Challenge Cup semi-finals draw contrasting BBC audience figures

Aaron Bower

2X7C4CD St Helens, Merseyside, UK. 19th May, 2024. Betfred Challenge Cup Rugby: Huddersfield Giants Vs Warrington Wolves at Totally Wicked Stadium. Sam Burgess taking with BBC ahead of their semi final clash with Huddersfield. Credit James Giblin Photography/Alamy Live News.

There were mixed results on the audience viewing figure fronts for this year’s Challenge Cup semi-finals.

While Sunday’s semi-final between Warrington and Huddersfield pulled in a peak of 337,000 and an average of around 260,000, there were much better numbers when it came to the game 24 hours earlier.

In that fixture, Wigan Warriors dismantled Hull KR to book their place at Wembley – and an average of almost half a million viewers tuned in to watch that game.

Televised on BBC1 in a primetime slot on Saturday afternoon, the numbers are incredibly encouraging, and they were revealed by the renowned Twitter account Rugby League on TV, which frequently updates supporters on audience viewing figures.

The fact rugby league commanded almost a tenth of the entire audience share in that slot on Saturday afternoon will be hugely encouraging for RL Commercial and the sport’s powerbrokers.

However, the figures on Sunday afternoon were less encouraging – with an audience share of just 3.7 per cent to watch the Wire join Wigan at Wembley courtesy of victory over Huddersfield.

The fact that game was televised on BBC2 would have perhaps hit the figures, as would the fact it clashed with the final day of the Premier League season.

Hopes will be high that the Challenge Cup final between the Warriors and the Wolves can command a significant share of the audience in June.

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