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Rugby League Crowds on the Rise

Rugby League Crowds on the Rise
June 19, 2009

Attendance at National Rugby League games has risen 5% to 1,688,948 but the average attendance per game has fallen marginally to 16,240, according to the NRLâs mid-season figures announcement.

Free-to-air TV ratings for the code have been strong, with game one in the State of Origin series setting a new record with an average of 2.322 million viewers across the five capital cities.

Weekly ratings for Sydney and Brisbane have risen 14.2% and 21.7% respectively for both Friday and Sunday matches. Regular season NRL matches across metropolitan and regional free-to-air television have attracted more than 20 million viewers so far this season.

On pay television, the NRL claimed 41 of the top 100 programs on Fox Sports so far and reached a total audience of 9.5 million. Pay television ratings for Monday Night Football were up 5% and ratings for Sunday up 2%.

Following an extensive pre-season membership drive, club membership has grown 27% with nine clubs achieving record club membership levels and 14 of the 16 NRL clubs increasing membership. Most notable increases were the Rabbitohs membership which was up 120% and the Bulldogs up 60%. It is the first time NRL club membership has exceeded 100,000 people.

Some 84% of league supporters responding to the NRL's annual âfan scanâ survey reported that the current economic conditions have had no affect on their ability to attend matches.

Research from Repucom's SponsorLink survey also showed an increase in support for the game among women, the NRL said.

Image show rugby league fans at Manly's Brookvale Oval.


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