Championships break one million barrier

More than one million people have watched coverage of The Co-operative Championships on Sky Sports this season, according to new figures published today.

In the most competitive and exciting season in recent memory, the cumulative audience for Thursday night Sky games broke the one million barrier for the first time and viewing figures over the season increased by 17 per cent on 2008.

Last Thursday’s Sky Sports televised Co-operative Championship Final Eliminator between Halifax and Featherstone also recorded the highest viewing audience for any Championship or National League game since Sky commenced the live broadcasts in 2007.

Gary Tasker, the RFL’s Director of Development, said: “We’re delighted to have broken the magical one million viewers figure for The Co-operative Championships. This figure reflects just how exciting Thursday night Sky TV games have been.

“This is third full season that Sky Sports have broadcast games on a Thursday night and it is not just viewing figures that have has risen every year.

“What is also pleasing is that the majority of clubs who have appeared live on TV on a Thursday night have also recorded their biggest attendance of the year which is testament to the hard work put in by clubs in marketing these fixtures.”

A bumper TV audience is expected on Sunday for The Co-operative Championship Grand Final between Barrow Raiders and Halifax, a game that will see the winners walk away with £100,000 in prize money and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 3. The runners up will receive £30,000.

The winners of The Co-operative Championship One Play-off final between Keighley Cougars and Oldham will receive £20,000 with the runners up getting a cheque for £10,000.

“The stakes at Sunday’s finals are extremely high with the biggest prize money pool ever up for grabs,” said Tasker. “After the season we’ve had it’s likely that Sunday’s two televised clashes will be thrilling encounters.”

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