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NRL reduces operating losses to $2.6 million in 2016
The National Rugby League’s latest financial results have revealed that despite record income, the code recorded an overall loss of $2.6 million in 2016.
A marked improvement on 2015, when the NRL posted an $18.7 million loss, the defecit reduction came from growing non-broadcast income by 12% on the previous year, including increased sponsorship deals, from $129.3 million in 2015 to $144.2 million in 2016, and stabilising administrative costs.
With stable income from broadcasting, the NRL distributed $184 million to clubs last year.
However, this sum did not backing for the NRL-owned Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast Titans.
Total revenue to the NRL plus clubs in 2016 was $582 million, with the league contributing $375 million and the 16 clubs $207 million.
Commenting on the results, NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg told Fairfax Media “these results show we have invested a majority of revenue, both broadcast and non-broadcast, back into clubs and grassroots football.
“Over the next few years, clubs and players will receive more revenue than ever before – and we will be investing more funds into grassroots.”
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, sports journalist and former rugby league coach Roy Masters suggested that the NRL figures “represent a clear challenge to the clubs - grow your own income from gates, sponsorships, memberships and the sale of merchandise.”
With clubs having been involved in contentious discussions with the Australian Rugby League Commission over the allocation of the game’s funding, Masters highlighted that the clubs had received almost $1 billion since the creation of the ARLC five years ago.
Total revenue to the NRL plus clubs in 2016 was $582 million, with the NRL contributing $375 million and the 16 clubs $207 million.
For future years, Greenberg foreshadowed increases in funds spent on digital production and integrity issues, adding that the code will “invest in our digital and integrity operations which are so important to the future of the game.
"With the new television rights deal secured ($1.9 billion over five years), we will now look to generate maximum funds from commercial activities – and invest them in all levels of the game from grassroots to the elite."
Image: NRL clubs at the 2016 season launch.
20th December 2016 - NRL CLUBS FUNDING AGREEMENT SEES JOHN GRANT RETAIN ARLC CHAIRMANSHIP
12th December 2016 - NEWCASTLE BUSINESSMEN PLAN TAKEOVER OF NRL’S KNIGHTS
5th December 2016 - NRL CONCERN OVER DECLINING RUGBY LEAGUE PARTICIPANT NUMBERS
29th November 2016 - RUGBY LEAGUE COMMISSION BACKS CHAIRMAN JOHN GRANT IN BATTLE WITH CLUBS
17th November 2016 - NRL ANNOUNCES NEW STRUCTURES FOR STATE BASED COMPETITIONS
11th November 2016 - SYDNEY-BASED NRL CLUBS LOST $34.1 MILLION IN 2016 SEASON
17th June 2016 - NRL LEADERS TOLD OF 4% ATTENDANCE RISE THIS SEASON
3rd December 2015 - NRL CLUBS AGREE NEW FUNDING DEAL
27th November 2015 - NRL ANNOUNCES $1.8 BILLION BROADCAST DEAL WITH FOX SPORTS AND CHANNEL NINE
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