The Canterbury Cup NSW continues to go from strength to strength for the NSWRL with the state’s premier competition enjoying its highest-ever rating game last weekend as part of a general trend which has seen television ratings increase across the board by 10 per cent in 2019.
The Preliminary Final between Minor Premier St George Illawarra Dragons and Newtown Jets on Channel Nine last Sunday (22 September) had an average audience of 109,308 with a peak of 157,999. The Jets won 22-20 in a thriller to book their spot in the Grand Final for the second successive year.
It caps what has been another successful season for the Canterbury Cup NSW with ratings up across both Channel Nine and Fox League on Fox Sports by 10 per cent. The audience for Canterbury Cup NSW games on Channel Nine and Gem rose on average from 23,700 in 2018 to 26,100 in 2019 while on Fox League on Fox Sports it went from 24,000 to 27,000.
NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden welcomed the figures as the NSWRL prepares for a huge weekend of Grand Final action with the season to be decided for four competitions including the Canterbury Cup NSW at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday (September 29).
“I’m extremely proud to see that the Canterbury Cup NSW has proven a hit with viewers this season and our audience continues to grow each season,” Trodden said.
“I’d like to thank our broadcast partners, Nine and Fox Sports on Fox League, for all the hard work they put in each season to showcase our competition. It’s also a great result for the clubs and the players for the skills they display every weekend.
“I’d also like to thank our naming rights sponsor, Canterbury, for all their support this season which is the first time a traditional apparel partner has sponsored the naming rights of a competition.
“I hope Rugby League fans tune in on Sunday to what promises to be a thrilling Grand Final between the Jets and the Magpies who are both chasing a fairy tale finish to the season.”
Channel Nine Head of Rugby League Simon Fordham said: “The Canterbury Cup NSW is an important part of Nine’s overall rugby league strategy.
“The fans love to watch the traditional teams like the Bears and the Jets do battle against NRL powerhouses such as the Dragons and the Rabbitohs in the NSWRL competition.
“It was a great decision in 2019 to move the weekly TV game on Nine from Saturday to Sunday 1pm. We saw significant growth in ratings across Canterbury Cup NSW and NRL and it meant we had seven continuous hours of rugby league every Sunday from 11am with Sunday Footy Show all the way to 6pm news.”
Fox Sports Head of Television Steve Crawley said: “We love the Canterbury Cup NSW at Fox League and the action has been great to watch this season.
“We love listening to the game and the calls and it’s a great training ground for us like it is for the players. We want to see our talented team of commentators graduate to our NRL coverage.
“I also want to wish Wentworthville Magpies coach Rip Taylor all the best for the game because he’s been a great man for Rugby League. I’ve followed his career since he was a 16-year-old at Bellingen and he’s one of the great men of our game.”
The Canterbury Cup NSW Grand Final between the Jets (7) and Magpies (8) will cap a big weekend for the NSWRL with the deciders also to be determined for the Jersey Flegg Cup between Canberra Raiders (4) and South Sydney Rabbitohs (5) also on Sunday.
Grand Finals for the Ron Massey Cup between Wentworthville Magpies (1) and St Marys (2), and Sydney Shield between Cabramatta (1) and Ryde-Eastwood Hawks (4), will both be played at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday (September 28).
The Canterbury Cup NSW will be televised live on Channel Nine, while the NSWRL will live stream all the action from the Jersey Flegg Cup, Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield with True Blues Jamie Soward (Saturday) and Craig Wing (Sunday) to offer expert analysis and opinion.
Fans wishing to pre-purchase tickets for the Canterbury Cup NSW and Jersey Flegg Grand Finals at Bankwest Stadium can do so at the following link:
Emergency services personnel, including paramedics, police, fire brigade and prison officers, can attend both Grand Final days free of charge by simply presenting their badge (or ID) at the gates.
NSWRL GRAND FINALS
Saturday 28 September
Sydney Shield 12.30pm – Cabramatta (1) vs Ryde-Eastwood Hawks (4)
Ron Massey Cup 3pm – Wentworthville Magpies (1) vs St Marys (2)
Sunday 29 September
Jersey Flegg Cup 12.30pm – Canberra Raiders (4) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (5)
Canterbury Cup NSW 3.05pm – Newtown Jets (7) vs Wentworthville Magpies (8)