2.35m viewers as State of Origin hits new 2018 heights

Ratings: Nine pulls out a whopping 46% share as the NSW Blues claim dominance.

State of Origin I has topped the ratings year with a whopping 2.35m viewers.

The NSW Blues win pulled 985,000 viewers in Sydney alone, with 765,000 in Brisbane and 385,000 in Melbourne where the match was played.

But figures don’t include those who watched in pubs across the country, nor regional which attracted another 1.1m viewers.

The figure matches State of Origin I 2017, also on 2.35m viewers, although this time the Melbourne audience lifted.

It’s a record 2018 audience, ahead of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 2.01m, Married at First Sight‘s finale at 1.75m viewers and Roger Federer’s win at the Australian Open on 1.73m.

That made it a tough night elsewhere but MasterChef Australia performed well as an alternative, while ABC was in second place once the reality show wrapped.

Nine network won the night with a huge 46.0% share then, Seven 19.6%, TEN 15.0%, ABC 14.4% and SBS 5.0%.

Outside of Origin, Nine News was 1.01 / 1.00m and Hot Seat drew 527,000 / 301,000.

Seven News was best for Seven with 1.00m / 935,000 then The Chase (634,000 / 391,000),  Home and Away (565,000), House Rules (343,000 in 3 cities) and Modern Family (272,000 / 236,000).

MasterChef Australia (733,000) led for TEN followed by The Project (591,000 / 361,000), TEN Eyewitness News (434,000), Instinct (357,000) and Family Feud (322,000). This is Us wrapped with 147,000.

ABC News (727,000), Gruen (643,000), Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery (594,000), 7:30 (581,000), The Weekly with Charlie Pickering (512,000), Corey White’s Roadmap to Paradise (245,000) and Think Tank (238,000).

On SBS it was an Untold Australia repeat (168,000), SBS World News (13,000), Global Junk Food (123,000) and Great British Railway Journeys (120,000).

Fireman Sam topped multichannels at 198,000. Love Island was 160,000.

Sunrise: 262,000
Today: 224,000
News Breakfast: 100,000 / 45,000

OzTAM Overnights: Wednesday 6 June 2018.


30 Responses

  1. Can I suggest many Sydneysiders must have been in clubs and pubs watching the State of Origin because 985,000 Sydney viewers is dismal considering a population of over 5 million people. Brisbane has a population of over 2 million and they crack 765,000! There is something to be said in taking the game to the people because everytime the NRL have teams play at that stadium in Homebush you’d be lucky to see 12 people turn up. Take the game to home grounds and people are crammed in like sardines yet it makes for good television/atmosphere.

    I suppose the point I’m making is those numbers for Sydney are soft and the NRL should be concerned. I would have expected well over a million is all I’m saying.

    1. Last year Sydney was 989k for Origin 1 (held in Brisbane), so not much difference there. That was a big drop from Origin 1 in 2016 (1193k) though – a bit strange, because it was held in Sydney too.

      Maybe Sydneysiders are just less interested when it’s not happening there?

    2. Sydney is more diverse than Brisbane. Higher percentage of people not interested at all in NRL. Few at my work had no idea what I was talking about.

      Interestingly I had no phone calls today from any of my QLD customers…!

    3. When i lived in Sydney up until three years ago there was a saying that East of the Gladesville bridge is AFL country and everything west is NRL.
      Also, having lost the vast majority of the recent series, there is very little interest seeing your team always lose.
      I do agree that there should be some concern at NRL HQ.

      1. Lived in NSW all my adult life and never heard that saying. In fact it was bewildering when GWS arrived that suddenly people were saying that the Swans belonged to the eastern suburbs? Swans have always been NSW as a whole. Anyway, I think the OP is right, many people head to pubs for the atmosphere and the huge screens. You are also correct in the inertia created by many series losses in a row. The next game will be huge.

    1. State of Origin is coming to Perth next year at the new stadium. Should be 60,000+ there (rectangular capacity is 65,000 – more than what Suncorp Stadium can hold). So there is a bit of interest floating around in Perth. Plus a WA team is the only realistic next NRL expansion option being looked out outside of NSW and QLD.

  2. Hi

    I just don’t understand how the ratings people get the Melbourne audience so wrong. I work in an office of 26 people and not one of them watched the Rugby League.

    1. As far as I can tell, having grown up in Qld watching rugby league during the 70’s, there’s now only two rules:

      – Scrums exist to keep everybody occupied while the half hands the ball to the loose forward
      – Forward passes are illegal if the ball passes the ref in-flight.

      There’s allegedly also an off-side rule, but nobody knows what it is. Refs occasionally blow the whistle & call it, but who really knows why…

    2. I watch most of the codes, and I have come to the conclusion that it is not the NRL rules that are complicated but the penalties for the rule breaches. That is, you know the team has broken the rules, but have no idea what will happen afterwards.

  3. Just correcting what I said before, upon searching TV Tonight, turns out Seven’s main channel scored 43.8% on Opening Ceremony night (didn’t realise).

    However, Nine’s main channel of 39.3% last night with State of Origin is indeed the next best (higher than than Australian Open final night, Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony night and Married At First Sight finale night).

  4. I wouldn’t have used the words – nsw and dominance- in one sentence.These days one game doesn’t count or even one series. For nsw to claim dominance the new standard is — seven series wins in a row, before they can claim to be as good as Qld.

  5. Hi David, I don’t understand the headline on this article. If the total viewers including both metro and regional is 3.45m viewers, why doesn’t the headline reflect that? I have noted that this is a trend in reporting viewer numbers.

        1. Nine can’t say they had 3.45m viewers watching, as that isn’t correct due to Nine being unable to broadcast nationwide because of the reach rule. Until that changes, it’s too messy to report commercial networks ratings as anything except metro and the various regional affiliates.

          1. Trust me they not only mention that, they go higher still in press releases, citing a national peak. This is why I try to cut through the spin for readers.

  6. Is that the biggest main channel share for 2018 too, over 39%? I know the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony got over 52% in network share (although usually such events are excluded networks).

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