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The Buddy effect is set to help the Swans break their grand final ratings record of 4.4 million viewers according to AFL CEO Gill McLachlan, who welcomed Lance Franklin’s signing for another year at Sydney.

“Where the viewership numbers are at, there’s a fair chance that this is the highest rating grand final ever,” McLachlan told radio SEN on Tuesday.

AFL CEO Gill McLachlan says its “fabulous” Lance Franklin has signed on to play next season with the Swans.Credit:Janie Barrett

McLachlan said the highest-rating grand final in history was the 1996 decider, when 4.4m watched the Swan lose to North Melbourne a week after Tony Lockett kicked that preliminary final post-siren point at a packed SCG.

The 1996 figure marginally shades the viewership for Swans’ 2005 triumph against West Coast, which featured Leo Barry’s heroic match-saving mark and broke a 72-year Swans premiership drought.

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