NFL Final, Cox Plate Start Time: What time in Melbourne?
The AFL Grand Final will be a pure night experience with the league to run the 2020 competition at 7.30pm Melbourne time.
The AFL Night Soccer Test case for its biggest competition is possibly the ranking success that the league never again returns to an afternoon competition for the Grand Final.
This year, the league gave the host broadcaster’s Channel Seven the greatest possible opportunity to maximize that crowd given the start time of 6.30pm in Queensland beginning at 7.30pm with savings in daylight in Melbourne and Sydney.
The Herald Sun revealed last month that the Queensland Show had pushed the start of 7 pm, but the league would return the match to 7.30pm for crowds.
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Seven will host the Cox Plate in the afternoon of October 24, then a full hour ahead after news of that night.
Michael Broell, CEO of Moonee Valley Racing Club, has confirmed that the Cox Plate will be held at 4.15pm in Melbourne.
“With the announcement of the 2020 AFC Champions League Final being held at 7.30pm (EST), we will now work closely with our broadcast partner Channel 7 to provide amazing coverage of an amazing historic day in Australian sport,” he said.
Promoter Michael Godinsky is working with the AFL to produce the best possible live entertainment for local artists, as the COVID-19 pandemic has ruled out international business.
Collingwood President Eddie McGuire welcomed the call for a grand final night, saying it was the only way forward if AFL wanted to increase ratings.
“If we want the NFL Grand Final to be the ranking first for this year, you are putting it on prime time, not when they are showing Tarzan movies (on a Saturday afternoon),” said McGuire.
“There will definitely be an opportunity for assessments to cross the ceiling.”
Tony Cochran, leader of The Queensland Show, thinks the league may have as many as six million viewers for the contest.
Aleister Lynch, the legend of the Brisbane Triple Championship, told the Herald Sun that it would still be a great competition even if the dew that hit many of the Queensland evening games was present.
He has covered nearly every match for Gabba this year and is hoping his black team will reach the only Grand Final held outside Victoria.
“It was very dewy and there were also a few nights the condition was reasonably good and the grass in Gabba is reasonably tall that it can get a little wet at times but
“It won’t detract from the scene. Players know what to expect and will be ready for some dew. Gabba is the best thing I’ve looked for in 20 years. Talking to the curators of the show, it’s because they haven’t had training loads that wear a certain surface, so it looks great.”
Travis Old, president of the NFL, said the game would ensure young fans continued to be able to watch the game as ratings increased.
“When making the decision, we had to take into account the DST times in parts of the country, along with ensuring that we and our broadcast partner, the Seven Network, had enough time before the opening rebound began.” Mr. Auld said.
“We were also aware that the match ended in a timely fashion for young soccer fans. Short match times this season should see the final sirens sound and the Prime Minister of 2020 officially crowned before 10:00 PM EST.
“ Historically, the really special part of the day of the Grand Final has been reinforcement and anticipation, and we want to ensure that we can share the electricity and night skies with as many people as possible across the country.
“The Night Grand Final is sure to be a great sight for both fans in the stadium and the millions watching across the country and abroad.”
The Grand Final of 2019 saw disappointing numbers as Richmond quickly blew up the disappointing Greater Western Sydney area, attracting 2.2 million viewers to the five-city subway.
It decreased in 2018 (2.62 million) and 2017 (2.68 million) as the lowest number since the inception of the current classification system.
The League and Seven would have been alarmed that the match would start at 7.10 p.m. and that a one-sided match could quickly bring down the crowd in shortlisted competitions this year.
The 7.30pm start gives seven powerful characters and a chance to keep them all the time during prime time.
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