Crio’s Q?…bums on (couch) seats

or, for fox sakes, I’ll toss in my membership


Let’s face it. Fixturing is TV driven. That’s the case now in mainstream sports across the globe.

By necessity, therefore, the “live” spectator’s   (fan/club member/ contributor to atmosphere) considerations are secondary.

AFL attendances thus far have stood up, but the International trend is that television imperatives, rising costs and the GFC have meant a decline in crowds.

There’s nothing like going to a footy match. I actually find it hard to watch on TV. Soccer, Rugby, Gridiron, bowls, snooker, darts, tennis….these sports allow a camera to capture the play. Aussie Rules is 360°. At the ground you are always looking ahead of the play – and across these days with all the “switches”. It’s a perspective and an experience the broadcasters can’t capture.

But times are tough. FOX is flogging a strong product. In racing we have seen an influx of wagering and an evacuation of on-course punters as pubs and homes offer an easy alternative.

I reckon crowd figures will be hit by the broadcasting deal and its implications.

Do you agree?


  1. Crio,
    I have not given this issue a lot of thought, but I tend to agree with you.
    Fox will surely become more popular with Aussie Rules fans given their
    role in this new era.
    In the big US sports (apart from NFL) where all games are televised live,
    it appears that the smaller teams suffer from poorer crowds. Have you
    seen the highlights of some of those baseball matches? There are plenty
    of gaps in the stadia.

  2. That sign banning thongs, tracky dacs, shearers singlets (on sheilas) and other boganesque regalia that was (cleverly) accidently placed at the ‘G’ as a warning last week will certainly effect the size of the crowd at the Pies home games.

  3. Andrew Starkie says


    On the AFL fixturing issue, yes, we all know it is completely dictated by potential TV markets (as is the creation of clubs). Headquarters doesn’t even try to hide that anymore. And Bulldogs and North supporters like us know we get shafted every year. Richmond haven’t fired a shot in decades, yet each year play the ‘now traditional season opener’ (pleeaasse!).

    Other major sports are also dictated to by TV. Rugby League has evolved almost completely into a TV sport. Its live crowds are so small, nearly all income comes from TV. However, EPL fixturing still requires all teams to play each other home and away. Man U still has to go to Swansea.

    I watch very little footy on TV. Haven’t done so for years. Footy is not a TV sport like the rugby codes, the world game and tennis are. These sports are all played on smaller, rectangular surfaces, suited to the TV screen. I also find commercial television insulting and the footy coverage in particular, abuses the goodwill of footy fans, and is too much about the egos of former coaches/players/commentators. It concerns me how coaches and players move so swiftly and easily into the commentary box, swapping polo shirt or jumper for blazer, and casting cliched criticism on former teammates and opponents. The modern day player is prepared for the commentary box as soon as he enters ‘the system’, with cliche rehearsal classes.

    Like you, I believe there’s nothing like being there. If I’m not, I prefer the radio. You can’t beat ‘good old aunty’ for no frills, accurate coverage. And there’s less ego and fewer interruptions.

    I don’t know for sure, but I think research has shown live TV sport does not result in a decrease in crowds. I’ve actually read it has the opposite effect, attracting more people to live sport. Remember when video was going to kill the radio star and youtube was going to see off live music and bands. Dave Faulkner from the ‘Hoodoo Gurus’ was on ABC radio yesterday and he said youtube has actually allowed his band to reach a younger demographic and lengthen their lifespan which has now stretched to 30 years. Doesn’t that make you feel old?!

    Delayed footy telecasts are an insult to viewers, particularly families wanting to put kids to bed on a Friday and Saturday night. Is footy live on free to air TV now? I should know this but don’t. I do know round 1 start times were later. Will this be the case all season? If so, why? Is it because games are live on TV, so let’s knock the starting times back?

Leave a Comment