State of the Game: Record-breaking Year

CLICK HERE to download the State of the Game document (PDF format)

NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, today presented a 2010 State of the Game report showcasing how Rugby League has connected with more members and fans than ever before in a record-breaking Telstra Premiership that achieved the highest ever regular season attendance in history.

A Telstra Premiership season that began with the ground-breaking All Stars match and finished with an enthralling Finals race that went down to the last game has broken new ground in 2010, recording growth in crowds, ratings, membership, sponsorship, participation, online engagement and licensing.

The courage, skill and power of players that captivated fans each week also provided hope and inspiration to those in need through One Community and club charity programs that are the most comprehensive in Australian sport and which make a positive difference to people’s lives.

In presenting the 2010 State of the Game report at the NRL today, Mr Gallop paid tribute to the players, clubs, officials, volunteers, members, fans, and broadcasters for the part they have played in another exciting season.

“Often it’s only when you take the time to look at the season as a whole do you appreciate just how many positive things are happening and what this report shows is that the game is in tremendous shape across the board,” Mr Gallop said.

“The NRL continues to record significant growth in key areas game-wide and we are connecting with more members and fans than ever before.

“This growth has created some important opportunities for the game and the ongoing success of a Telstra Premiership that captivates supporters week in, week out, has ensured we are in a strong position to capitalise on them.”

Highlights of the 2010 Telstra Premiership season include:

- The total regular season attendance for the 2010 Telstra Premiership of 3,151,039 was the highest in history, smashing the previous record of 3,081,874 set in 2009.

- Rugby League was the top performing sport year-on-year on FTA television in 2010 with ratings in Sydney increasing by 5.2% for live Friday night matches and 3% for delayed Friday night matches.

- Rugby League became the first sport in the world to showcase 3D television on FTA television with the 2010 Harvey Norman State of Origin Series.

- Rugby League was the number one program on subscription television, claiming 39 of the top 50 programs on Fox Sports, including four of the top five.

- The historic All Stars match that attracted a sell-out crowd of 26,687 and a live TV audience of 1.292 million viewers provided an inspiring form of practical reconciliation for all Australians and paved the way for the game’s second Reconciliation Action Plan.

- NRL players and ambassadors have already this year spent more than 22,000 hours involved in One Community and club community and charity programs, including ground-breaking programs such as Rugby League Reads and Learn. Earn. Legend!

- NRL.com recorded a 45% increase in unique browsers in 2010 while the number of fans connecting with the game online each month broke through the two million mark for the first time.

Record numbers of fans visited their club sites as part of the game’s Club Website Network, with a monthly average of 690,000 unique browsers to the network in 2010, a 70% increase on 2009.

- The weekly excitement of the 2010 Telstra Premiership generated a record number of 144,190 NRL Club Members, up 28% from 2009.

- The NRL’s commitment to assisting players to access education and workplace training has helped 88% of NRL players achieve post-secondary school qualifications – more than double the number since the introduction of education grants in 2004 – while 98% of Toyota Cup players are taking part in further education or employment.

- The NRL generated an extra $3 million in sponsorship through new and extended commercial partnerships.

- The NRL and NSW Government formed a 10-year, $45 million partnership to play the Telstra Premiership Grand Final at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

- As part of the historic agreement, Rugby League fans will this year, for the first time, enjoy a week-long Telstra Premiership Grand Final Festival in Sydney.

The complete 2010 State of the Game report is available on NRL.com - click on the appropriate link on the right.

David Gallop is also available on-line today (Wednesday, September 8) to answer questions about the state of the game when he joins with Peter Sterling in a live Q&A video stream on NRL.com from 12.30-1pm. Click here for details.