NRL final rates higher than AFL The NRL Grand Final won by the Melbourne Storm has out-rated the AFL Grand Final. It was the second time in three years the NRL Grand Final has out-rated the AFL game, thanks to the presence (and eventual victory) of the Melbourne Storm in the final match of the season.

The Storm won the match played in Sydney and watched by 3.490 million people across all TV markets on the Nine Network. In Australia: 2.46 million viewers watched in the five metro markets, with 1.119 million on average watching Sydney, 650,000 in Melbourne and 535,000 watched Brisbane.

A further 1.080 million watched in regional Australia. In contrast 3.47 million people watched the AFL Grand Final in all markets: 2.704 million people watched the AFL Grand Final on the Ten Network in the five metro markets.

More than 1.42 million people watched in Melbourne, with the regional audience around the country adding a further 70,000 to the audience. In terms of the combined figure, that was better than the 3.135 million who watched the AFL match across the country last year and 3.329 million who watched in 2007.

The NRL Grand Final was the second highest in the current system of TV ratings, just behind the 3.748 million (2.422 million in the five metro markets) who watched the Storm win its second Grand Final in 2007. It’s now clear from the final series since 2005 in both codes that to get big national audiences, both codes need the presence of one out of Sydney/Melbourne Club.

The AFL’s biggest audiences were in 2005 and 2006 for the epic Sydney Swans/West Coast Eagles matches, one once by each club. The Storm have featured in the two best-viewed NRL Grand Finals, making it perhaps the best marketing prospect in Rugby League for sponsors. — Glenn Dyer

Readers will pay for the good stuff. Newspapers can and should find ways to charge for online content if they are to safeguard the future of quality journalism, the Financial Times chief executive, John Ridding, has said. Stoking the debate over paid news content and the survival of newspapers, Ridding said newspapers need to abandon a “free is good” doctrine, work out what sets them apart and how they can charge for it, whether it be sports coverage or columnists. If they do not, revenues will continue to suffer.  — The Guardian

Beating Apple to the punch. It’s true that magazine and newspaper publishers are eager to sell digital editions tailored for the tablet and other devices — but they’re just as determined to prevent Apple from getting between them and their readers along the way.Advertising Age

No masturb-tion please, we’re Syrian. It started with a post in Arabic last month by 23-year-old blogger Fadal Atamaz Al-Sibai, who complained that m-sturbation in Syria has “spread among the youths like wildfire,” and announced a campaign to end the “secret habit.” His comments prompted a snarky response from Abufares, one of Syria’s leading bloggers, who called for a countercampaign culminating in an “unprecedented Syrian Org-sm against absurdity, hypocrisy, and sanctimony.” — Wealth of Nations Newsweek

The press is here to stay. Over the past century and a half, Nevada has had somewhere on the order of 450 newspapers. We’re down to 43 now — a number that held steady this year even though one newspaper was folded, because another new one started. Remember when the Comstock had 17 newspapers? Neither do I. It was before our time. — Nevada Appeal

Therese Rein, Jodie Gordon, who’s next on Connolly’s hit list? Australian celebrities are on notice that no one is safe, not even the Prime Minister’s wife or a children’s entertainer, as a woman’s magazine attempts to restyle itself as “a credible” source of hard hitting news and exposes. Fiona Connolly, who took over as editor of Woman’s Day five months ago, says she wants to break away from the pack of women’s magazines that regurgitate stale Hollywood gossip and trick readers with misleading coverlines. —

Women rule the social web. The stats, compiled by Brian Solis from Google Ad Planner data, show that equal numbers of men and women use sites like LinkedIn, DeviantArt and YouTube but when it comes to sites like Flickr (Flickr), Facebook (Facebook), Twitter (Twitter), FriendFeed (FriendFeed), MySpace (MySpace) and Bebo (Bebo), however, women outnumber men. — Mashable

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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