Castleford Tigers-Wigan Warriors clash registers strong BBC TV viewing figures

CASTLEFORD TIGERS’ fixture against Wigan Warriors was a watershed moment for Super League.

It was the first Super League game to have ever been broadcast live on the BBC, who have long held rights for the Challenge Cup but had not televised league matches since the 1990s.

With a kick-off time of 5.30pm, the Castleford-Wigan fixture did have to contend with the Manchester City-Chelsea Premier League clash which also kicked off at the same time on Saturday evening.

Despite that, the BBC Two viewing figure averaged 357,000, Rugby League on TV has revealed, with a 2.8 per cent average share of the audience and a peak of a whopping 487,000.

To put this into perspective, Wigan’s play-off game against Hull KR last October had an average audience of just 104,000 live on Channel 4 whilst last year’s first Super League fixture between Hull KR and Wigan again drew in an audience of 303,000 on Channel 4.

The coverage was presented by Tanya Arnold, featured the expert opinion of Huddersfield Giants player Ashton Golding and former England halfback Kevin Brown, and had Matt Newsum on commentary duty.

Wigan won the match 32-4 after the controversial first-half dismissal of Castleford forward Liam Watts.

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