Betfred Super League season ushers in record-breaking start

The 2021 Betfred Super League got off to a record-breaking start at the weekend, posting the highest viewership for a regular season match in 15 years.

A record audience tuned in to watch James Maloney’s golden point drop for Catalan Dragons, as the Dragons edged Hull Kingston Rovers on a score-line 29-28 live on Sky Sports.

Furthermore, the record comes almost 25 years to the day that the Super League started when Paris St Germain defeated Sheffield Eagles in Paris on 29 March 1996. 

June Fairhurst, Senior Super League Producer at Sky Sports, explained: “We are delighted with the audience numbers across the opening weekend of the Super League, with all the matches having been shown live on Sky Sports. We look forward to plenty more drama and great matches as this season unfolds.

Not only did the Catalans game drive big numbers, but with all six Round One fixtures being screened on the pay-television channel it proved a hit with fans as match audiences over the entire weekend were up 56% on the 2020 average.

“It’s great to get the season off to such a positive start,” remarked Rhodri Jones, Chief Commercial Officer at the Super League. “This is significant news for the competition, and news that Super League are obviously delighted with. 

“The players also delivered for the fans with a total of 288 points being scored across the six games and an average difference of just nine points, making all of the matches evenly fought contests.

“This sets us up nicely for the season ahead and we can’t wait to hopefully welcome fans back into stadiums from Monday 17 May.”