Channel 4 has been making waves in the rugby league industry since signing a two-year deal at the beginning of the 2022 Super League season.
Starting out with Leeds Rhinos against Warrington Wolves led by Australian host Adam Hills, there was incredible excitement to see rugby league broadcast on terrestrial television for the first time.
There was perhaps no wonder, therefore, that the crowd figures resembled that with an average audience of 531,000 with almost 750,000 watching the final few moments of the game.
Since then, the numbers have stayed consistently over a quarter of million viewers, and, for Channel 4’s game that saw Castleford Tigers go up against St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium, 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.
Salford Red Devils took on Huddersfield Giants for Channel 4’s latest fixture with Paul Rowley’s men running out 33-16 winners in front of the cameras.
With over a thousand Giants fans making the trip over the Pennines, they will have disappointed supporters with a below-par performance that saw Salford run into a 26-6 lead.
Huddersfield tried to respond after half-time, scoring two quickfire tries bur errors and stern Salford defence managed to keep out Ian Watson’s men as Salford grabbed a valuable two points in the race for a play-off spot.
Alongside hosts Adam Hills and Helen Skelton, pundits Danika Priim and Sam Tomkins impressed with their wealth of knowledge whilst commentators Mark Wilson and Kyle Amor were in fine form as per usual.
Two more live Channel 4 games will be broadcast in the Super League play-offs on 10 and 17 September with almost all viewers wanting to see more of the terrestrial channel in 2023.
And, now the numbers for Saturday’s live game have been revealed with Channel 4 revealing to Serious About Rugby League that the whole broadcast average 189,000 – which is the lowest so far – yet the one minute audience peak was a remarkable 337,000 with the game (including half-time) averaging 225,000.
The good weather may have been a contributing factor as to why the audience was lower than in previous broadcastings.