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NRL hit by declining broadcast viewing figures

NRL hit by declining broadcast viewing figures
August 19, 2019

Changing patterns of viewing, the impact of the code's 'summer from hell' and a series of on field incidents are impacting free-to-air and pay TV audiences for the NRL.

Viewing figures have reportedly dropped by more than three million compared with the same time last year.

Writing in Sydney newspaper The Sunday Telegraph, columnist Danny Weidler stated "people are turning off the game, abandoning rugby league in droves.

"The drop-off has been nothing short of alarming in the past month, during which a series of contentious decisions by referees, the match review committee and the judiciary have driven fans away from the game.

"Audiences dropped significantly in rounds 18, 19 and 20 and by a further 3% last weekend even though there were two blockbuster games featuring the top four teams."

Weidler also pointed out bigger declines in New Zealand, where ratings have fallen by a reported 15% this year, adding "any other business that suffered a sudden downturn of up to 13% would put in place emergency measures to stop the bleeding."

Image: NRL action at Wollongong's WIN Stadium.

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