The biggest ever game I Origin crowd of 80,380 attended this year's opener

A combined metropolitan and regional audience of 3.973 million viewers has tuned in to watch the NSW VB Blues defeat the Queensland XXXX Maroons in the opening match of the 2013 Holden State of Origin Series.

With the biggest ever Game I Origin crowd of 80,380 in attendance, the Blues’ 14-6 victory – their first win in a series opener since 2008 – was the third highest rating Origin match of all-time, after Games 3 and 1 of the 2012 series.

“It was a great match to start the series and I would like to thank Channel 9 and the WIN and NBN networks for their first-class coverage of the game,” ARL Commission CEO, Mr Dave Smith, said today.

“There is tremendous excitement already for Game II in Brisbane and fans have snapped up more than 65,000 tickets for the final match of the series in Sydney.”

Last night’s match:

Recorded an audience of 2.507 million viewers across the 5 City Metro market;

The game peaked at 2.795 million viewers and was the No.1 program across the 5 City Metro, along the east coast, in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane;

The match was the highest rating Origin ever in Melbourne with an average audience of 433,252;

In Sydney, an average of 1.151 million viewers watched the game on Channel Nine, with a peak of 1.258 million;

In Brisbane, an average audience of 780,000 watched the game, with a peak of 838,000;

In Adelaide, Origin I had a 37.5 per cent increase on Origin I in 2012, with an average audience of 78,577;

In the Regional markets, Origin I averaged 1.466 million viewers, peaking at 1.718 million.

Game II of the Holden State of Origin Series will be played at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, June 26.

Tickets for Game III at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on July 17 and fans are encouraged to secure their seats now from Ticketek on 132 849, at Ticketek outlets or online at www.nrl.com/origin