for money at a time when Nine, Seven and Foxtel are slashing costs to stay alive.
Ten, on the other hand, is rumoured to be readying a bid for the NRL contract from 2023. The AFL and NRL should hope that happens.