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NRL, Foxtel Beats Nine, 2020 Best Year Ever & The Rights Came Cheap

The Foxtel Group is on a roll when it comes to NRL games with the network reporting an 18% jump in viewing over 2019 and a 150% increase in live viewing, they have also beaten arch rival Nine.

Taking into account rounds 1-14 2020 Vs 2019 Foxtel numbers are up, as the NRL moves into the pointy end of the season.

Last Sunday in the Wests Tigers v Bulldogs (Sunday 4PM) Foxtel Platforms + Kayo combined delivered a bigger audience than the Nine Network in FTA Metro homes (302K v 286K). This isn’t the first time this has happened this season according to data analysts at Foxtel.

In data released for the first time, it was revealed that Foxtel set-top boxes together with streaming platforms Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go and the fast-growing Kayo that 2020 is the best year ever for NRL ratings for the Foxtel Group who were able to negotiate a discount on broadcasting rights.

The record-breaking season was driven by an increase in the average live audience for Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and Kayo audiences, which were up over 150%.

Foxtel management said that ‘with many fans unable to attend the footy in person because of COVID-19 restrictions, viewers have sought out Fox League as the go-to destination for the best NRL action with Fox League exclusive matches up 19% across the Foxtel Group’s platforms.

The post-COVID season return saw Round 3 generate the biggest audience for an NRL round in Foxtel history, while the Round 6 clash between the Roosters and the Eels recorded the largest NRL audience of all-time with a cumulative average of 507,000.

Fox Sports Executive Director Steve Crawley said: “We’ve had some wonderful NRL seasons in recent times and just when a lot of people thought this year’s competition wouldn’t go ahead, WHAM, the season has the best ratings ever – the best of the best. “Peter V’landys and Andrew Abdo have led the way at League Central, and we are proud to partner them at Fox League. This Thursday night it’s the Eels and the Storm. How about that! This game just keeps giving.”

Fox Sports Sales and Brand Partnerships Director, Martin Medcraf added: “The record ratings for Fox League reflect the increasing appetite among Australian audiences for sport. Since the return of the NRL in May, we’ve seen no let-up in fans’ excitement to have sports back on their screens. With the codes attracting new followers, and footy proving itself as an important outlet in difficult times, the rise of multi-platform viewing is a watershed moment for sports broadcasting in Australia.”

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