Nine is all about big event television and there is no event bigger than State of Origin, says Simon Fordham, Nine’s Head of NRL.
“State of Origin is the Superbowl for the Australian audience and every year viewers flock to see this game. It’s mate-versus-mate, state-versus-state – a revolutionary sporting concept that has lasted for more than 30 years and will continue to prosper for many years to come,” says Fordham.
In 2019, Origin is set to deliver several world-first additions and changes to the format of the game.
“This year we launch Game I of State of Origin in Brisbane,” Fordham says.
“Then we take Game II to Perth for the first time in its history. It will be a twilight kick-off which opens the game up to a whole new audience on the other side of the country. We will also see the inclusion of Queenslanders Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Sam Thaiday as new permanent members of the Nine commentary team.”
The 2019 Origin series, which wraps up with Game III in Sydney, provides an invaluable brand-safe environment for marketers aiming to reach a broad audience.
“In 2018, Origin reached close to nine million viewers and the three matches were in the top 10 most watched programs across the entire year. Last year we streamed State of Origin live and exclusively on 9Now for the first time and it was the most live streamed sporting event of the year,” Fordham said.
In terms of the viewing experience, audiences will be taken even closer to the Origin action this year.
As Fordham explained: “The NRL home and away season is focused on taking viewers on Nine closer to the action with a number of innovations, which will flow through to Origin. Telstra Tracker will be back again, and the Rugby League Players Association has unlocked a whole bunch of new data points to exploit for far more in-depth player comparisons.
“Corner-post cams will be a part of the Origin coverage, along with referee cam and the all-time favourite spider cam, which gives you a view of every angle of every play.”