Saturday afternoon footy

I am a little distracted today whilst I do my writing. I have the television on mute, and I am watching the Geelong Cats demolish the West Coast Eagles.

It's not very often that you get to watch Australian Rules Football (AFL) on a Saturday afternoon. Ever since the big bucks have come into broadcasting football, Saturday afternoon does not attract the same high ratings as the night games.

Up until the early 1980s, all football was played on a Saturday afternoon. The grounds were more local, and the games always started at 2.10 pm. This time would allow supporters to complete their work on a Saturday morning and then make their way to the ground for the game.

To maximise supporter attendance at the game, there was no live telecast of games. For the TV viewer, you got to watch a replay of the match of the day on Saturday night. With so little television coverage of football, if you didn't go to the ground, you couldn't watch it.

When the South Melbourne Swans moved to Sydney in 1982, they wanted to play their games on a Sunday to be broadcast live in Melbourne. As the television audience grew, broadcasters requested football be played on Friday and Saturday nights. As a result, football matches that were once scheduled for 2.10 pm on a Saturday afternoon are now being played at any time from Thursday night to Sunday night each week.

Aussie Rules