A couple of points.
1) the AFL game that went head to head with the Broncos & Cowboys game ony got a higher rating a half hour after the RL game finished. During the game the RL audience was in front by a good 200,000 viewers.
2) All Broncos games are shown on delay (except finals & not in prime time) while the Lions games are shown live, generally in prime time. One of the good things to come out of the axing of Burke's Backyard on Friday is that NRL games could be shown live.
3)NRL matches not involving the Broncos donkeylick AFL games not involving the Lions. In fact, Queensland Cup games shown on the ABC on Saturday regularly outrate AFL games shown at the same time-sometimes by a margin of 2 to 1.
So the assertion of the theme is generally correct but I acknowledge that the AFL TV audience when the Lions play has improved dramatically. I wonder what this audience will be like in 10 years when the current crop of stars has well & truely gone. I would think on these figures union has to be worried.
In last Monday's Financial Review (21 Feb) there was an article on TV rights. The gave figures that showed Channels 9 & 10 lost $39m televising AFL last year. Although the article had an AFL bias the (author was Neil Shoebridge) it is apparent that there will be less revenue for the AFL when the rights are re-negotiated late next year. IfPacker can not get the AFL finals I predict he will pull the plug on the AFL.
I corrected your figures in the "Channel 9 is not good for football" forum, I suppose I will do it here as well. Your issue of the TV stations loosing $39 million last year is simply not true. The following figures also come from the AFR.
News Ltd holds the TV and internet rights to the AFL. It pays the AFL $100 million a year and on-sells the rights to the following groups:
* Ten Network, $23 million per year for Saturdays coverage & the finals
* Nine Network, $23 million per year for Friday and Sunday coverage
* Foxtel , $34 million for the pay TV rights, gives them the rights to have the 24 hour "fox footy" channel and 3 live games per week
* Telstra $20 million for the internet rights
Taking this into account the FTA networks only paid a combined total of $46 million not $100million by themselves. Also the article mentions that Channel 10 had a return of $31 million and channel 9 had a return of less with $21 million as it does not get the finals and does not broadcast live on Fridays etc in the northern states. Read the article yourselves, it is in the forum as mentioned.
Don't just throw figures around, quantify what you are saying. I do not believe for a second your statement on QLD cup games beat the AFL coverage by 2 - 1, where is your evidence ?Channel 10 have stated they will show all Saturday night games live this year due to the improvement in ratings, regardless of the Lions involvement, so this further contradicts your statement. By the way is "donkeylick" a real word? Anyway moving on,
You imply the article says that Packer will pull the plug if he does not get the finals, wrong again, this is not mentioned anywhere in the article and it is not an issue of 9 pulling the plug, as mentioned in the other forum, its a case of the AFL taking some coverage off 9 due to poor coverage in the northern states and regional areas.
Unlike the NRL the AFL is not 50% owned by Packer (or is it Murdock, I get them confused sometimes...lol) so there is a chance they may actually do this as 7 has last bidding rights and is desperate to get some coverage back.
Lions fans should not be worried about the stars leaving, they should be worried about Leigh Mathews and the board moving on, it is these guys that did the incredible job of building the club and while they are there I can not see the Lions ever missing the finals.
The AFL will not be forced into taking a pay cut as mentioned, I hope though they do accept less money for better coverage.
I hope I have helped clear up some confusion here.