EXCLUSIVE: It's no secret Free-to-Air Television in Australia is experiencing a significant decline in viewership. But sports fans are still keen to watch their favourite events live, and are turning to new digital technologies to ensure they don't miss a minute of the action.
This Wednesday night will see Game Two of the 2017 NRL State of Origin played in Sydney. It's an event that has traditionally always delivered record TV audiences for Channel 9. However now it's Telstra that is gearing up to deliver a record breaking streaming event.
The trend towards watching live sport on mobile devices was evident in Game One of State of Origin. DeciderTV can reveal the unique audience for Origin increased by 47% on mobile compared with the same match last year.
League fans also tuned in for longer with the total amount of minutes consumed watching the live game increasing by 97% when compared to Game One in 2016.
This rapid growth comes at the same time as the Nine Network experienced a significant decline in viewership for its Origin coverage.
In 2016, Game One had a TV audience of 2.708 Million across the 5 capital cities, however in 2017 the audience was reduced to 2.348 Million.
Fans are increasingly turning to mobile to watch live sport showing a growing preference to watch what they want, when they want it, regardless of where they might be. The introduction of the Telstra Live Pass this year, which provides customers live NRL & AFL streaming without impacting on data limits has spurred on another spike in the growth of live sport on mobile.
Despite the NSW Blues dominating the scoreboard in Game One, It was mobile users in Brisbane which took the title of the most streamed city, accounting for 25% of viewers watching the game on the Telstra Network.
Viewers in Sydney made up 17% of the mobile audience. Interestingly regional viewers have been quick to embrace the digital technology with 49% of all streams for Game One coming from regions within NSW.
Blues and Maroons fans stayed engaged throughout the whole game with NSW fans slightly more engaged than the Queenslanders (No doubt a reflection of the final score).
Telstra holds the mobile rights for the NRL including State of Origin until 2022.
State of Origin Game Two will be LIVE on Wednesday June 21 on the Nine Network and via the Telstra Live Pass