The biggest opening game audience in Holden State of Origin Series history – a combined metropolitan and regional audience of 4.058 million viewers – has watched NSW score a thrilling 12-8 win over Queensland at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.
Last night's match on the Nine, WIN and NBN Networks was:
• The highest rating show on Australian television so far in 2014;
• The most-watched series opener in Origin history (up from 3.972m in 2013);
• The third most-watched Origin match all of all time, after the 2013 and 2012 series deciders;
• Attracted the biggest ever Sydney audience (1.228 million; up 6% from 1.158m in 2013);
• Achieved the highest network share of the year (44.6% across the 5 City Metro).
"This was a special night in Origin history and the players deserve congratulations for the spectacle they provided for the fans at Suncorp Stadium and the millions of viewers around the world," said NRL CEO, Mr Dave Smith.
"I also wish to thank the Nine Network's Wide World of Sports for their world-class broadcast.
"The opener to the telecast was simply brilliant and set the stage for one of the classic Origin games.
"Like every other Rugby League fan, I can't wait for Game II in Sydney."
Last night's match:
• Recorded an audience of 2.596 million viewers across the 5 City Metro market (up from 2.522m in 2013).
• Recorded an average audience of 747,000 in Brisbane, with a peak of 810,00, and achieved the largest regional Queensland audience ever (563,584), up 14% on Game 1 in 2013;
• Achieved the biggest Adelaide audience for an opening match of the series (86,000), up 4% on 2013;
• Achieved the biggest Victorian regional audience for a series opener (118,083, up 10% from Game 1 last year);
• Recorded an audience of 109,000 on GEM in Perth, up 71% on Game 1 last year.
Game II of the 2014 Holden State of Origin Series will be played at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, June 18.