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.