State of Origin gives the boot to everything else on television

Game One had 2.5 million viewers, making nine 47.6% of the total share. Definitely something to brag about.

Tino Fa'asuamaleaui of the Maroons (center) celebrates with Josh Papalii (left) and Felise Kaufusi following their win in Game 1 of the 2022 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium in Sydney , Wednesday , June 8, 2022. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
Celebration time for Queensland after their win last night (Image: AAP/Dan Himbrechts)

State of Origin, Game One: NSW lose 16-10 to Queensland to watch 2.51 million – about 200,000 less than the big win by NSW a year ago (50-6), which was watched by 2.7 million and played in Townsville in the depths of a COVID lockdown.

The relative isolation and lockdown helped boost the public. Last night’s first game of the series was the first “norm” game since 2019. The 2.5 million was OK, but should have been higher if the concept has a hold on rugby league fans, media say. Metro audiences were 1.77 million, down from 1.9 million a year ago, and regional viewership totaled 741,000, down from 797,000 a year ago. The crowd in Sydney last night was 736,000 and the crowd in Brisbane 625,000, both weaker than a year ago — just like the 222,000 in Melbourne.

Nine clearly won the night and will brag about the numbers; the total proportion of people was 47.6% compared to 43.3% a year ago. Great win for Queensland and for Nine, but it expected more viewers. With star players from the NSW side there was always the feeling that the game could be close or lose. Did that keep NSW fans away? Not from the Olympic Stadium in Sydney where it sold out.

Read more about last night’s ratings.

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