NRL eels broncos
(Image: AAP/Darren England)

Now, on paper it looked like a four-SVOD night last night, with only MasterChef (1.24 million and the most watched non-news, non-NRL program) to break the snoredom. That and the first NRL game of the restarted season, if only for a quick dip to see if the thugbuggery was back as well.

Well a bit was, but one particular rule change (a restarted tackle count instead of a penalty) turned the game into fast-moving entertainment. So it ended up a three-SVOD night.

So far as viewers are concerned the game did well -- 952,000 nationally with 619,000 in the metros and 333,000 in the regions. Compared to the first game of the year back on March 12, it was a leap of 272,000 viewers. A further 355,000 watched on Foxtel, which was higher than the 242,000 who watched the first game on pay TV in March.