Channel 4’s Super League coverage has taken rugby league by storm after signing a two-year deal ahead of the 2023 season.
There was great anticipation for the first game to ever be broadcast on Channel 4 with Leeds Rhinos hosting the Warrington Wolves.
And, the crowd figures certainly proved that point with an average audience of 531,000 with almost 750,000 watching the final few moments of the game.
That was the equivalent of a 7% audience share which was an incredible number considering kick off was at noon.
Whilst experiencing a drop in viewing figures, St Helens’ fixture over Hull FC a week later still pulled in considerable numbers, too.
The highest-minute peak was 624,000 with the average audience for the match being 515,000 – which equated to a 6.8% audience share – with an average audience of 468,000 which was 6.0%, up 43% on slot average thousands and up 29% for share.
Unfortunately for the broadcaster, Warrington Wolves’ home fixture against Wakefield Trinity was less well received as perhaps a combination of the good weather and two sides who some rugby league fans weren’t interested in reduced the numbers.
There was an average viewing figure of 198,000 which was 3.4% of the coverage at that time with a peak of 297,000.
Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils then played out a classic, but instead of a Saturday primetime TV slot, the game was broadcast on a Sunday – and that seemingly did little to help the numbers.
Channel 4 revealed that the viewing figures took on an average of 213,000 which equated to 3.2% of the TV share with the peak at 270,000.
A month later, Hull KR hosted Catalans Dragons back in the Saturday lunchtime slot with a surprising increase in the viewing figures increased.
There was a programme average viewing of 207,000 – 4.3% of the TV share – whilst the match itself took an average of 254,000 – 5.2% of the TV share – with a minute peak at 314,000.
Castleford Tigers then made their debut on Channel 4 when Wigan Warriors travelled to the Jungle with a 2pm kick off as numbers were expected to grow despite the fact that it was a Bank Holiday weekend in celebration of the Queen’s 70th year on the throne.
There was a peak of 390,000 with a match average of 302,000 which equated to 5.4% of the TV share at the time and a broadcast average of 268,000 or 4.8%.
For Channel 4’s latest game – Castleford Tigers against St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium – there was a huge peak with a disappointing match average considering the former number.
The match averaged 259,000 viewers, but the one minute peak was a staggering 382,000 – an incredible number considering it was on a Sunday with a kick-off at 1pm.
And, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils, Wakefield Trinity and Catalans Dragons were playing later on in the afternoon, making that number even more impressive.
Keep it up Channel 4 viewers!