NRL rugby league TV ratings
(Image: AAP/Daniel Pockett)

Ah, the first injury of the season, the first try, the first conversion; an NRL game won by Melbourne and not a sex tape in sight.

The NRL shook off all its off-season dramas and returned to Nine and Foxtel last night when the Melbourne Storm beat Brisbane Broncos. The Nine audience of 849,000 nationally was the highest for three years -- the 2017 opener had 847,000 nationally and the 2018 game had 765,000. A further 334,000 watched the game on Foxtel, (231,000 watched the 2017 opener on Foxtel, and 261,000 in 2018). Combined, the total national audience of 1.183 million disappointed all those who thought the stupid and appalling off-season events would damage the audience numbers. If anything it has heightened interest in the actual game, not the antics of the idiots.