The Season that Was…2020 – NRL TV Ratings *updated 20/11*

The 2020 NRL season totaled 70.2 million viewers across the Nine Network and Foxleague, up 0.35% on the first 20 rounds of 2019, but down 20.4% on the 2019 total. More matches were played compared to the first 20 rounds of last year, leading to an average of 439,000, down 4.6% on the first 20 rounds of 2019, but down 4.36% on the full year average,

NRL matches on Nine averaged 549,000 per game, down 4.36% on the first 20 rounds of 2019, but up 0.18% on the final year average. This included a metro average of 333,000 (-5.6%) and a regional average of 216,000 (-2.68%).

NRL matches on Foxleague averaged 233,000, down 0.43% on the first 20 rounds of 2019, but up 0.87% on the end of year Fox average. Foxtel ratings accounted for 53% of the ratings total.

NRL Ratings were down in Sydney dropped 9.07% to an average of 184,000, while ratings in Brisbane were down 7.52% to an average of 116,000.

In Melbourne, NRL ratings were up 39% to an average of 17,000, including an average of 37,000 for games involving the Storm.

Adelaide experienced a 55% ratings increase to 8,000 per game, while Perth dropped 8% to 6,000 per game. Overall the minor NRL cities were up 22% on the first 20 rounds of 2019.

To no ones surprise, the Broncos were the most watched NRL team in the 2020 H&A season. The Storm however were the most watched NRL team on Foxtels set top boxes.In fact, the Melbourne Storm had the best Foxtel viewing average of both the NRL and AFL. NRL sides with the 9 best average results, Collingwood with the top AFL average in at #10.

NRL had 160 games (up from 152) with 60 FTA games nationally broadcast (no change).


Week 1 of the 2020 NRL Finals rated 3.662m viewers across the Nine and Foxtel networks (without streaming). This figure is down 7.41% on the 3.955m who watched Week 1 in 2019 with FTA ratings down 11.8% and Fox up 3.9%.  Week 1 of the 2020 NRL Finals was down in both Brisbane (-26%) and Sydney (-12%), while viewing for the Week 1 Storm/Eels Final on 9 in Melbourne was down 21% on the 2019 Storm/Raiders game in the same week last year.

2020 NRL Finals Week 2 rated 2.251m viewers across 9/Fox, down 5.1% on the 2019 series. FTA down 9% – all metro and reg markets down, while Fox is up 9% on week 2 of last year.

Friday nights Roosters vs Raiders NRL clash averaged 445k nationally (pay-tv 302k) (streaming 143k). The combined audience figure made it the 4th highest ever NRL Finals game on Fox League of all time.

Nine’s Free-To-Air coverage of the match averaged 781k nationally (489k metro), This puts the final combined FTA+FoxLeague audience for the game at 1.226 million.

NRL prelim finals rated 2.495m across Nine and the Foxtel set top box networks, this figure is down 23.72% (776,000) on the 2019 Finals series, down 4.92% on Fox and down 29% on FTA. Streaming not included.

The 2020 NRL Finals series have rated 8.408m to date, down 12.4% (1.191m) on the 2019 Finals series. Metro FTA -22%, Reg -10%, but Fox holding up 2.5%.

2020 NRL season and finals ratings total 78.6m on Nine/Fox STB’s heading into the Grand Final next week. This figure is down 1.19%, but the 948,000 deficit should more than be made up by streaming over the course of the year. (Does not include preseason, NRLW or coming Origin.)


2020 NRL Grand Final

  • Nine National average audience: 2.966m 5 City: 2.103m (+13%) / Regional: 863k (+9%)
  • Melbourne average of 608,000 is an increase of 90% over the 2019 NRL Grand Final Nine
  • National peak audience: 3.442m.
  • Nine National reach audience: 5.890m

2018 Roosters/Storm Grand Final rated 551,000 in Melbourne. The 2020 Grand Final rated 608,000 in Melbourne (+10.3%), but still less than the 644,000 that watched the Storm/Cowboys in 2017.

2020 NRLW Grand Final

  • Nine National average audience: 552k 5 City: 334,000 (+4%) / Regional: 218,000 (+14%)
  • Nine National peak audience: 748k
  • Nine National peak audience: 1.151m

The 2020 NRL FInals series rated 11.374m, down 7% on 2019, with Metro on 9 down 11%, Regional down 5%, while Foxtel rose 2.5%. Streaming not included – should make up some if not all of this.

The 2020 NRL Season rated a total of 81.575m across Nine and Fox STB networks in a reduced season.

State of Origin

This years state of Origin series rated a total of 7.54m viewers, down 15.12% (1.344m) on the 2019 Origin series. Ratings were up in Adelaide (12%), but down in every other FTA segment with Sydney down 15.98%, Brisbane down 18% and Perth down 48% on last years series.

Origin 1

  • National peak audience: 2.798 million (Metro: 1.836 million / Regional: 963,000).
  • National average audience: 2.378 million (Metro: 1.598 million / Regional: 780,000).
  • Live VPM of 155,000, an increase of 124% on 2019s Origin 1.

Origin 2

  • National peak audience: 2.825 million (Metro: 1.854 million / Regional: 971,000).
  • National average audience: 2.434 million (Metro: 1.654 million / Regional: 780,000).
  • Live VPM of 154,000 – up 78% on last years Origin Game 2.

Origin 3

  • National peak audience: 3.190 million (Metro: 2.169 million / Regional: 1.021 million).
  • National average audience: 2.732 million (Metro: 1.882 million / Regional: 850,000).
  • VPM of 174,000, an increase of 81% on 2019s Origin 3 -this is the highest live VPM of any live BVOD program to date.

Womens Origin

  • Nine National peak audience: 580,000
  • 5 City: 362,000 / Regional: 218,000
  • Nine National average audience: 452,000
  • (5 City: 302,000 / Regional: 150,000)

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