Engage Super League XV is proving to be a ratings winner after recording some impressive viewing figures for a number of fixtures in the opening rounds.
The average audience for last Friday’s Round Two fixture between Wigan Warriors and Hull Kingston Rovers on Sky Sports 1 was higher than any other televised game in the regular Engage Super League season in 2009.
The peak audience for the game was also 33 per cent higher than for the same fixture in the play-offs at Craven Park last year and 54 per cent higher than the average television audience for the regular season match between the two clubs.
The match attracted a higher audience than all but four regular season games in the past three years, a period which has seen 180 fixtures screened live on Sky Sports.
The bumper ratings come just two weeks after the match between Crusaders RL and Leeds Rhinos drew a record peak audience on Sky Sports for an opening round fixture.
The match at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham was watched by a record crowd for a Welsh club Rugby League fixture in the Principality and had a TV audience that was 35 per cent higher than the fixture between the same two clubs at Headingley Carnegie which kicked off the 2009 season.
In addition to impressive viewing figures, supporters are also turning out in force for Engage Super League XV. A total of 78,090 people – an all-time high for the competition – turned out to see the seven opening round fixtures.
That trend continued last week when three Round Two fixtures attracted significantly higher crowds than the corresponding matches in 2009.
The attendance at Castleford Tigers of 7,569 for their match against Warrington last Saturday was 35 per cent higher than the same fixture a year earlier while
Hull FC’s crowd of 14,520 for their victory over Huddersfield was 30 per cent higher than last season.
The biggest year-on-year increase was recorded at Hearwell Stadium where Wakefield Trinity Wildcats cemented their place at the top of the Engage Super League table with a victory over Leeds Rhinos in front of 9,783 people, a 52 per cent increase on the crowd for the same match in 2009.