Sports Week: AFLX up and down, SuperRugby 4K, GOLFTV launch

• AFLX Friday: TV crowd climbs, live attendance not so much

During the first incarnation of AFLX in 2018, the tournament was staged over three nights with matches in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. This year it was all kept to one evening of games at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.

On TV in 2018 there was competition from the Winter Olympics and the three nights drew an average of 122,000 metro with an extra 75,000 national on Fox Footy.

The “one night only” approach this year seems to have paid off with 326,000 watching Seven and 7mate on Friday night with an extra 99,000 in regional markets pushing the FTA total to 425,000.

There was an extra 87,000 watching across the night on Fox Footy.

Some have called the Friday night crowd disappointing – 24,000 compared to 22,500 at the Melbourne event last year. The combined audience across the three days last year was 43,000.

SuperRugby Saturday: 4K Ultra HD debuts #1 on Foxtel

Rugby Union in 4K Ultra HD was available for Foxtel customers for the first time ever on Saturday night with the Brumbies v Waratahs Super W match and then the Brumbies v Chiefs SuperRugby matches live and exclusive on Fox Sports from 5pm.

The Brumbies v Chiefs match was the most-watched program on the Foxtel platform Saturday with 77,000 watching. SuperRugby games were three of the four most-watched programs on Saturday with Sunwolves v Waratahs #2 with 65,000 and Crusaders v Hurricanes on 53,000 at #4.

Head of Fox Sports, Peter Campbell, said last week: “After broadcasting Bathurst and cricket in 4K Ultra HD across the summer I am very pleased Super Rugby is the first of our winter codes to be broadcast in 4K Ultra HD. Watching rugby in a resolution four times higher than HD adds value for our Foxtel subscribers who have the 4K channel included in the price of our HD offering within the sports package.

“Making the Brumbies vs Waratahs Super W match available in 4K Ultra HD further marks the steady the rise of the women’s competition and its place within the code as well as your home of Rugby in Australia on Fox Sports.”

Working on commentary for Fox Sports across the matches on Saturday were George Gregan, Greg Clark, Drew Mitchell, Tim Horan, Rod Kafer, Phil Kearns, Stephen Hoiles, Greg Martin, Sean Maloney, Nick McArdle, Andrew Swain, Lou Ransome and Natalie Yoannidis.

Golf TV launches in Australia with exclusive live WGC coverage

• Live World Golf Championships coverage to be available exclusively on GOLFTV in Australia

Coverage of this week’s World Golf Championships Mexico Championship was exclusive to GOLFTV.

Discovery’s live and on-demand video streaming service launched in January this year.

The new live and on-demand video streaming service is the exclusive home of live World Golf Championships (WGC) coverage for Australian golf fans.

Coverage of the WGC Mexico Championship started this weekend on GOLFTV and the channel is the only place to watch all four WGC events live in Australia this year.

A GOLFTV Live Pass gives golf fans access to all live coverage, plus additional on-demand content, on mobile, tablet and computer devices via GOLF.TV and the GOLFTV app. Fans can subscribe at GOLF.TV and choose between two packages – one at $10 monthly or a premium package costing $20.

Following its launch at the beginning of the year, GOLFTV will broadcast more than 2,000 hours of live golf action each year – including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, PGA Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA Tourampions and the Presidents Cup in Melbourne – as well as a wide range of premium content on-demand.

Rebecca Kent (pictured), general manager Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands, Discovery, said: “We’re excited to be offering Australians exclusive, live coverage of premium PGA Tour events, including the WGC-Mexico Championship. With four Aussies competing this week, along with some of the biggest names in the sport, fans will be able to follow the action closely on GOLFTV. In addition to the four WCG events which are exclusive to the service in Australia, GOLFTV subscribers will be able to enjoy extensive coverage of more than 70 events throughout the year, along with unique content and 360 degree coverage of the sport.”

The remaining WGC events this year are the WGC-Dell Match Play (March 27-31), WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (July 25-28) and WGC-HSBC Championships (October 31-November 3).

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