In addition to drawing a live attendance of more than 80,000 to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, State of Origin Game 1 was the highest rating Australian television show in 2015, according to the MediaWeek publication that monitors TV audiences in Australia, with a peak audience of 4,209,000 tuning in to watch the match.
A combined metro and regional average audience of 3.644 million viewers saw Queensland narrowly beat New South Wales to gain a thrilling victory. The 2015 State of Origin Game 1 is now the highest rating show on Australian television for 2015, followed by the ICC Cricket World Cup final, which was also broadcast on Nine.
An average audience of 2.432 million viewers across the five city metro market (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth) watched Queensland take the game 11-10 with a last minute field-goal.
Across the five cities, the match increased its audience by 296,000 viewers compared to game 3 of last year’s State of Origin on July 9, which registered an average audience of 2.137 million.
In Sydney, an average of 1.092 million viewers watched the game on Nine, with a peak of 1.188 million. MediaWeek has revealed that it was the number one programme in all the key demographics: 25-54, 18-49 and 16-39. Game one gave the network a massive free-to-air audience share in Sydney with 51.8% of all people watching the game, while the numbers in the key demographics were even more impressive: 25-54 (53.9%), 18-49 (56.4%) and 16-39 (60.3%).
In Brisbane, an average audience of 769,000 watched the game, with a peak of 858,000. In Brisbane 54.0% of people watched the game with the other key demographics again exceeding those figures: 25-54 (57.5%), 18-49 (59.8%) and 16-39 (56.8%).
In Melbourne the match drew an average audience of 380,000 with a peak of 456,000. Nine also achieved a strong market share in the Victorian capital, with 26.4% of people watching the match and strong figures for the key demgraphics: 25-54 (29.1%), 18-49 (29.6%) and 16-39 (30.0%).l
On social media there were 49,064 Tweets using the #Origin hashtag with a match high figure of 857 Tweets per minute recorded at 10:13pm when the final whistle blew.
A full report and reaction from the opening State of Origin encounter will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.