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Del Piero, Heskey influence sees A-League break TV records

Official release from Football Federation Australia

Consolidated viewership data for the Hyundai A-League Round 2 match between Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium has confirmed a new regular season average TV audience record for a single match of 164,367.

The previous record TV audience for a regular season match of 162,471 was recorded in Round 1 of the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.

The consolidated average includes "as live" viewing in the week following the live broadcast.

After four rounds, the average TV audience of 94,969 this season is currently tracking for an all-time season average record. Average attendances are currently sitting at 15,460, a 20 per cent increase on the same point in the 2011/12 season.

This increase in average attendance has moved the Hyundai A-league into 14th position on the average attendances for top professional football competitions around the world*, moving the Hyundai A-League from 24th to 14th in just 12 months.

Importantly this also puts the Hyundai A-League third in Asia behind China (Chinese Super League 7th) and Japan (J-League 13th).

In comparison, the current Hyundai A-League average of 15,460 is ahead of both the USA's Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Republic of Korea's K-League at the same time in their evolution after eight seasons.

Season 8 also sees the Hyundai A-League on track to see its 10 millionth fan walk through the turnstiles since inception in 2005.

Even more records are tumbling with Club memberships already up on last season's total Club memberships seeing a year-on-year improvement of 11% from 2011/12 season.

FFA CEO Ben Buckley said the surge in TV audiences and attendances this season was attributable to several key factors.

"There's no doubt the marquee players Alessandro del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono have ignited massive interest in the Hyundai A-League," said Buckley. "I congratulate the clubs involved for making the investment in these star players.

"There's no such thing as overnight success in professional sport, just lots of hard work and strategic planning that sets up success. Much of the credit must go to our 10 member clubs who have built strong membership bases and fan engagement programs over a period of years.

"The arrival of the Western Sydney Wanderers in football's heartland has added so much to the competition. The Sydney derby, after just one edition, has become one of the most anticipated fixtures.

"The role of our key partners in Hyundai, Fox Sports, Qantas and Optus is also critical in supporting the competition and lifting awareness.

"There's no doubt that FFA's 'We Are Football' marketing campaign has really connected the 1.7 million participants at the grassroots to the great things happening in the Hyundai A-League. Stability remains our top priority, but I can see sustained growth ahead for the A-League."

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