(Image: Lego Masters/Nine)

It's official: the 2021 ratings period is over. Seven says it won, which it did in total people. Nine says it won 25-to-54 and 16-to-39, as well as grocery buyers with children, which it did. And Ten... well, Ten was back in the pack (but the ABC had more viewers and a bigger share than Ten over the year).

BVOD -- that's broadcast video on demand -- also perked up, thanks to Nine's Married At First Sight and Love Island and Seven’s Big Brother and Home and Away. Ten’s Bachelor and Bachelorette were popular as well.

But if it hadn’t been for Seven’s AFL coverage it would have lost badly to Nine, which had better performing non-sport and news programming. Apart from the rugby league State of Origin weeks, Seven won most weeks from the start of the AFL season in mid-March to the end of the season on September 25. So despite the usual boasts from Seven, led by CEO James Warburton, it was the AFL wot did it for Kerry Stokes’s TV arm. It is yet another season in which the popularity of AFL helped Seven survive (uh, as did the $87 million cut in payments to the AFL in the depths of the pandemic-hit 2020 ratings year).