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By ZAC MILBANK (SANFL) | Twitter @zacmilbank

Ratings records continue to tumble as the SANFL’s Channel 7 telecasts hit a new high with the Adelaide v Port Adelaide clash in Clare on Sunday.
Strong audience levels have been a feature just five rounds into the first year of the league’s three-year deal with Channel 7 and the MAC Game of the Week in Round 5 was no exception.
An average of 63,291 viewers tuned into watch Taylor Walker kick four goals in his second match back from a knee reconstruction, with the audience peaking at 81,000 during the final quarter.
Under the television ratings system introduced in 2001, this was the most popular SANFL match viewed since Sturt and the Eagles attracted an average of 56,743 in 2005.
Significantly, the Crows and Magpies contest attracted more South Australian viewers on 7mate than the Geelong v Richmond match (average of 50,739) on Channel 7’s main station.
‘’The SANFL is not only delighted with the ratings recorded on Sunday but the exceptional figures posted across the first five rounds of the season,’’ SANFL General Manager Football Chris Davies said.
‘’Channel Seven’s coverage has certainly provided a fresh and vibrant edge for the league and this is one part of our strategy in attracting new fans to the competition.
‘’Whilst early in the season, we look forward to the positive results continuing for the rest of the year and beyond.’’
Overall, SANFL matches are attracting an average of 47, 841 on Channel 7 this year, a significant increase on the average of 28,000 viewers across the first five rounds of 2013.
Sunday’s game in Clare was the third this year to draw an average audience in excess of 50,000, with the season opener between Norwood and Port (54,884) and the Good Friday contest between South and Glenelg (53,003) also proving popular.
The SANFL’s IGA League telecasts are proudly sponsored by MAC, RAA, IGA and Bank SA.
Highest rating SANFL matches since 2001:
2014 – Adelaide v Port Adelaide (63,291)
2005 – Sturt v Eagles (56,743)
2014 - Norwood v Port (54,884)
2003 – Norwood v Sturt (54,641)
2004 – Sturt v Eagles (54,150)

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