Ministry of Sport

NRL becomes the most watched sport in Australia this season

Heading into the back end of the NRL finals, the game has announced staggering figures solidifying the sport as the most watched in Australia this season.

The most successful Telstra Premiership season in almost a decade produced an uplift in members, crowds and viewers watching and streaming the game, whilst the businesses new digital network continued to flourish.

“Support for rugby league and the NRL Telstra Premiership has never been stronger,” Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Abdo said.

“We have the closest, most watched sporting competition in Australia.

“A cumulative audience of more than 94 million people tuned in throughout the 2018 regular season, which is a huge endorsement for our fans appetite for our game.”

The result means the NRL is the most watched sport on television in Australia, coupled with an average crowd attendance of 15,000 which is an increase of 2.2% to almost 2.9m overall.

Growth in crowds and television audiences was supported by digital growth, where streaming numbers have jumped 108% year-on-year, including over 800,000 new NRL account subscribers.

The NRL has capitalised on the growth with the addition of several new commercial partners in Finder, Rebel Sport and Chemist Warehouse.

“We’ve been well supported by corporate Australia this year and are looking forward to strengthening these partnerships into the future, whilst also welcoming new partners to the family,” Abdo said.

A successful Telstra Premiership Finals series will round out an impressive year for the code, which also launched its first Holden Women’s State of Origin and the NRL Holden Women’s Premiership.

The Women’s State of Origin reached almost 700,000 fans through Channel Nine alone, whilst the Men’s State of Origin Series took-out three of the top four television events of the year and attracted more than 220,000 fans.

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney