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Epic Super League clash records massive viewing figures

Super League

Catalans Dragons versus St Helens was the game to round off the weekend in Super League and its primetime TV slot of 8pm on Saturday night has seen it haul in massive viewing figures.

The game saw the teams that entered Round Seven in the top two face off in Perpignan in what was an intense rematch of last season’s playoff semi-final and the game didn’t disappoint.

Quality was perhaps lacking at times but the intensity of the game was at an elite level with both sides’ defensive efforts deserving of praise, in particular Arthur Mourgue’s try-saving tackle on Lewis Dodd.

Catalans proved the victors in the end as they won 14-8 with Mourgues’ boot ultimately being the difference as he knocked over two conversions and a penalty, those six points proving vital.

As with most brilliant games, there were moments of controversy with question marks over Tommy Makinson’s try in the first-half whilst Matt Ikuvalu’s winner was also subject to a vigorous video review before being confirmed.

Steve McNamara confirmed that it was the hardest his side have to play all season, whilst Paul Wellens couldn’t help but applaud the French side’s efforts despite his claim that the Red Vee “beat themselves”.

A wonderful advert for Super League and also one that was on free-to-air TV as well as in Sky Sports’ marquee slot on their self-titled ‘Big Weekend’, both factors that have led to excellent viewing figures.

Over a quarter of a million witness Super League battle

St Helens Super League

The game was broadcast on BBC Three as well as both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action with the viewing figures for all but the latter being revealed.

It has been confirmed that BBC Three saw an average of 110,000 viewers with a peak of 133,000 which represented a 0.9% audience share.

As for Sky, their Main Event channel averaged 112,000 and peaked at 126,000 which also registered as a 0.9% audience share, both figures being very impressive and revealed by Rugby League On TV.

As such it means that an average 0f over 222,000 witnessed the game with almost 260,000 in total, numbers that are massive for a regular season Super League game.

Part of the reason for the huge figures is that Sky Sports broadcast the game as part of their ‘Big Weekend’, something confirmed by RL Commercial’s Rhodri Jones last week who put a large emphasis on that.

Jones explained: “Catalans versus St Helens is part of one of their ‘Big Weekends’, the game sits primetime at 8:00pm on Saturday night in around football, tennis, and some of the other sport that they’ve got. So we’re part of that campaign.”

The pull of terrestrial TV was also a reason for the huge figure with BBC Three showcasing the game, marking the first time Catalans have had a Super League game air on free-to-air TV.

Figures are understandably down from the World Club Challenge which was broadcast on BBC Two and recorded a peak of over half a million and an average of 350,000, but the numbers are still mightily impressive and a sign of the positivity around Super League at the moment.

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