• Storm v Sharks smash ratings for most-watched NRL sub TV game
• 486,000 viewers tune into 501 for minor premiership decider
• Game becomes most-watched STV (subscription TV) event of 2016
Fox Sports NRL coverage on Foxtel hit new heights Saturday night with 486,000 viewers tuning in to see Melbourne Storm claim the Minor Premiership, becoming the highest rating NRL match on Fox Sports of all time.
The Round 26 clash smashed the previous record of 408,000 held since April 2, 2011, between the Eels and Cowboys and becomes the most watched event on subscription television for 2016.
The Saturday night 7.30pm match, which peaked at 569,000 viewers 11 minutes into the second half, becomes the ninth most watched Fox Sports broadcast ever and moves into the Top 10 highest rating events on subscription TV.
It was a bumper night of viewing on Fox Sports 501 with the 5.30pm match, which saw the Cowboys win 32-16 over the Titans to secure a top four finish, attracting an average audience of 349,000 viewers.
The two matches helped propel Fox Sports 501 to its highest Saturday channel share since 2005.
Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany said: “This is an incredible result for Fox Sports and the perfect way to end one of the closest NRL finals races in history.
“We promised Foxtel subscribers the best coverage ever this year – every game live, no ad breaks during play and in high definition – and we’ll continue to serve up more of the same with every Finals game in September live for the first time.
“And with our dedicated NRL Finals channel launching Monday, providing a taste of what our viewers have to look forward to in 2017 with their own NRL channel, there has never been a better time to be a Rugby League fan, ” Delany added.
On Monday 5 September Fox Sports channel 501 will become a dedicated 24/7 Rugby league channel, with every finals match live, ad break free during play and in HD across September, bolstered by a week-long line up of entertainment.
Read more about the new dedicated 24/7 NRL channel and its new weekday programs here.