(Image: AAP/Darren England)

State of Origin Game 1. A big NSW win. 2.7 million people watched nationally -- 1.9 million in the metros and 797,000 in the regions. But while it was better than the delayed broadcast in November 2020 (2.378 million nationally -- 1.598 million in the metros and 780,000 in the regions), it was well behind the last "normal" broadcast back in 2019 (3.207 million nationally -- 2.178 million in the metros and 1.029 million in the regions).

Nine obviously won the night and will boast about the figures, but they continue the downward trend in the past six or so years for this flagship game. NSW won the match easily, 50-6, but that didn’t harm the audience much. The game did help Nine to win Melbourne 246,000 viewers down in Storm country. 

Meanwhile The Front Bar on Seven -- 436,000 nationally and 230,000 in Melbourne -- was the eighth most watched broadcast in the AFL heartland where the big news was Nathan Buckley’s ousting at the Collywobbles.