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Eels prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard.

Despite a more than unusual 2020 season, Foxtel is thrilled a record number of fans are watching the game on their services.

In Foxtel Group viewer data released on Wednesday, the company announced an 18 per cent rise in viewer numbers when compared to the opening 14 rounds of the 2019 season.

Fox League exclusive matches are up 19 per cent across all platforms.

The data covers Foxtel set-top boxes together with streaming platforms Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go and the fast-growing Kayo. It confirms 2020 as the top-rating NRL season for the group.

Fox Sports executive director Steve Crawley was ecstatic about the results.

"We've had some wonderful NRL seasons in recent times and just when a lot of people thought this year’s competition wouldn't go ahead, WHAM, the season has the best ratings ever – the best of the best," he said.

"Peter V'landys and Andrew Abdo have led the way at League Central, and we are proud to partner them at Fox League. This Thursday night it's the Eels and the Storm. How about that! This game just keeps giving."

The post-COVID season return saw round three generate the biggest audience for an NRL round in Foxtel history, while the round six clash between the Roosters and the Eels recorded the company's biggest ever NRL audience with a cumulative average of 507,000. 

Fox Sports sales and brand partnerships director Martin Medcraf added: "The record ratings for Fox League reflect the increasing appetite among Australian audiences for sport."

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