Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Figures show NRL as Australia’s most watched sport of 2018

Figures show NRL as Australia’s most watched sport of 2018
September 12, 2018

Heading into the second week of the NRL finals, the sport has announced impressive figures showing that it has been Australia’s most watched football code this season.

The most successful Telstra Premiership season in almost a decade produced an uplift in members, crowds and viewers watching and streaming the game, while the businesses new digital network continued to flourish.

Announcing the success, NRL Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Abdo advised “support for rugby league and the NRL Telstra Premiership has never been stronger.

“We have the closest, most watched sporting competition in Australia.

“A cumulative audience of more than 94 million people tuned in throughout the 2018 regular season, which is a huge endorsement for our fans appetite for our game.”

The result means the NRL is the most watched sport on television in Australia, coupled with an average crowd attendance of 15,000 which is an increase of 2.2% to almost 2.9 million overall.

Growth in crowds and television audiences was supported by digital growth, where streaming numbers have jumped 108% year-on-year, including over 800,000 new NRL account subscribers.

The NRL has capitalised on the growth with the addition of several new commercial partners in Finder, Rebel Sport and Chemist Warehouse.

Abdo added “we’ve been well supported by corporate Australia this year and are looking forward to strengthening these partnerships into the future, whilst also welcoming new partners to the family.”

A successful Telstra Premiership Finals series will round out an impressive year for the code, which also launched its first Holden Women’s State of Origin and the NRL Holden Women’s Premiership.

The Women’s State of Origin reached almost 700,000 fans through Channel Nine alone, whilst the Men’s State of Origin Series took-out three of the top four television events of the year and attracted more than 220,000 fans.

Image: The P.A. People provided communications support for NRL Captains Finals Call at Allianz Stadium on Monday 3rd September. Courtesy of The P.A. People.

Related Articles

5th September 2018 - Uncertain future for rugby league’s expansion plans in the USA

25th July 2018 - NRL sells out first batch of tickets for 2019 State of Origin clash in Perth

23rd May 2018 - NRL advises of rising crowd figures

9th April 2018 - The P.A. People share details of UNSW Roundhouse refurbishment

27th March 2018 - Strategic Plan launched to guide the future of rugby league

12th March 2018 - New Chairman Peter Beattie commits to Australian Rugby League Commission reform

24th September 2017 - NRL announces positive participation results

20th August 2017 - Broadcasters fake NRL live atmosphere with historic crowd footage

13th April 2017 - NRL renews efforts to promote women’s rugby league in NSW and Queensland

14th February 2017 - NRL reduces operating losses to $2.6 million in 2016

5th December 2016 - NRL concern over declining rugby league participant numbers

11th November 2016 - Sydney-based NRL clubs lost $34.1 million in 2016 season

10th June 2016 - NRL reaches membership milestone as clubs hit 10,000 mark

27th November 2015 - NRL announces $1.8 billion broadcast deal with Fox Sports and Channel Nine

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology


Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues


METRA Australia

METRA Australia is your innovation partner for smart electronic locking, Access Control solutions and cashless payment systems to suit all types of leisure facilities.  Our team’s…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Security



Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks


The P.A. People

The P.A. People is a specialist contractor in the areas of Sound Reinforcement, Performance Lighting, Audio Visual Systems, Video and Communications. Over the past 40 years we have developed a…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Sport / Technology / Venues



SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues



Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation


iDwala Pty Ltd

iDwala is the Community Sports Surface Specialist offering the highest quality designs and technical expertise to Councils, Schools and Sporting Clubs looking to create sporting…

read more

Consultants / Design / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business