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On the back of a spectacular season opener that saw Rugby League return as Sydney’s most watched television event, the Nine Network has announced today that it will televise Sunday’s Telstra Premiership Grand Final replay between the Warriors and Manly at Auckland’s Eden Park live across Australia.

Last night’s golden-point season kick-off between St George Illawarra and Newcastle overpowered regular top rating Thursday night programs in Sydney to attract an average audience of 482,000 and a peak of 632,000.

In Brisbane the match averaged 238,000 viewers and peaked at 311,000 while in regional Australia the Dragons’ win averaged 565,000 viewers and peaked at 715,000.

Across Sydney, Brisbane and regional Australia the match attracted a combined average of 1.285m and a peak of 1.658m.

The Footy Show went on to win its Sydney, Brisbane and regional timeslots, further underlining the demand for Rugby League in 2012.

“It’s a great way to start the season and the news today that Nine will telecast the Manly v Warriors match live across Australia is a further example of the enthusiasm building around Rugby League,” Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.

Channel Nine declared the Thursday night season opener a spectacular success.

“It was great to have Rugby League back on Channel Nine and the initiative of Nine and the NRL in trialing a Thursday night start was warmly embraced by the viewers,” Channel Nine Managing Director, Mr Jeff Browne, said today.

“The decision to go live with the Grand Final replay on Sunday is a chance for viewers across the country to feel a part of the opening round as they also prepare for the first final in the cricket.”

Nine will telecast the match from 12noon on Sunday AEDST following the Sunday Footy Show.

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