The televised clash between St Helens and Salford last Friday recorded higher viewing figures than last season’s Grand Final, as rugby league’s popularity continues to grow.
Already the most watched domestic league outside of football on SKY Sports, rugby league’s numbers continue to show an increase in the first year of a new TV deal.
The average audience of the first match at Langtree Park was 80 per cent up on the average weekly audience in 2011, and was the top rated programme on SKY Sports, eclipsing the rugby union Premiership match between Sale and Worcester.
The round 1 fixture between Widnes and Wakefield was also the most watched opening weekend fixture since Super League began.
Huddersfield take on Warrington in a mouth-watering Saturday tea-time game, before Hull host London Broncos in a Sunday night fixture, live on SKY.