NRL Magic Round pulls off TV ratings trick: Foxtel Group audience at record levels

TV ratings

Nine posts Women’s State of Origin record growth with close to 1m watching Game 1.

The NRL Magic Round 2024 has again proven the key to growing TV ratings is live sport. The audience surge started across the weekend after Nine reported YOY growth for its exclusive coverage of Game 1 of Women’s State of Origin.

Thursday’s Women’s State of Origin was a timeslot winner for Nine across Australia and was the #1 program of the night in Sydney and Brisbane. It secured a National Total TV Reach of 1.983 million, a Total TV National Audience of 941,000 and a BVOD audience of 128,000. The Queensland v New South Wales clash saw TV ratings increases on the same night last year, including +46.3% for Total TV and +103.2% for BVOD.

Still two games to go for 2024 on Nine

In addition to being the most-watched Women’s State of Origin match on record, Nine’s FTA audience was higher than FTA ratings for any NRL Telstra Premiership match this season and higher than FTA ratings for any AFL match this year.

The Foxtel Group then recorded its highest audience ever for a regular season round across the Foxtel Group for the games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

An average audience of 545,000 watched all the magic from Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, which hosted every NRL game of the round, across Foxtel, Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now, and Foxtel Go.

Foxtel Group had a higher average audience than Nine for two of its three simulcast games – Rabbitohs v Cowboys (528,000) and Storm v Eels (589,000).

Nine’s average national audiences across the Magic Round weekend were 575,000 (Friday), 425,000 (Saturday) and 453,000 (Sunday).

TV ratings record busters

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs Canberra Raiders game at 6pm on Friday, the Cronulla Sharks vs Sydney Roosters game at 5.30pm on Saturday and the Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels at 4pm on Sunday also recorded their highest audiences ever across the Foxtel Group for their respective timeslots.

The 2024 NRL Premiership season is on track to be the biggest ever across the Foxtel Group.

Sharks v Roosters NRL Foxtel record

Fox Sports managing director Steve Crawley said: “Congratulations to the NRL and all the clubs on an amazing result. Fox Sports and Kayo broke four individual records with viewership numbers over the weekend. Beginning with the first match 6.00pm Friday, Raiders v Bulldogs with an average audience of 592,000. This was backed-up by Saturday’s 5.30pm game, Sharks v Roosters, which achieved a spectacular average audience figure of 664,000. Then again on Sunday afternoon where the Storm v Eels game recorded a huge 589,000.”

Crawley added: “First Las Vegas, now Magic Round, it is already a season to remember.”

See also:
Mediaweek sideline eye NRL in Las Vegas: Delany tosses the coin, Lachlan Murdoch walks the boundary

TV ratings source: Total Viewing, 000s. Linear (STV): OzTAM National Panel, Total People, Average Audience. Linear (FTA): OzTAM Metro and Regional Panels, Total People, Average Audience. GO/Now/Kayo/9Now: OzTAM VPM, Total People, VPM Rating, Live only. All Platforms: Preliminary Overnight Data.

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