One and done: Origin set to return to mid-year after Biff and Blues’ win fail to lift ratings

A Blues win to square the series and NSW and Queensland bringing back the biff wasn’t enough to drive a TV ratings surge in Game II with the end of year series set to be a one-off.

Peter V’landys said after the disappointing Game I ratings that Origin would most likely return to the middle of the season, unless there was drastic improvement in Game II.

Nationally across five city metro markets 1.654 million viewers tuned to see the Blues beat the Maroons 34-10 at ANZ Stadium to force a decider at Suncorp next week.

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The numbers were a slight improvement on the series opener in Adeliade, which came in at 1.6 million, but is still a significant drop of nearly 16 per cent or 306,000 viewers on Game II of the 2019 series at 1.96 million.

However Origin was relatively successful for Channel 9 on the night. Including regional markets, it was the most watched TV program of the night with 2.43 million Australian viewers watching the game.

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But those numbers were a drop of more than 13 per cent on last year’s 2.8 million viewers.

ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys said after the series opener that keeping an end of year schedule for Origin was unlikely due to the ratings fall.

“More likely than not that this (State of Origin series) will be the one and only time (in November) because the ratings weren’t very good last week,” V’landys said.

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“I know there’s been a few excuses and we’ll see if those excuses are credible come Wednesday night when it’s a live rubber.

“And I think one of the reasons why the ratings were down was that no one gave Queensland a chance, but anyone that follows rugby league, you always give Queensland a chance and they proved that again.

“Next year is a different story and if we’re able to have crowds, mid-season is probably the right place but let’s just see what happens tomorrow night.”

Given the lack of substantial improvement in ratings form Game I to Game II, the decider at Suncorp Stadium looks set to be the last time Origin is played after the NRL season.

Originally published asOne and done: Origin set to return to mid-year after Biff and Blues’ win fail to lift ratings

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