Last night’s much-hyped State of Origin has lived up to said hype and was the most watched game in the series’ history.
The Queensland Maroons won a rather dour affair 6-4 with claims of refereeing incompetence by the NSW camp post-match.
Nine’s live broadcast had had 2,708,000 viewers nationally according to OzTam preliminary figures and was up on last year’s audience of 2.4 million. The figures confirm the Origin series as Australia’s most watched and profitable free-to-air event.
Last night’s match wasn’t without a spot of controversy too, after Maroon’s player Sam Thaiday described the win like losing your virginity. “It wasn’t very nice but we got the job done,” the big front rower mused live to air.
From an advertising perspective, the match had sold all its slots by late last week and was reportedly commanding $150,000 for a 30-second slot.
According to Oztam, 1.737 million viewers tuned into the pre-match broadcast and some 1.420 million hung about for the post-match.
Sydney was clearly the game’s biggest audience despite the loss with an audience of 1.193 million. Brisbane was next with 809,000 viewers. Melbourne had a reasonable 494,000 viewers, followed by Adelaide with 102,000 and Perth 98,000.
The footy clearly took a bite out of Ten’s MasterChef and it fell to 897,000 viewers last night.
Understandably, Nine was the evening’s clear victor taking 38 per cent of all audience share.