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The NRL said this year’s Grand Final between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs broke records to be one of the most successful in the history of Rugby League.
And NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith today thanked fans for throwing their support behind a magnificent match up between two traditional rivals and across the entire Finals Series.
Key highlights include:
• Last night’s match was the highest rating NRL match of all time across five city markets.
• The Nine Network reports a massive national peak audience of 4.6 million.
The Nine Network said the national average audience (3.951 million) surpassed the national audience for the AFL Grand Final (3.513 million).
Rugby League now has the top three TV programs of the year with State of Origin 1 & 2 as well as the Grand Final across a national audience.
• About 10 million people in the five city markets (and almost 16 million nationally) tuned into the finals series – up more than 3% from last year.
• More than 320,000 people attended finals series matches – up 13% on 2013.
• A ground record crowd of 83,833 – the biggest attendance for a sporting event at ANZ Stadium since it was reconfigured after the Sydney Olympics.
Mr Smith said the outstanding success of the finals series demonstrated the strength of rugby league.
“This has been a big season for the NRL and last night’s match had everything – sheer determination and courage from our amazing athletes mixed with the tradition and history of two strong clubs,” Mr Smith said.
“The atmosphere was incredible and, matched by a big crowd, it was a wonderful finale to a massive season.
“About 16 million people across the country watched rugby league over the finals series which demonstrates the game is in a strong and healthy shape.
“It was outstanding and I want to thank our members, fans, supporters and broadcast partners for their support for the game of rugby league, which really did capture the hearts and minds this weekend.
“I also want to acknowledge both the Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs who both deserve accolades for their performance and commitment.”