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Grand Prix Fails To Excite The Masses, But Monday Night AFL Kicks A Goal In South Australia

Almost 5 million Australians aged 14 and above (30%) watched the 2006 Fosters Australian Grand Prix on Sunday April 1, while just over 2.2 million Australians aged 14 and above* watched the inaugural Monday Night AFL football match between Collingwood and Adelaide the following night, the Roy Morgan Sports Monitor reveals.

While the audience figure for the Grand Prix was higher than that of the Monday Night AFL game, the Grand Prix audience was below the audience figures for all other annual or once-off sporting events. Over 10.5 million Australians watched the 2005 Melbourne Cup, 10 million watched the 2006 Australian Open Men’s Final and 9 million watched the recent Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

Only 565,000 Australians (4%) watched all of the 1½ hour Formula One race in comparison to almost 1 million Australians (6%) who watched all of the 2½ hour Monday Night AFL match between Collingwood and Adelaide.

Nine percent of Australians watched all (4%) or most (5%) of Sunday’s Fosters Australian Grand Prix, 7% about half, 9% less than half and 5% just a few minutes. Monday night’s AFL match was watched in full by 6% of Australians and in part by 8%.Audiences for the Grand Prix were highest in Victoria where 40% watched some of the race, followed by Tasmania 35%. Less than 30% watched in all other States. For Monday night’s AFL audiences were highest in South Australia and the Northern Territory (42%) and Western Australia (27%).

Gary Morgan says:

“With the Melbourne Grand Prix’s future in question these audience figures make interesting reading. This year’s Grand Prix had the lowest audience of any of Melbourne’s big sporting events and was watched by only 4.9 million people, less half the audience of the Melbourne Cup (10.5 million) and the Australian Open Men’s Tennis Final (10 million).

There remains a significant challenge to marketers of the Grand Prix to increase the event’s audience outside of Victoria.

There is no doubt that the Commonwealth Games sapped the enthusiasm of Australian sports-watchers.

On the other hand the AFL will be very pleased with their Monday night football experiment, with a healthy audience of 2.2 million people tuning into Match 8 of the 185-match season. Had the match involved the Sydney Swans or the Brisbane Lions who have the largest supporter base, you would see much higher figures.”

Both sporting events were watched almost exclusively at home: Just over a quarter of Australians (26%) watched the Grand Prix at home, 2% at public venues like pubs and hotels, 1% at a friend’s house, 1% watched elsewhere and less than 1% were at the track itself. Similarly the match between Collingwood and Adelaide was watched by 13% of Australians at home, 1% at a public venue and less than 1% at a friend’s house or elsewhere.

This special Roy Morgan telephone survey was conducted on the evenings of April 5/6, 2006 with an Australia-wide cross section of 669 men and women aged 14 and over. More details are available on a subscription basis.

* The Monday Night AFL Match was not televised in Queensland.

1. - Grand Prix

Respondents were asked: “Now about the Fosters Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday (April 2). Did you watch the Fosters Australian Grand Prix on Sunday?”

Those respondents who watched the Grand Prix were then asked: “How much of the race did you watch — all, most, about half, less than half or only a few minutes?”

 

All Australians 14+

Analysis by Sex and Age

 

April 5-6, 2006

Men

Women

14-17

18-24

25-34

35-49

50+

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

All

4

4

3

-

4

6

3

4

Most

5

7

4

2

3

5

7

5

About Half

7

11

4

5

7

9

5

8

Less than Half

9

10

7

6

8

15

6

8

Only a few minutes

5

6

4

9

4

2

5

6

Total watched

30

37

22

22

26

37

26

31

Total didn’t watch

70

63

78

78

74

63

74

69

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

 

All Australians 14+

Analysis by Region & State

 

April 5-6, 2006

Metro

Country

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA/NT

WA

Tas

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

All

4

4

3

4

4

2

3

2

16

Most

5

5

5

5

10

3

5

1

-

About Half

7

7

8

7

8

8

6

6

3

Less than Half

9

9

7

6

12

9

5

7

8

Only a few minutes

5

4

8

6

6

2

2

8

8

Total watched

30

29

31

28

40

24

21

24

35

Total didn’t watch

70

71

69

72

60

76

79

76

65

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Respondents who watched the Grand Prix were then asked: “Where did you mainly watch the Grand Prix?”

 

Grand Prix

 

April 5-6, 2006

 

%

At home

26

At a public venue (ie. hotel)

2

At a friend’s house

*

At Albert Park Grand Prix Track

1

Other

1

Total

30

* less than 1%

2. - AFL — Monday Night Football

Respondents were also asked: Next about the Collingwood versus Adelaide AFL match played on Monday night (April 3). Did you watch the Collingwood vs. Adelaide AFL match played on Monday?

Those respondents who watched the Monday Night AFL game were then asked: How much of the match did you watch — the first quarter, the second quarter, the third quarter, the fourth quarter or the whole game?

 

All Australians 14+

 

Analysis by Sex and Age

 

April 5-6, 2006

Men

Women

14-17

18-24

25-34

35-49

50+

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Whole Game

6

7

4

1

5

4

6

7

One Quarter

3

5

2

3

6

1

5

3

Two Quarters

2

3

*

3

3

-

2

1

Three Quarters

1

1

1

-

3

-

*

1

Some, but can’t say how much

2

1

3

-

3

2

2

2

Watched Some of Game*

8

10

6

6

15

3

9

7

Total watched the Game

14

17

10

7

20

7

15

14

Total not broadcast

19

19

19

20

20

20

20

19

Total didn’t watch the Game

86

83

90

93

80

93

85

86

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

* Respondents could say more than one quarter of the game.

 

All Australians 14+

Analysis by Region & State

 

April 5-6, 2006

Metro

Country

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA/NT

WA

Tas

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Whole Game

6

6

5

2

7

NB

28

7

7

One Quarter

3

4

4

2

6

NB

5

8

4

Two Quarters

2

2

1

-

3

NB

2

6

5

Three Quarters

1

1

1

-

1

NB

1

5

4

Some, but can’t say how much

2

2

1

1

3

NB

6

1

3

Watched Some of Game*

8

9

7

3

13

NB

14

20

16

Total watched the Game

14

15

12

5

20

NB

42

27

23

Total not broadcast

19

14

28

-

-

NB

-

-

-

Total didn’t watch the Game

86

85

88

95

80

100

58

73

77

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

NB: Not Broadcast in Queensland

* Respondents could say more than one quarter of the game.

** The Monday Night AFL Match was not televised in Queensland. The percentage of people who watched the game is therefore a percentage of All Australians 14+ excluding Queenslanders.

People who said they watched the Monday night match were then asked: “Where did you mainly watch the Collingwood vs. Adelaide match?”

 

Monday Night AFL

 

Collingwood vs.Adelaide

 

%

At home

13

At a public venue (inc. Telstra Dome)

1

At a friend’s house

*

Elsewhere

*

Total watched the Game

14

* less than 1%

3. - Audience Comparison

In the last 6 months Roy Morgan Research has been monitoring viewing audiences of all the major Australian sporting events.

 

Grand Prix

Monday Night AFL

Commonwealth Games

Melbourne Cup

Soccer World Cup Qualifier

Aus. VsWI

VB One Day Cricket

Australian Open Tennis

 

Collingwood vs. Adelaide**

Opening

Ceremony

Game 1

Game 2

1st Test

1

2

3

Women’s Final

Men’s Final

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

30

14

54

63

24

51

42

36

44

27

30

60

No

70

86

46

37

76

49

58

63

56

73

69

39

Can’t say

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

*

*

1

1

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

**Not televised in Queensland

The Melbourne Cup remains Australia’s most watched sporting event (10.5 million) in the last six months with more than double the audience figure of the 2006 Fosters Australian Grand Prix (4.9 million) and almost 5 times as many as the Monday Night AFL Match between Collingwood and Adelaide (2.2 million).

Australian Sports Audience Figures Last Six Months (rounded)

 

All Australians 14+

 

 

(million)

2005 Melbourne Cup

10.5

 2006 Australian Open Men’s Final

10

Commonwealth Games 2006 —

Opening Ceremony

9

  Soccer World Cup Qualifier —

2nd Game (Nov. 2005)

8.5

Commonwealth Games 2006 —

Closing Ceremony

8.5

 Cricket One Day International —

Australia vs. South Africa (Jan. 2006)

7.3

 Cricket: Test — 

Australia vs. West Indies (Dec. 2005)

7

2006 Australian Open Women’s Final

5

2006 Fosters Australian Grand Prix

4.9

AFL Monday Night —

 Collingwood vs. Adelaide

2.2*

* Excluding Queenslanders

 

For further information:

Gary Morgan:       Office +61 3 9224 5213         Mobile +61 411 129 094       Home +61 3 9419 3242

Michele Levine:   Office +61 3 9224 5215         Mobile +61 411 129 093       Home +61 3 9817 3066

 

The Morgan Poll is conducted by the ONLY Australian and New Zealand member of 
the Gallup International Association.

No Other public opinion poll taken in Australia has this qualification.