The NRL season is back and fans can’t get enough of rugby league.
Round one of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership might have been a nightmare for punters and tipsters, but fans were certainly glued to their TV and streaming devices as the action unfolded on the field.
The first round of the competition was the highest viewed NRL round of all time on Foxtel with an average audience of 436,000 tuning in to each game on Fox League and Kayo.
That result was an incredible 15 per cent increase on the corresponding round one fixtures from last season and up eight per cent on the previous highest rating regular season round (round 25 2021, 406,000 viewers).
Data obtained by TV Blackbox revealed Saturday night’s Fox League and Kayo exclusive game between the Melbourne Storm and Wests Tigers was the most-watched NRL regular season game of all time on subscription TV with an average audience of 547,000.
The second highest rating game of round one was the game between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Canterbury Bulldogs with an average audience of 473,000.
For two teams who struggled last season to capture such a large audience proves that fans love their rugby league and it is a positive sign for the game as the 2022 NRL season gets underway.
Fox Sports executive director Steve Crawley applauded the record viewership numbers.
“What a great game, Rugby League,” he said.
“We have just come off the most successful season ever and we’re already seeing even greater numbers and records. Season 2022 — can’t wait.”
The free-to-air numbers on Channel Nine also proved successful for the NRL.
The second night of the NRL started with Nine’s live coverage of Friday Night NRL with the match between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The game brought in 370,000 metro viewers, 212,000 regional viewers and was the fourth most-watched program amongst 16-39 year-olds.
The match was watched by a Sydney audience of 182,000 and a Brisbane audience of 152,000 as the Broncos took the win 11-4 at Suncorp Stadium.