(Image: AAP/Brendon Thorne)

Winter sport is over with final, underwhelming figures for the third State of Origin game. Nine and the Rugby League mob will be very nervy about the 2021 season which will (COVID-19 willing) be back in its usual nine week slot from late May to early July. The audience didn’t crack 3 million nationally for any of the games, which is a measure of just how tuned out the core fans were.

The 2020 Origin series was most unwatched in modern history, with 2.73 million for the third and final game. That was after 2.43 million for the in Sydney game and 2.37 million in Adelaide, which was the lowest Origin audience since measuring began. Last night’s metro figure rose to 1.88 million from 1.65 million the previous Wednesday. The regional audience of 850,000 was up from the previous week’s 780,000.

It was a series for core viewers. Brisbane’s audience rose to 609,000 from 561,000 the previous week. Sydney’s audience was 739,000, well under the 780,000 for game one.