433,000 metro viewers tune into Friday night’s NRL match as sporting codes ready for empty stadiums and postponed matches

Friday night’s NRL clash between two Queensland teams, the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos had an overnight metro audience of 433,000 according to OzTAM’s preliminary ratings.

The match was played at Townsville Stadium during increasingly tense and uncertain times around the immediate future of live sport, with various international sporting codes suspending their seasons in the wake of the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), and new advice from the Australian government about curtailing public gatherings of 500 or more people.

The ban on larger-scale events is meant to come into effect on Monday, with round two of the NRL to play out in empty stadiums.

On television, the match was most popular in Brisbane, where 205,000 viewers tuned in to Nine’s primary channel. In Sydney, there were 185,000.

The match went to air on Nine’s multi-channel Gem in Adelaide (to 11,000), Perth (5,000) and Melbourne (28,000).

Nine’s primary channel offering in these markets was Escape to the Chateau followed by the 1990 film Ghost. Escape to the Chateau had 196,000, while Ghost collected 117,000.

With the addition of regional viewers, the NRL climbed to a viewership of 715,000, while Escape to the Chateau had 246,000 and Ghost 151,000.

In the metro markets, the most popular program was Nine News at 6pm, with 873,000. Its second half hour slipped slightly to 840,000.

Seven had 830,000 metro viewers at 6pm and 792,000 at 6:30pm, behind that of Nine.

With the addition of regional figures, however, Seven took the lead.

Nationally, Seven News had 1.318m at 6pm to Nine’s 1.124m, and 6:30pm was 1.232m for Seven and 1.086m for Nine.

In entertainment, ABC’s Endeavour was most popular, with 562,000 metro viewers and 852,000 in total. Gardening Australia had 510,000 and 759,000.

Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens had 465,000 and 755,000.

Earlier in the day, in the breakfast battle, Seven’s Sunrise had 296,000 in the cities to Today’s 238,000 on Nine.

With the addition of the regions, Sunrise had 486,000 to Today’s 347,000.

In terms of audience share in the metro markets, Nine won the night with a primary channel share of 19.4% and a network share of 28.6%. Seven had 17.1% and 26.6%, and the ABC had 16.0% and 22.9%. Ten was way behind on just 8.8% for the primary channel and 14.6% for the network, ahead of SBS’ 3.5% and 7.3%. Seven’s 7Mate was most popular amongst the multi-channels with 4.5%.

Nine is also leading the way for the week’s ratings, with a progressive share for Sunday to Friday of 22.6%, ahead of Seven’s 16.4%. Nine Network has a progressive share of 31.9% to Seven’s 24.7%.


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