The 2021 Betfred Super League season got off to a record-breaking start with fans tuning in to watch Catalans Dragons defeat Hull Kingston Rovers with a golden point drop goal from Catalans’ James Maloney.
The game recorded the highest match audience for a regular season game in 15 years. The record comes almost 25 years to the day that Super League started when Paris St Germain defeated Sheffield Eagles in Paris on 29 March 1996.
Not only did the Catalans game drive big numbers, but with all six Round One games being broadcast on Sky Sports it proved a hit with fans as match audiences over the entire weekend were up 56% on the 2020 average.
These numbers follow on the back of other recent successful TV viewing figures from the 2019 and 2020 Betfred Super League Grand Finals, showing that the competition is as popular as ever.
Rhodri Jones, chief commercial officer, Super League said: “It’s great to get the season off to such a positive start. This is significant news for the competition, and news that Super League are obviously delighted with.
“The players also delivered for the fans with a total of 288 points being scored across the six games and an average difference of just nine points, making all of the matches evenly fought contests.
“This sets us up nicely for the season ahead and we can’t wait to hopefully welcome fans back into stadiums from Monday 17 May.”
June Fairhurst, Senior Super League Producer, Sky Sports said: “We are delighted with the audience numbers across the opening weekend of the Super League, with all the matches having been shown live on Sky Sports. We look forward to plenty more drama and great matches as this season unfolds.