In the 17 NRL Grand Finals since OzTAM ratings started, the biggest TV audience has been 4,103,000 in 2005. That game featured West Tigers playing North Queensland Cowboys. As well as attracting the biggest audience, it is also the only time the national crowd has surged past 4,000,000.
That game boasted the biggest regional TV audience in that time – 1,540,000. The match also set the record for the biggest Sydney TV audience with 1,188,000 watching.
Biggest TV crowd for NRL Grand Final
2005: 4,103,000 (Metro 2,563,000, Regional 1,540,000)
The biggest metro TV audience however was 2,647,000 in 2016 for Cronulla Sharks v Melbourne Storm.
The biggest Melbourne audience watching an NRL Grand Final was 871,000 in 2006 for Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos. That is also bigger than any Brisbane audience across this period of time. That city’s viewing record is 806,000, also for that 2006 clash.
This weekend’s combatants
Sydney Roosters: The club has played in four Grand Finals since 2001 (three in a row from 2002) and the biggest audience it attracted was 3,824,000 in 2003 against Penrith Panthers.
Melbourne Storm: The club has played in six Grand Finals since 2001, four in a row from 2006. The club’s biggest audience was 3,979,000 for the 2006 match against Brisbane Broncos.
Source: OzTAM – average audiences