The series may have been decided but to over 1.897million fans it was anything but a dead rubber as NSW defeated Queensland 18-4 in front of 52,469 fans at Suncorp Stadium last night.
Average viewers across the five capital city markets increased 20 per cent on the last Origin match played after a series had already been decided for a year, which was in 2003 (2007: 1,897,000; 2003: 1,575,000).
Fans in regional Australia also tuned in to the third game of the series with more than 1.096million viewers in Queensland, NSW and Victoria watching on the NBN and WIN networks.
As Queensland looked for a clean sweep, Channel Nine scored a massive 51.3 per cent share in Brisbane with the average audience increasing almost 9 per cent on last year (2007: 726,000; 2006: 668,000).
Even though the Blues could not take the series, the match telecast won the night in Sydney with a 42.4 per cent share, averaging 756,000 viewers (2006: 899,000) and peaking at 928,000.
Despite a delayed telecast in Melbourne, the match still attracted an average of 284,000 (2006: 364,000) and peak of 368,000 viewers.
Sydney Brisbane Melbourne Adelaide Perth Regional NSW, Qld and Vic 756,000 726,000 284,000 72,000 58,000 1,096,000
Sydney Brisbane Melbourne Adelaide Perth Regional NSW, Qld and Vic 928,000 822,000 368,000 188,000 135,000 1,239,000