More than half a million tune in to Channel 4 live coverage

Channel 4
Picture by Allan McKenzie/

The average audience for Saturday’s live Channel 4 game between Hull FC and St Helens was 515,000.

It’s one minute peak throughout the 12.30pm kick-off was 624,000, building on the encouraging start of the coverage.

Presented by comedian Adam Hills, with commentary from Mark Wilson and punditry from the likes of Leon Pryce, Channel 4 have received widespread praise.

They even demonstrated response to feedback, including a “first/second half” tag on the on screen display which was missing last year.

The figures represent a 6% TV share for the Saturday dinner time slot, and is up 43% on the channel’s average figures at that time.

Channel 4 have also revealed that it was the most popular programme with 16-34 year olds – attracting a 13.7% share, up 117% on that usual slot.

The average audience for the whole programme, including build-up and post-match, was 468,000.

While the game was one-sided in St Helens’ favour, it wasn’t short of talking points.

REPORT: St Helens breeze to victory against 12-man Hull FC – talking points

A first half red card for new Hull captain Luke Gale on his home debut followed an earlier yellow card for young centre Connor Wynne.

The wintry conditions also added to the occasion, as well as a pre-match tribute to the late “Gentleman” Johnny Whiteley MBE.

Last week’s game between Leeds and Warrington attracted an average audience of 531,000, with a peak of 750,000 in the final moments of a thriller.

Next up on Channel 4

Despite having two games in the opening two weekends of the season, there is now a month’s wait until the next live game on Channel 4.

Warrington’s clash against Wakefield is next up, at 12.30pm on Saturday March 19.

The only other currently scheduled game is Wigan against Salford on Sunday April 24, with a 1pm kick-off.

As part of the deal that will allow 10 games shown on terrestrial television this season, Channel 4 will show one game a month in May, June, July and August.

They will finish their coverage for the season with two play-off matches in September.

How does it compare

The figures have provided a much welcome boost for rugby league, that was to be expected as Super League was televised for the first time ever on terrestrial.

The Challenge Cup final, which remains the jewel in the crown and is shown live on BBC, attracts an average of more than one million.

The Super League Grand Final, live on Sky Sports, was watched by just under 400,000.

Super League chief Ken Davy previously revealed that more games than ever before had broken the 200,000 viewer barrier.

The average audience for Sky Sports games is just over 150,000.

About James Gordon 7308 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.


  1. Enjoyed the game very much let’s hope they can get more games on for next year gold star ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ All round

  2. Absolutely fantastic.. loved the commentary the way it should be done .. Thankyou channel 4 you have but some fresh air in rugby league again.. Hope you get more coverage next season.

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