The AFL have been fortunate to have some close games this weekend, otherwise some dud scheduling would have been seriously scrutinised.
There's no doubt the season's hit something of a lull as every side has their bye over a three-week period that sees six games instead of nine played each round.
This week especially looked a particularly bad bunch of matches heading into the round.
When devising the fixture, West Coast v Carlton may have been a big clash as those two sides replayed last year's semi-final - although the Blues' form slump robbed the game of some glamour - but aside from that, the other five matches were hardly headline material.
At the end of the day, the AFL will still be quietly chuffed by how close the round's first four contests were ahead of some blowouts on Sunday. But CEO Andrew Demetriou certainly won't be advertising a total crowd figure of 139,674 or an average crowd figure of 23,279.
This has to be put into some perspective of course as GWS had a crowd of just 7358 on a poor weather day in western Sydney, while the winless Suns were coming up against a struggling North, resulting in a crowd of 10,170. But that average figure is still about 13,000 shy of last year's overall average crowd figure of 36,428. And, the last time the competition averaged around 23,000 across the season was back in 1969, when smaller suburban venues were still in use.
You can bet your bottom dollar, though, that the AFL will be reviewing some of their mistakes from this weekend and not repeating them next year.
The first of those was Thursday's clash between the Eagles and Blues at Patersons Stadium. The AFL obviously want to experiment with Thursday night to see whether it works for football. This seems an extension of an overall strategy to take AFL games into non-traditional periods of the week, therefore allowing the competition to increase its dominance over the Australian media agenda.
And, maintaining this media dominance becomes increasingly important for the AFL when they're only featuring six games over the weekend in a period when they're also competing with NRL State of Origin matches, Rugby internationals and Euro 2012.
The first Thursday night match in Perth last year, though, was a success but that was partly because it came at the end of a week of footy over an Easter period that also included an extra public holiday for Anzac Day. This time the timing of the Thursday night game seems to have no reason whatsoever beyond experimentation.
That's all well and good and there's nothing wrong with experimenting a little, but it also meant there was no AFL football in Perth on the weekend for two straight weeks, the Perth public had to rush from work for the 5.40pm start time and the traditional time of matches on a Sunday afternoon was further eroded.
The match still got a crowd of 34,224 but how many more may have come to that match on a Sunday when they didn't have to rush from work on a cold and rainy winter's night.
This match really should have been played in the Sunday twilight timeslot. Not only would there have been more people attending but it would have allowed Carlton a longer break between matches than the six days they had, compared to West Coast's 11.
Instead the Western Bulldogs' clash with Port Adelaide was played in the twilight timeslot at 4.40pm on a Sunday evening. And, it was hardly surprising that with such a late time and coming up against an interstate side, the Bulldogs only attracted 16,036 to the game.
After the match, coach Brendan McCartney refused to criticise the AFL for this piece of scheduling, but one imagines the bean counters at the club would hardly have been impressed. Sure, this match was never going to get a 50,000 crowd, but the earlier time slot on Sunday would have helped.
That timeslot was given to the Hawthorn v Brisbane game, a match that probably should have been played a day earlier at the MCG, allowing the league to have at least one match in the home of footy on a Saturday. Instead, the two games that were played on Saturday both featured the league's expansion clubs. Neither of these were on free to air TV either, meaning many people simply turned the channel to the Wallabies' dramatic win over Wales, thereby giving the ARU a nice little free kick.
AFL chief operation officer Gillon McLachlan has already told the ''Herald Sun'' you can't have a blockbuster round every single weekend, while adding the organisation is learning on the job in terms of factoring the bye into an 18-team competition.
On both counts he has a point and no one probably expects the AFL to get this completely right at their first attempt. But punters will probably expect a little more from the AFL in 2013, especially as it looks increasingly likely each club will have two byes, meaning there will be six rounds of six matches in the 24-round season.And hopefully, the AFL will learn the lessons of Round 12, 2012.