AFL beats NRL in Friday night finals TV ratings battle

The AFL's strong ratings results have continued into the finals with Friday night's qualifying final comfortably eclipsing the NRL final it went head-to-head with.

Almost 950,000 people in Australian capital cities watched the Brisbane Lions defeat Richmond on free-to-air, compared with just under 445,000 for the Penrith v Sydney NRL qualifying final.

The Lions celebrate a goal in their qualifying final win. Credit:Getty Images

"In an unprecedented year for football, the support and interest from fans in the broadcast of AFL games continues to be extremely strong," the AFL said, noting the inability for crowds to go to games as normal and most of the season being played in Queensland.

The total average national audience for the Lions win was 1.541 million.

"These record and historic ratings in Brisbane underline that AFL football continues to go from strength to strength in Queensland," Seven head of sport Lewis Martin said.

The AFL and its broadcasters re-negotiated the code’s television deal earlier in 2020 given the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

This season Amazon has been filming fly-on-the-wall documentaries with several AFL figures, a show that will air in 2021.

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