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This will probably only interest a few who follow Aussie rules. The Sydney Swans are are not that popular in that market, mainly because Aussie rules is not nearly as popular there as Melbourne, Perth, or Adelaide. Here is one example of how it's so. ^_^

Sydney on menu as Iron Chef roasts Swans

By Caroline Wilson

May 31, 2005

The AFL's push into Sydney has hit a significant hurdle with the Swans' prime-time telecast on Saturday night being outrated at times in Sydney by a repeat of SBS cooking show The Iron Chef.

This latest embarrassing setback for the code came as AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou flew to Sydney yesterday to host a day-long strategy meeting and attempt to rebuild his relationship with the Swans, whose style of play he publicly criticised four weeks ago.

Demetriou's comments caused Sydney coach Paul Roos to pull out of a planned meeting in protest three weeks ago but he will address the rescheduled seminar today.

Winning support for the code in the crucial and competitive Sydney market is a priority for the AFL, which believes it has made no significant progress during the past two years. The issue will be at the top of the agenda at the AFL's forthcoming strategy meeting.

It is understood the AFL is so concerned about the Sydney market and the increasing threat of rival codes that a major play is thought necessary to win back the initiative from football, rugby and rugby league.

Among the radical proposals that could be put forward over the next 12 months is the re-emerging prospect of a second AFL club based in NSW. While the possibility was rejected in the short term last night by AFL executive Ben Buckley, he conceded the league was looking at a series of strategic proposals to tackle what has for two decades been a multimillion-dollar challenge for the game.

Channnel Ten's coverage on Saturday night of the St Kilda-Swans game, which at 7.30pm was delayed by just 20 minutes, easily won its timeslot in Melbourne but finished a distant fourth in Sydney. Between 8.45pm and 9pm The Iron Chef rated better than the match, during which commentators Robert Walls and Tim Lane criticised Sydney's style of play and tactics.

"I don't think the ratings are reflective of the game style," Buckley said. "While we'd like the ratings to be better, we always thought we'd be in this for the long haul and we didn't expect to be doing any better than this.

"The second-club discussion is not the priority - we've got to build the foundations first and I'm talking about more people playing the game in Sydney, more coverage and a bigger presence. That's obviously what we're looking at in the meetings ? [today]."

While the ratings continue to be a concern for the finals broadcaster Channel Ten, Buckley said he expected the network to continue to back the Swans on Saturday nights. The Ten Network has agreed to televise 12 prime-time Sydney games on Saturday nights this season.

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