The annual NRL whack-a-thon between Queensland and NSW continues to be the jewel in Nine’s crown proving both an audience and revenue winner.
Last night’s State of Origin, won by a point by the Maroons, was watched by 2.432 million metro viewers according to Oztam figures. However, the viewing audience was slightly down on 2014 when 2.487 million fans tuned in.
As expected, Channel Nine easily won last night’s viewing on the back of the league taking in 37.6 per cent market share.
The three-game series, with the second match to played at Melbourne’s MCG, is also proving a lucrative money-spinner for Nine. Advertisers in last night’s game reportedly paid as much as $150,000 for a 30-second spot last night.
News Limited is this morning reporting that rates for this year’s games had been increased by five per cent. It is believed that this year’s series will allow Nine to rake in revenues of more than $20 million.
This makes the Origin series the most valuable sports program in the country and an ad spot is now fetching $20,000 more for a 30-second spot than the second most valuable – the AFL grand final.
However, this all throws a cloud over who will broadcast the NRL and the Origin series into the future. With rights up for grabs and viewers clearly liking what they see many industry insiders believe Seven and Ten may throw their hats into the ring; while Foxtel is certain to want more of the booty too and not just its exclusive Monday night offering.
According to The Australian, broadcast revenue represents 65 per cent of the NRL’s total income of $345 million annually. The Oz also reported its tabloid brother, The Daily Telegraph, also scored a pay day from its prolonged and sometimes over the top coverage leading up to last night’s match.
It reported that The Tele wrote “additional advertising dollars as big brands book tactical advertisements. Advertisers including William Hill, Dan Murphy’s and CrownBet have all leveraged an expected spike in print sales, which will be boosted by a 12-page Origin lift-out”.