The NRL officials have confirmed that the State of Origin Show has the worst TV audience since the event took place in 2003. The opening back then attracted an average of 2.38 million viewers across the Channel Nine coverage. That is 25% down compared to the previous State of Origin in 2019.
If we are playing a guessing game, it is highly possible because of the Covid pandemic. In the opening, the scheduled event involves the New South Wales Blues who take on Queensland Maroons in Game 1 of the long-expected State of Origin 2020 series. The downing of the viewer’s ratings can have a huge impact on the franchise itself.
NRL will have to cope to solve this challenge. The provider is about to make the new deal of the free-to-air television right deals. That includes the upcoming Origin series which will be covered by the respective live streaming provider.
But besides the covid-19 causes, we shouldn’t neglect the fact that there was a whitewash but Queensland did the opposite. Not to mention that many people have been following the US elections because the topic was interesting for all countries. For most folks who are presenting this spectacle to the world, the result of the rating is just disappointing. But comparing this game with the other one for the conclusion is still too early. We still have a few encounters more to see how big the spectacle would be.
Although the two factors above are manageable, folks tend to be not ready when it comes to the Covid-19 interruption. We have seen how many times those big sports events across the globe were canceled because of the pandemic.
NRL made a hard decision by moving the showpiece event to the end of the season.
And this match took place only a day after the Melbourne Cup and during the US Election. For many experts and rugby fans, it is not surprising that many viewers are moving towards other events. The officials themselves didn’t expect that. But they don’t have a plan to abort the mission. The show must go on. As quoted from the official organizers of the event, they manage the event carefully.
This big event should take place by the end of the season. And they will keep up to that principle to protect the NRL competition integrity. No one would watch a TV show without integrity.