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State of Origin TV viewing figures SLUMP as 238,000 fewer fans tune in for Game One

State of Origin TV ratings SLUMP as 238,000 fewer fans tune in to Game One after stars were criticized for their ‘boring’ build-up to Sydney blockbuster clash – but Channel 9 claim numbers are the best this year

  • 2.48 million people watched Game One of this year’s State of Origin
  • That figure represents a drop of 238,000 viewers compared to last year’s game
  • As of 2019, Channel 9’s ratings for the big game are at 600k. decreased
  • Origin stars were criticized for their ‘boring’ build-up to the blockbuster clash
  • Viewers were also unimpressed by Ray Warren’s successor in the communication booth

Channel 9 received a shock in ratings on Wednesday night, with more than 200,000 fewer viewers tuning in to Queensland’s win over NSW – although the broadcast giant claims the latest numbers represent success.

News Corp reports that 2.48 million TV viewers tuned in as Queensland held out for a dramatic win at Accor Stadium, with New South Wales’s Isaah Yeo ultimately just failing to save the match.

That amounts to a 238,000 climb down from the 2,718m the Blues beat their neighbors by 44 points in Game One of the 2021 series, and a massive 600,000 digit drop from 2019.

Channel 9 saw a slump in its TV ratings for last night's State of Origin Game One blockbuster

Channel 9 saw a slump in its TV ratings for last night’s State of Origin Game One blockbuster

Still, there’s some dispute over whether last night’s numbers are a success or a failure for the broadcaster, which claims more than 2.9 million people tuned in to the big game when streaming numbers are factored in.

That would indicate that Origin I was the highest-rated program of the year so far, despite the significant drop in television numbers alone compared to 2021.

The appeal of rugby league’s biggest rivalry has been called into question and the latest figures certainly support NRL360’s Paul Kent’s claim that Origin stars contributed to a ‘boring’ build-up to the opening game.

2.48 million people watched TV as Queensland held out for a dramatic win in Sydney

2.48 million people watched TV as Queensland held out for a dramatic win in Sydney

That represents a drop of 238k from 2021, although Nine claim that when streaming numbers are taken into account, last night's program was the most watched of the year.

That represents a drop of 238k from 2021, although Nine claim that when streaming numbers are taken into account, last night’s program was the most watched of the year.

ORIGIN GAME ONE TV REVIEWS SINCE 2019*

2019: 3.194m

2020: 2,391m

2021: 2,718m

2022: 2.48m

*Total Metro + Regional Viewers

He pointed to the success of Kambosos Jr v Haney in urging the players to follow the blueprint set up by the Australian boxer to inject bad blood back into the match.

“We need to take the tameness out of Origin,” he said. “The players are now so disciplined, so desperate not to motivate the opponent that we get the most boring run-up.

‘It [Origin] was built on the backs of these feral cats from Queensland who came in with a pure hatred for New South Wales where whatever they said about NSW they didn’t care if the Blues cared or not and they went after NSW and they went into the whole Origin mystique behind that.

“Now you get the impression that if they ran into each other in a restaurant, they would all walk up to each other and say G’day to each other and sit down and share a meal. It has to change, it has to go back to the wild days when something interesting came out.”

Last night’s clash was also broadcast for the first time in 30 years without the mellow tones of iconic commentator Ray Warren.

‘Rabs’ sat behind the mic for a staggering 99 Origin matches and Channel 9 chiefs turned to Mat Thompson as his replacement, although the 40-year-old’s performance divided viewers at home.

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