Now is the time to shine for Channel 4.
After eight games of rip-roaring, highly-entertaining broadcasting, the terrestrial provider will now cover an elimination play-off in Super League as the play-offs get under way.
It is the first time in rugby league’s history that another broadcaster other than Sky Sports has had any influence on the Super League play-offs which was, of course, a brainchild of the Rupert Murdoch Sky machine.
However, Channel 4 outlined their intentions at the beginning of the year to bring rugby league to a brand new audience at a brand new time, with its lunchtime kick-offs on Saturday and Sunday proving to be very popular indeed with viewers.
It has enabled more families to go and watch games at the weekend instead of a nighttime kick-off with school the next day (on a Thursday night fixture) or the fact that it just too late for children with 8pm kick-offs.
Instead, the whole family are able to enjoy a Channel 4 game – either on TV or live at a game. And, the viewing figures have proved just that over the eight games that the terrestrial program has covered so far.
From week one, it was evident that this new era of rugby league on TV would be special as three quarters of a million people tuned in to watch rugby league on Channel 4 for the first time.
Since then, numbers have been steadily hitting around the 250,000 mark and never dropping below 189,000 – that in itself, for its first year in the sport, is incredible.
Now, all eyes will turn to Saturday’s production of Huddersfield’s battle against Salford with the host set to be the much-loved Helen Skelton alongside pundits of Danika Priim – who has excelled in the role since the beginning of the year – and Kyle Amor.
Wigan Warriors’ star Bevan French will also be joining those three in what promises to be a great event for the channel and the sport.