After almost five months out of action due to coronavirus, the competition restarted with a double-header of action at Emerald Headingley over the last two weekends.
Some of the top-line figures since the resumption include Warrington Wolves’ 40-10 win over Hull KR on Saturday achieving the highest-ever average audience for a regular season Saturday broadcast, excluding Magic Weekend fixtures.
Leeds Rhinos’ dramatic comeback Golden Point win over Huddersfield Giants on August 2 was also the number one ranked game for peak audience in 2020 - beating the Round 1 Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves contest - by more than 50,000 viewers.
It is also the number two ranked game for average match audience this year behind the aforementioned Wigan v Warrington fixture on January 30 - the opening night of the season.
Furthermore, in all seven behind-closed doors games since the restart, average match audience is up 5.5 per cent vs pre-lockdown average, and up 16 per cent compared to last year’s average.
As rugby league seeks to capitalise, filling the void left by no football fixtures in August and perhaps crucially attracting new viewers ahead of negotiating a new broadcast deal for after 2021, games move on to St Helens this weekend.
There is then another round of matches at Warrington Wolves’ Halliwell Jones Stadium on August 29/30 while Huddersfield Giants’ John Smith’s Stadium will host a BBC-televised Challenge Cup double-header on Saturday August 22.
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