As national ratings figures for the 2011 Telstra Premiership Finals series climb 14% above 2010, Storm players have gone out winners with Melbourne television audiences.

Nine’s decision to go live with the Storm v Warriors match paid huge dividends for GTV, which collected the city’s biggest audience share of the night of 22.8% as the telecast won all but one quarter hour in Melbourne, attracting a peak of 390,000 viewers and an average of 274,451.

The match drew 1,835,791 viewers across all Australian markets, reaching 618,768 in Sydney, 274,313 in Brisbane and a further 662,869 on the WIN and NBN networks.

It also recorded a further 200,000 viewers in New Zealand.

After three weeks of the 2011 Telstra Premiership Finals Series, the overall audience increase has reached 14% with an overall average of 1,492,761 per game.

“It’s another reminder of how much Rugby League is a part of people’s lives and of its value to broadcasters,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.

“This has been a gripping Telstra Premiership Finals Series and the prospect of Manly against the Warriors has excited sports fans across Australia and New Zealand.”

Friday night’s Telstra Premiership Preliminary Final between Manly and Broncos drew 1,682,619 viewers with 589,908 in Sydney, 412,029 in Brisbane and 664,413 across WIN and NBN.