In the current era of flexible scheduling, the real driver behind the decisions of when and where to play is often a factor of when the best possibility of TV ratings being highest occurs, so it is a little surprising to learn that the AFL will conclude Round 23 on Sunday and eliminate a Monday night finish.
It had been thought that the league would conclude the home and away season of Monday in order to shorten the time period betwixt the last games of the season and the beginning of the finals, which for the first time will not commence on the weekend following the end of the season, but will instead give all the finals teams a week off.
The powers that be, however, in this case Channel 7, nixed the idea as not being in accordance with their desires.
One primary beneficiary of the decision is the Adelaide Crows, the only bona fide finals team that has a home ground advantage for their final game. They will play in Friday prime time against the West Coast Eagles, and then have an extended gap to prepare for their first finals appearance.
A decision on a finals game happening on Thursday night has yet to be made, but common sense would indicate that more viewers would tune in for the only game in town, as opposed to having a fractured audience trying to squeeze in multiple games.