The biggest opening game audience in Holden State of Origin Series history – a combined metropolitan and regional audience of 4.058 million viewers with more than six million people viewing content on the NRL’s official Origin Facebook pages as Holden State of Origin reached its biggest ever social media audience in a single day.
Last night’s match on the Nine, WIN and NBN Networks was:
· The highest rating show on Australian television so far in 2014;
· The most-watched series opener in Origin history (up from 3.972m in 2013);
· The third most-watched Origin match all of all time, after the 2013 and 2012 series deciders;
· Attracted the biggest ever Sydney audience (1.228 million; up 6% from 1.158m in 2013);
· Achieved the highest network share of the year (44.6% across the 5 City Metro)
“This was a special night in Origin history and the players deserve congratulations for the spectacle they provided for the fans at Suncorp Stadium and the millions of viewers around the world,” said NRL CEO, Mr Dave Smith.
“I also wish to thank the Nine Network’s Wide World of Sports for their world-class broadcast.
“The opener to the telecast was simply brilliant and set the stage for one of the classic Origin games.
“Like every other Rugby League fan, I can’t wait for Game II in Sydney.”
Last night’s match:
· Recorded an audience of 2.596 million viewers across the 5 City Metro market (up from 2.522m in 2013).
· Recorded an average audience of 747,000 in Brisbane, with a peak of 810,00, and achieved the largest regional Queensland audience ever (563,584), up 14% on Game 1 in 2013;
· Achieved the biggest Adelaide audience for an opening match of the series (86,000), up 4% on 2013;
· Achieved the biggest Victorian regional audience for a series opener (118,083, up 10% from Game 1 last year);
· Recorded an audience of 109,000 on GEM in Perth, up 71% on Game 1 last year.
Game II of the 2014 Holden State of Origin Series will be played at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, June 18.
Fans are encouraged to secure their seats now from Ticketek on 132 849, at Ticketek outlets or online at www.nrl.com/origin
And in the digital media space, there were 500,000 unique browsers on the NRL’s website, mobile site and official app for yesterday alone – the highest one-day digital audience in NRL history.
It was the NSW VB Blues who won the social media State of Origin battle with 4.4 million people viewing content on the team’s official Blues Facebook page compared to 3.2 million for the XXXX Maroons.
The #UpTheBlues hashtag also outpointed the Maroons’ #QLDER hashtag 57% to 43% on Twitter.
Among the achievements of the NRL’s Holden State of Origin ‘Mission Control’ Centre’ at Suncorp Stadium:
· Holden State of Origin was being talked about on social media in 104 different countries last night, led by Australia, USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Morocco and Fiji;
· Man of the Match Jarryd Hayne was the most talked about player on Facebook / Twitter, with the Morris twins, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater, Paul Gallen, Cameron Smith and Darius Boyd also among the leaders;
· The #ORIGIN, #UpTheBlues & #QLDER hashtags trended globally;
· Total Origin related tweets during the 80 minutes of the game exceeded 100,000 - a Twitter State of Origin record;
· There were 68,000 personalised digital Origin jerseys created by fans: https://www.facebook.com/nrl/app_208325029328266
“Mission Control has provided an exciting forum for fans to join the Origin conversation,” said the NRL’s Head of Marketing, Content and Digital, Mr Lewis Pullen.
“We have had great support from the QRL, NSWRL and Telstra in building Mission Control into something special for fans and we are seeing them engage with the game across our social media platforms in record numbers.”
The social media reach follows record television ratings for the opening game of the series, which is the most watched program on Australian television in 2014