On the eve of an exciting Telstra Premiership Finals Series, the Australian Rugby League Commission has today delivered its first State of the Game Report revealing a season of record crowds, television audiences and club memberships in addition to a history-making $1.025 billion broadcast rights agreement.
With the Premiership rounds concluded, the 2012 State of the Game Report presents a future of Rugby League in Australia that has never been so assured at a time when more than 3.15 million supporters have attended matches so far; Club Memberships topped 200,000 fans for the first time; and average FTA and Subscription TV ratings have all increased.
The ARLC can take further pride in a year where it was recently named Governing Body of the Year at the prestigious international Beyond Sport Awards, as well as achieving record participation levels (females, masters competitors and weekend Club Rugby League registrations) and the largest social media following of any sport in the country with a total of 2.8 million fans on Facebook.
Off the field, Rugby League is making a positive difference to people’s lives through the One Community and NRL Club charity programs, which have helped raise more than $1.2million for charity and saw NRL players and ambassadors devote over 29,000 hours to community work.
In presenting the 2012 State of the Game Report at a meeting of NRL Club Chief Executives at Rugby League Central today, Interim ARLC Chief Executive, Mr Shane Mattiske, said this is a season where everyone across the game, from players, clubs and officials to volunteers, fans and broadcasters, can take pride in the roles they play and their contribution to Rugby League’s successful year.
“The ARLC is proud to deliver its first State of the Game Report which makes an undeniable statement that Rugby League is in the best shape in its 104-year history,” Mr Mattiske said.
Highlights of the 2012 Telstra Premiership season include:
• Formation of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC).
• Securing a broadcast rights agreement with Channel Nine and FOX Sports of $1.025 billion, the largest in Rugby League’s history.
• Highest regular season attendance in NRL history with 3,151,660 fans attending matches over the 26 rounds of the 2012 Telstra Premiership.
• The most watched State of Origin Series in history with almost 12 million viewers across the three games nationally.
• NRL Club Membership has increased 12.7% to 204,772, breaking the 200,000 mark for the first time.
• TV ratings have increased across FOX Sports, the Nine, WIN and NBN Networks with average FTA ratings 0.3% higher and FOX Sports overall ratings 1.4% higher.
• Rugby League boasts 61 of the top 100 most-watched programs on Subscription Television, including eight in the top 10.
• 170 NRL and Toyota Cup players are enrolled in a University Degree program, with 60 per cent of these players being the first in their family to do so.
• The opening of Rugby League Central, which not only houses all NSW-based Rugby League organisations under the one roof, but includes the Learning with League Centre (a purpose-built classroom) and the official Rugby League Museum.