Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

NRL broadcasts lose more than a million viewers since competition restart

NRL broadcasts lose more than a million viewers since competition restart
July 26, 2020

The NRL has seen its audience decline by more than a million viewers - a quarter of its television following - since the competition restarted.

Despite the NRL advising of a surge in engagement as the competition restarted, the latest OzTAM ratings reported by Sydney’s The Sun-Herald indicate a huge drop in league audiences on Nine and Fox Sports during the past two months.

When the season resumed in round three, 4,524,780 people tuned in to watch the eight games. In round 10, that number fell to 3,376,000, representing a fall of 1.15 million viewers, or a decrease of 25%.

By comparison, the AFL had 5,801,000 tune in for their season restart and - as of last weekend - maintained 5,104,000 viewers.

The Sun-Herald reports that the figures are surprise given the NRL has been praised for recent law changes that have improved the spectacle although there has been an increase in one-sided matches as the discrepancy between the strong and weak teams is exposed.

By contrast, the AFL’s decision to revert to 16-minute quarters has led to tighter contest although game quality is deemed to be predictable.

However, with tighter contests a greater number of viewers are remaining tuned in until the end of games.

However, Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys believes the biggest factor behind the drop in league audiences are the performances of the three Queensland teams, telling The Sun-Herald “unfortunately, because the Queensland teams are near the bottom of the ladder, it hasn’t helped the ratings in Queensland, no doubt about that.

“We didn’t expect to keep all of the audience in the first round because we were the only sport that was playing on that day, of any sport. We just have to keep making the game more entertaining. We’re in the entertainment market. People have a lot of choices.

“We need to make sure we attract that casual audience that aren’t rusted-on fans.”

The biggest audience fall since the restart has been on Nine, mirroring a general decline in free-to-air figures. The NRL’s free-to-air segment share in Sydney and Brisbane is actually up 1% year on year, despite more people consuming content on other platforms. Another reason for the big drop-off could be the absence of the Easter, Anzac and Magic rounds, which normally result in a spike in viewers.

Meanwhile, streaming numbers have increased by 93% between rounds three and seven, but there had been a significant decline in subscriptions while there was no sport being played in Australia and the increase does not make up for the decline in traditional viewers.

Related Articles

23rd July 2020 - AFL and NRL show year-on-year value gains

15th July 2020 - AFL looks to relocate more clubs to Queensland

13th July 2020 - Optus Stadium prepares for AFL fixtures this week

3rd July 2020 - AFL’s Victorian teams to move interstate

25th June 2020 - Victorian fans to be prevented from attending NRL and AFL games in NSW

12th June 2020 - Seven to save $87 million with new AFL broadcast deal

9th June 2020 - AFL season restart to see 2,000 fans at Adelaide Oval on Saturday

5th June 2020 - NSW Government to allow corporate boxes to operate at NRL fixtures from next week

29th May 2020 - NRL secures new broadcast partnerships with Nine and Foxtel

25th May 2020 - Stadiums prepare for NRL return

20th May 2020 - NRL announces six venues that will host restarted season fixtures

5th May 2020 - NRL agrees new pay deal with players to enable 28th May competition restart

24th April 2020 - NRL season on target for 28th May restart after agreement with broadcasters

9th April 2020 - Broadcaster accuses NRL of ‘mismanagement’ as league announces plans to recommence on 28th May

19th August 2019 - NRL hit by declining broadcast viewing figures

16th August 2019 - AFL looks to extend Seven Network broadcast deal

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

21st July 2017 - Federal Government hands Foxtel $30 million for sports broadcasting

27th April 2017 - Analysts advise Channel Nine to move away from loss-making cricket broadcast coverage


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 www.ausleisure.com.au 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

INTELLIGENZ

Recreation Management Software for managing all your program registrations, facility bookings, membership pass sales and Point of Sale; including detailed reporting, automated customer communication…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

ICP

ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation

 
 

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

 
 

PAYSMART

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

 
 

Summit Fitness

Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

HIDROPLAY

Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation

 
 

DEBITSUCCESS

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

 
 
 
 

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