If there is one major positive to come out of the 2022 Super League season then it is the move into rugby league from Channel 4.
The first terrestrial television program to get broadcasting rights for individual Super League games was always going to be a groundbreaking moment, but perhaps people didn’t realise just how big it has been.
Its first live game back in February when the Leeds Rhinos hosted Warrington Wolves at Headingley brought in almost 550,000 viewers on a Saturday lunchtime – something never been seen before in the sport.
Since then, numbers have remained steady with Channel 4 getting access to eight regular Super League games and then two play-off games, including Salford Red Devils’ win over the Huddersfield Giants in the elimination play-off.
Then, last week, Channel 4 hosted St Helens’ semi-final against Salford with the winner going through to this year’s Grand Final at Old Trafford.
Of course, Saints will play Leeds in that showpiece event, but the terrestrial program has done its bit and then some in increasing exposure to the sport.
And, last week’s viewing figures showed just how popular Channel 4 has become with the rugby league fan – even though Sky Sports was broadcasting the same game at the same time.
Overall, the match averaged a viewing figure of 283,000 which was a 4.9% of the TV share, with the one minute peak being 394,000.
Those are truly remarkable numbers and evidence that rugby league fans have bought into Channel 4 with hopefully more to come in 2023.