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Queensland may have belted NSW in the second half of last night State of Origin match but Nine dominated the opposition all night, from the pre-match to the postmatch wrap-up, all of which was cunningly coded as separate programs to boost the ratings.
The pre-match averaged 1.402 million from 7.30pm to just after 8pm (and 921,725 in regional areas, making a total audience of 2.3 million).
The match itself averaged 1.982 million in the five capital cities and a very solid 1.231 million in regional areas, for a national figure of just over 3.2 million viewers (it was especially strong in regional NSW and Queensland).
And the postmatch coverage averaged 1.851 million in the five metro markets and 1.117 million in regional areas, for a total audience of just over 2.96 million. But as impressive as these figures are they disguise the fact the audiences were almost entirely on the east coast.
The game started at 10.30pm in Adelaide and averaged just 38,000 people and at the same time in Perth it averaged just 30,000. If WIN got control of Adelaide and Perth, would it network the Nine feed and put it to air in both cities at the same time as it was showing the game in regional areas next year?
The big boost came from showing the game live in Melbourne where 358,000 people watched, the biggest game one audience in Melbourne ever, because it was live. The last game of the 2006 competition was shown live in Melbourne and averaged 363,000.