NRL unfussed by Origin TV numbers dip

Steve Zemek and Vince Rugari
Queensland denied NSW a State of Origin series clean sweep with victory in Brisbane

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg is unconcerned despite State of Origin dipping to its lowest TV ratings since 2006 in Wednesday night's dead rubber.

Queensland's game three win over NSW was watched by 1.77 million viewers - the first time the metropolitan audience for rugby league's showpiece event has fallen below two million viewers since 2010.

Not since 2006, when just 1.64 million viewers tuned into game two, has the game rated so poorly.

By comparison, the Blues' game one victory recorded 2.35 million viewers - the highest rating show of 2018 so far.

Game two drew 2.12 million in the non-traditional Sunday timeslot.

""The short answer is no, I'm not disappointed," Greenberg said.

"I think in aggregate we'll have nearly nine million people watching the three Origin games.

"It's the highest-ranking TV programs this year.

"We had more than 200,150 people through turnstiles - 90,000 in Melbourne almost, more than 80,000 in Sydney and more than 50,000 last night.

"Anyone who doubts the success or strength of Origin clearly is not watching it or hasn't been to it."

Viewership has traditionally slumped during dead rubber game three matches.

Since 2010, the only time Origin ratings have fallen below 2 million has come in game three when the series has been decided.

Game three dead rubbers in 2016 (2.07), 2014 (2.13), 2010 (1.78), 2009 (1.9) and 2007 (1.88) have all rated poorly for the NRL.