Channel 4 set to fight Sky Sports

Today as Wigan Warriors and Hull KR lock horns in the Super League semi-final to book their place at Old Trafford in the 2023 Super League Grand Final, there will be another battle taking place.

The Warriors are looking to avenge their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat at the home of Leeds Rhinos when Hull KR claimed the Headingley spoils to book their place at Wembley.

Hull KR will be looking to make history and secure their place in a first ever Grand Final 17 years after their bitter rivals Hull FC did the same in 2006.

But alongside this battle will be another one as Sky Sports and Channel 4 go toe to toe for viewing figures.

There was the battle for TV views between Channel 4 and Sky Sports last week as St Helens and Warrington Wolves collided and some of the viewing figures have been shared by

The direct comparison for Saints vs Warrington can’t yet be made but we can compare Channel 4’s coverage on Saturday to that of Sky’s on Friday.

Channel 4 had a 2% audience share on Saturday compared to Sky’s 0.6% whilst double the audience peak with 209,000.

Sky’s Friday night peak was 123,000 with an average of 76,000.

This week though Sky have an edge with the semi-final being shown on Sky Showcase and Sky Sports Mix making them available to every Sky customer meaning you don’t require Sky Sports to watch them.

This of course will play second fiddle to the real battle between two brilliant clubs.

In terms of team news, Hull KR, they face no suspension issues for Saturday but head coach Willie Peters outlined that prop Jesse Sue would be “unlikely” to play, however Dean Hadley would be fit to return and cover the overseas prop.

It’s now confirmed that Sue does miss out, not named in the 21-man squad, whilst Hadley does feature but on the whole it’s a very strong squad once again for Rovers who are getting fit at the right time of the season.

As for Wigan they remain without Liam Byrne who copped a season ending injury as he was coming into devastating form and they’ve evaded any suspensions thanks to the ‘loophole’ that saw Bevan French, Kaide Ellis and Harvie Hill miss the Reserves Grand Final instead.

Consequently Matt Peet has been able to name a very strong side as Wigan aim to reach Old Trafford for the first time since 2020.

It’s just one change for Wigan with Iain Thornley being replaced by Willie Isa who could be set for his 200th game, whilst skipper Liam Farrell could hit 350 Wigan appearances.

The match will also potentially be Hull KR skipper Shaun Kenny-Dowall’s last with the former Kiwi international set to retire at the end of the season, whilst it’s yet another ‘Battle of the Kings’ between brothers Toby and George.

The two 21-man squads are listed below.

Wigan Warriors

1: Jai Field
2: Bevan French
3: Toby King
4: Jake Wardle
5: Liam Marshall
6: Cade Cust
7: Harry Smith
9: Sam Powell
11: Willie Isa
12: Liam Farrell
13: Morgan Smithies
15: Kaide Ellis
17: Kai Pearce-Paul
19: Joe Shorrocks
20: Patrick Maho
22: Brad O’Neill
23: Abbas Miski
26: Harvie Hill
27: Junior Nsemba
32: Ryan Hampshire
34: Tyler Dupree

Hull KR

2: Ethan Ryan
3: Tom Opacic
4: Shaun Kenny-Dowall
5: Ryan Hall
7: Jordan Abdull
9: Matt Parcell
10: George King
12: Kane Linnett
13: Elliot Minchella
14: Jez Litten
15: Rhys Kennedy
16: James Batchelor
17: Matty Storton
18: Jimmy Keinhorst
20: Mikey Lewis
22: Dean Hadley
23: Louis Senior
26: Sam Luckley
27: Yusuf Aydin
34: Jack Walker
37: Brad Schneider