A-League delivers record ratings for SBS 2

THE A-League free-to-air experiment has yielded immediate results with last night’s season opener delivering SBS 2 its biggest audience of the year and setting a sports broadcast record for the channel.

SBS recorded an average combined metro and regional audience of 243,000 (166,000 metro and 77,000 regional) for the FTA debut live match between Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets.

The Friday night clash at Allianz Stadium saw SBS 2 pull a 493% increase for the 7:30pm – 9:30pm Friday night timeslot (previously 33,000 metro and 8,000 regional) since the channel relaunched in April this year.

The result surpasses Day 8 of the 2011 IAAF World Championship in Athletics on September 3, 2011, when an average combined metro and regional audience of 240,000 (151,000 metro and 89,000 regional) tuned in.

In total, 495,000 viewers switched on to SBS’s coverage of the match based on five minute consecutive reach viewing.

In Sydney, the match attracted an impressive 8.3% free-to-air share and in Southern NSW 10.8%.

Ken Shipp, SBS Head of Sport said: “Last night was an important night for football and for SBS and I’m thrilled to see such strong figures for the first Hyundai A-League match on SBS 2.

“Free-to-air TV coverage of the A-League is vital for the growth of football in Australia and I look forward to continuing to bring fans a live game every Friday night.”

Next Friday’s blockbuster between arch rivals Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory will be shown live on the broadcaster from 7pm AEDT.