The National Rugby League’s push to be the first of Australia’s sporting codes to emerge in the wake of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 shutdown has paid off.
The recent game featuring the Parramatta Eels and the Brisbane Broncos drew the largest TV audience for a regular-season match in over six years. 1 306 938 people across Australia tuned in to watch the Eels hand it to the Broncos in the form of a final score of 58-0.
Almost a million people viewed the match on Channel Nine, the free-to-air broadcaster, along with 600 000+ more across our five major metropolitan areas. Brisbane and Sydney made up the bulk of this number, with fans in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Perth watching on Gem, the Nine Network’s secondary channel.
It was the highest ever free-to-air audience in Adelaide.
Foxtel attracted a 350 000+ viewership for the match broadcast less than an hour after the NRL announced the new TV deal with these two networks.
The League also got rave reviews for its pretty radical new Six-Again rule, implemented to avoid the physical contact that the wrestling in the ruck demands.
Andrew Abdo, the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the NRL, commended Australian Rugby League Chairman Peter V’Landys. He praised V’landy for the part he played in making sure that NRL was one of the first sports to be brought back. Abdo said that the League is grateful that so much interest has been shown in the game and welcomes the exposure. He made a point of thanking Foxtel and Channel Nine as well.
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