Commission considers AFLW expansion, and will consider some more
Friday, April 21 2017 @ 04:35 pm ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
The AFL Commission met today in Sydney and reviewed the first season of the NAB AFL Women’s competition.
The Commission also considered expansion of the competition, but has requested more information before making a decision in the coming weeks on the 2018 season.
AFL Commission Chairman Richard Goyder said the Commission was extremely pleased with the first year of the competition and congratulated all players and the eight teams involved, and wished to thank the AFL’s partners and fans across the country for their support of the new league.
Mr Goyder said the Commission had received a detailed report of the metrics for the NAB AFLW, along with a discussion paper on potential expansion options for the competition’s future.
The key metrics for the NAB AFLW in year one were:
· Total crowds of 198,366, averaging 6,840 per match. Seven matches drew more than 9000 fans, including a lockout for the opening game between Carlton v Collingwood and five matches outside Victoria.
· Total free to air and subscription television audience of 5.64 million for the 29 matches played, including 594,000 viewers for the Crows/Lions Grand Final.
· Total AFLW specific club memberships of 7,038.
· More than 12,000,000 minutes delivered across digital delivery devices of live match streaming.
· More than 170,000 total fans/followers across social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
The Commission considered the arguments that introducing new teams would create new support bases and acknowledged the strong support from Clubs for expansion.
The Commission also considered:
· The financial implications of expansion
· The existing and future talent base, including the pathways in place to fast track players
· The two-year agreement with the AFLPA and broadcasters
· The time requirements for existing AFLW clubs to manage their lists for 2018, and for any new Clubs to set-up their operations
· The movement of players in order to maintain competitive balance
The Commission also noted that further investment was needed to continue to grow and engage the audience of AFLW in order to maintain the momentum created this year.
The Commission formally thanked the players, Clubs, AFL, supporters, broadcasters and sponsors for the success of the first season.
“The NAB AFLW enjoyed a wonderful first year and the efforts of our players and clubs were outstanding.
“The AFL is extremely grateful for both the support of our fans and the willingness of our broadcast and commercial partners to support a key venture for our game,” Mr Goyder said.