Back To Listing

AFL is clearly Australia’s most watched Football Code, while V8 Supercars have the local edge over Formula 1

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013 (n=49,846).

For the first time, the AFL 'Home & away season' and the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix are being staged on the same weekend. Tonight 2010 Premiers Collingwood take on Premiership favourites Fremantle at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium while today the Formula 1 cars kick off the 2014 season with practice laps at Albert Park. But which sport do Australians prefer to watch?

The latest Roy Morgan Research shows that the AFL wins hands down on this front – 7.83 million Australians (41.0%) say they watch the AFL almost always or occasionally on TV, just ahead of Cricket – 7.43 million (38.9%). The nearest local challengers are Tennis – 6.83 million Australians (35.8%), the NRL – 6.73 million (35.3%) and Horse Racing – 6.32 million (33.1%).

In terms of motor sport, the local V8 Supercars have the edge – watched by 4.65 million Australians (24.3%) compared to 2.89 million (15.1%) who watch Formula 1. Both sports are being contested this weekend at Albert Park although the V8 Supercars season kicked off a month ago in mid-February. Other motor sports are well behind the two leaders with 1.79 million (9.4%) watching Motorcycle racing (including the MotoGP), 1.15 million (6.0%) watching Rally car racing and 1.10 million (5.8%) watching Drag racing.

Sport watched on TV almost always or occasionally

Sports watched on TV almost always or occasionally

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013 (n=49,846).

Battle of the Football Codes – AFL wins the TV battle

Although last week we showed that more Australians participate in Soccer than any other football code (see release here), when it comes to watching on TV, the AFL wins clearly, while the NRL is itself far ahead of Soccer and Rugby Union. Once again, men clearly outnumber women in terms of watching these sports on TV.

  • AFL: 7.83 million (41.0%). Men: 4.38 million (46.4% of men); Women: 3.45 million (35.7%);
  • NRL: 6.73 million (35.3%). Men: 4.05 million (43.0%); Women: 2.68 million (27.7%);
  • Soccer: 4.01 million (21.0%). Men: 2.70 million (28.6%); Women: 1.31 million (13.5%);
  • Rugby Union: 3.53 million (18.5%). Men 2.41 million (25.6%); Women: 1.13 million (11.6%).

Football codes watched on TV almost always or occasionally

Football codes watched almost always or occasionally on TV

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013 (n=49,846).

Motor Sport – V8 Supercars more appealing than Formula 1

This week’s Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix is the biggest event on the local motor sports calendar. However, the local V8 Supercar series – which includes the iconic Bathurst 1,000 race in October, is watched by far more Australians each year than the ‘travelling circus’ of Formula 1.

  • V8 Supercars (including Bathurst 1000): 4.65 million (24.3%). Men: 3.16 million (33.5% of men); Women: 1.49 million (15.4%);
  • Bathurst 1000: 3.82 million (20.0%). Men: 2.66 million (28.2%); Women: 1.16 million (12.0%);
  • V8 Supercars (excluding Bathurst 1000): 3.44 million (18.0%). Men: 2.39 million (25.4%); Women: 1.05 million (10.8%);
  • Formula 1: 2.89 million (15.1%). Men 2.13 million (22.6%); Women: 0.76 million (7.8%);
  • Motorcycle Racing (Including MotoGP): 1.79 million (9.4%); Men: 1.37 million (14.5%); Women: 0.42 million (4.4%).

Motor Racing codes watched on TV almost always or occasionally

Motor Sports watched almost always or occasionally on TV

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013 (n=49,846).

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“This year is the first time the AFL ‘Home & away season’ has kicked off on the weekend the Formula 1 comes to Australia. It will be interesting to see which attracts more attention in the coming days, but when taking a broader look at the two sports Australians clearly prefer to watch the AFL – 7.83 million (41.0%) Australians watch on TV almost always or occasionally far ahead of those that watch Formula 1 – 2.89 million viewers (15.1%).

“The AFL has a clear lead over all the other football codes in Australia. The NRL is the closest challenger with 6.73 million viewers (35.3%), well ahead of Soccer – 4.01 million (21.0%) and Rugby Union – 3.53 million (18.5%).

“Both Soccer and Rugby Union have high profile international competitions that overshadow their domestic competitions. The FIFA World Cup – 3.30 million viewers (17.3%) is far more popular than the local A-League – 1.58 million viewers (8.3%) while the Rugby World Cup – 3.06 million viewers (16.0%) is also far more popular than the Super Rugby – 1.68 million viewers (8.8%).

“In terms of motor sport, although the Formula 1 is attracting all the attention this week, the local V8 Supercars series – consisting of 16 rounds mostly held in Australia – is clearly Australia’s favourite motor sport. 4.65 million Australians (24.3%) watch the V8 Supercars (including Bathurst 1000) compared to 2.89 million viewers (15.1%) of the Formula 1 although both are well ahead of Motorcycle racing (Including MotoGP held each year at Phillip Island) – 1.79 million viewers (9.4%).”

For comments or more information please contact:

Gary Morgan,

Executive Chairman

Office: +61 (3) 9224 5213

Mobile: +61 411 129 094

Related research findings

View our extensive range of Sports TV Viewer Profiles, including AFL Grand Final Viewer Profile, NRL Grand Final Viewer Profile, FIFA World Cup Viewer Profile,  Formula 1 Viewer Profile, Rugby World Cup Viewer Profile, V8 Supercar Viewer Profile and the profiles of many other sports and sporting events. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%