Saturday’s dramatic Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium attracted the biggest domestic TV audience for the final since 2012.
It was also a 50-per-cent increase on last year’s final between Warrington Wolves and St Helens.
With millions more watching from around the world, the Rugby Football League has moved to thank all those involved with creating such a memorable event.
RFL Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer says: “Saturday’s Coral Challenge Cup Final was a wonderful advert for Rugby League and a tremendous credit to everybody involved – especially the clubs and players from both sides.
“My congratulations go to Leeds Rhinos and my commiserations to Salford Red Devils. They created a magnificent spectacle.
“And on behalf of the RFL I’d like to thank the many others whose contribution was outstanding – first and foremost Rob Burrow. Our chief guest ‘in absentia’ was in all our hearts throughout the day and we are honoured to have such a wonderful human being connected with our sport.
“My only sadness and incredible frustration is that supporters – Rhinos, Red Devils and neutral fans alike – were not allowed inside the stadium.
“The game is not the same without them and we continue to make our case to government as powerfully as we possibly can.”
With an aggregate of almost six million viewers the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup competition attracted the highest aggregate TV audience for five years – despite there being two fewer televised games due to the competition having to be restructured.
Also, the BBC documentary, Rob Burrow: My Year With MND, attracted more than two million viewers across two broadcasts last week.
By midnight on Sunday the MND Association had received almost £26,000 via the ‘text-to-donate’ system introduced specifically to coincide with the weekend’s Coral Challenge Cup Final coverage and documentary repeat.
The MND Association has also attributed an additional £31,000 in online donations to increases in website activity related to the documentary showings and Coral Challenge Cup Final.