The teams are in for #NRL Round 24 - Sam Bourke's weekly analysis is also in. Check it out below.
17 hours ago
The message from the grand final television viewing numbers is a bit like the Grand Final itself - mixed.
The Melbourne viewing numbers were outstanding - and significantly higher than were the Sydney viewing numbers for the AFL grand final.
The total numbers for our grand final were good - but last year it was a Manly v Auckland game which was hard a major draw card.
But the Brisbane numbers were rather average......just 564,000.
The ARLC needs to have a good look at the position of the game in Brisbane, especially as far as TV viewing numbers are concerned, and how scheduling is impacting on fans.
I suspect Brisbane viewers, and I am one of them, are growing tired of the way Nine treats them.
And if viewers generally are unhappy, how much must be Broncos fans who attend most home games (and I am not one of them) feel?
Playing just about every Broncos home game on a Friday night is a massive inconvenience for many fans.
I also suspect general frustration with the way Nine treats its Brisbane fans was a factor yesterday. I certainly hope that is a factor!
I doubt the fact the Broncos were not in the grand final was as great a factor as Nine probably believes.
The Brisbane audience numbers ought to concern the ARLC, and they ought to concern the Broncos as well.
The total nationwide numbers were good - but that is just about entirely due to Melbourne.
Who would have thought we would ever say that??
The Melbourne figures are made all the more impressive by the poor coverage the game gets on Nine in Melbourne during the season.
Maybe, just maybe, the corner has been turned when it comes to the standing of the game in the southern capital?
But there remains a long way to go as one day the Storm won't be able to rely on the ongoing generosity of News Limited.
I will have some more thoughts on the overalls season during we week, but suffice to say we had a good, without being great, Grand Final.....and one that produced good ratings, with a problem or two emerging from them.