Former rugby league player Jarryd Hayne's NFL debut for the San Francisco 49ers gave ESPN its highest-ever audience in Australia, with a television audience of 116,000 tuning in down under. That topped ESPN's Australian viewership total of 107,100 for Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and Seahawks, according to the Australian website Mumbrella (but the Super Bowl was also aired on 7Mate, a free-to-air channel, so the overall viewership for the Super Bowl was still higher).
The reports shows that 4.2% of subscription television households tuned in to watch the game at 12:15 p.m. local time. Hayne muffed a punt return but finished the day with four carries and one reception for 20 total yards against the Minnesota Vikings.
Australia's Seven Network will also carry 14 of the 49ers' regular season games, as well as the Super Bowl. ESPN in Australia will carry the other two regular season games.
The 49ers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
- Christopher Chavez