NRL claims edge over AFL in ratings battle

John Davidson Roar Guru

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    The NRL is claiming superiority over AFL as it seeks to improve its media rights deal. Over the past week, some interesting figures have been released, which the NRL hierarchy has seized on.

    Firstly, the top 20 highest ratings programs on free-to-air TV for 2011, across the five metro cities in total people, were revealed according to OzTam figures (the official ratings survey – summer isn’t included).

    On this list the highest sports event was this year’s Melbourne Cup race, in sixth place, which received 2.667 million viewers. Just behind that in seventh was the AFL grand final with 2.641 million.

    Underneath that in eighth was the third State of Origin match with 2.492 million, followed by the first State of Origin game in twelfth with 2.245 million and the NRL grand final in thirteenth with 2.172 million.

    Rounding out the top 20 was the second State of Origin match in fourteenth with 2.165 million, the Melbourne Cup presentation in seventeenth with 1.967 million and the AFL pre game show in nineteenth with 1.914 million.

    What does these results tell us? Well, firstly, home improvement is obviously popular in Australia if the final of The Block can top the lot and pull in 3.37 million viewers. Scary indeed.

    Also, that TV ratings are far from an exact science, considering the sample is not exactly massive but more of an estimate.

    Also, that one-off events like the Melbourne Cup can be very popular, but harder to sustain. But what the NRL would be crowing about is the fact that although the AFL grand final rated higher than its showpiece in this instance (no regional viewers included in this list), it had more programs in the top 20 than its Melbourne counterpart.

    The State of Origin series gives it an extra three game buffer that brings in advertisers and viewers in droves. Hence why unbundling Origin from the rest of the NRL deal makes sense, and could be a real money-spinner. Also it proves why the AFL has sought to create its own Origin series and maintained its International Rules series against Ireland.

    Secondly, last week the NRL came out with a story in The Sydney Morning Herald that spruiked its ratings strength.

    The NRL stated that it had cumulative audience of 134 million viewers, and that its free-to-air and pay TV audiences had grown by 1.3 percent and 16 percent respectively this year. No attribution for these figures though.

    Many people would agree that rugby league is a perfect sport to watch on TV while AFL is better experienced live at a ground, where you can get a view of all the action.

    AFL of course has the advantage over the NRL if that it is the stronger code all around the country (more of a national footprint), has more cash reserves and is sitting pretty on a $1.25 billion broadcast agreement. It also naturally has more breaks for advertisers with its game structure, while the NRL is stuck in intimate holds with Channel Nine and News Limited, which both have first-and-last-rights clauses for its rights.

    With both Football Federation Australia and the V8 Supercars seeking to improve their broadcast deals (and the V8s scoring a coup by getting former Fox Sports head David Malone as its new CEO), it’s imperative that the NRL doesn’t drop the ball when it comes to negotiating its own media deal.

    There can’t be enough money to go round for all three to get a better deal. The NRL has a strong case for receiving more money, but it has a real job on its hands making sure it succeeds and the clock is ticking.

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    The Crowd Says (178)

    • December 7th 2011 @ 6:17am
      Whites said | December 7th 2011 @ 6:17am | ! Report

      The Block Winner Announced was only a 7 minute program.

    • December 7th 2011 @ 7:43am
      Bondy said | December 7th 2011 @ 7:43am | ! Report

      Interesting piece John , both codes shadow one another very closely there’s not much between the two .

    • December 7th 2011 @ 8:03am
      Tom said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:03am | ! Report

      Plenty of money to go around when you rate so well on free to air and fox.

      The comment about the nrl having to worry when a building show the block beats you is a little far fetched. The top rating show of all time in the states is Mash and Eastenders regularally beats the premier league in the u.k.

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      • December 7th 2011 @ 9:36am
        Patrick Angel said | December 7th 2011 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        I was watching a show a few months ago, and a bloke came on who handled the power grid in London. When the credits to Eastenders starts he has to up the power, because of all the kettles, stoves, dishwashers, etc that suddenly get turned on would be too much for the system to handle.

        • December 8th 2011 @ 1:09am
          Walt said | December 8th 2011 @ 1:09am | ! Report

          Yeah i know a few poms who talk rubbish as well.

      • December 7th 2011 @ 10:10am
        Whites said | December 7th 2011 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        Eastenders is on free to air and the EPL is on Sky though. Here are some UK ratings from the last 2-4 weeks to give some perspective.

        STRICTLY COME DANCING (SAT 1901) 11.78m
        STRICTLY COME DANCING (SUN 1926) 11.17m
        EASTENDERS (MON 2001) 9.74m
        EASTENDERS (TUE 1929) 9.46m
        EASTENDERS (FRI 1959) 9.16m
        EASTENDERS (WED 1929) 8.83m
        LIVE FORD SUPER SUNDAY EPL – MATCH (SUN 1543) 2,200,000
        LIVE FORD SUPER SUNDAY EPL – MATCH (SUN 1300) 927,000
        LIVE FOUR NATIONS FINAL-ENG V AUS (SAT 1730) 365,000
        LIVE BARBARIANS V AUSTRALIA (SAT 1429) 249,000
        LIVE GRAND SLAM OF DARTS (WED 1900) 231,000
        KILMARNOCK V RANGERS-LIVE (SUN 1230) 181,000
        LIVE PREMIERSHIP RUGBY UNION (SAT 1639) 122,000

        http://www.barb.co.uk/report/index

        • December 7th 2011 @ 3:26pm
          kovana said | December 7th 2011 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

          Wow.. surprised that the 4N RL final got more than the Baabaa vs Oz game.

          Good work on England RL.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 3:39pm
            King of the Gorgonites said | December 7th 2011 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

            Kovana,

            those are the sky figures for the rugby. it was also broadcast on BBC.

            what would be more interesting would be to see the ratings for the wales v wallabies.

            Remember that England rguby were getting 8M in early morning viewing times for the RWC. 300K doesnt really match up when you think about it. also, 14K more people at the Baa Baa game.

            • December 7th 2011 @ 4:30pm
              kovana said | December 7th 2011 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

              Was looking thru the list.. Cannot find the 4 nations final match.. Was it on the Same day as the baabaas match?

            • December 8th 2011 @ 10:26am
              Whites said | December 8th 2011 @ 10:26am | ! Report

              I think it was only on Sky Sports. Can anyone confirm that?

    • December 7th 2011 @ 8:15am
      Ken said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Bit of non-event isn’t it? We’re talking about a small sample estimate of ‘nationwide’ viewership that only purports to cover 60% of the population in the first place. And even considering the rough nature of the exercise the numbers come out to be – well, what a surprise – about equal. You’d think we’d be used to it after a century or so, with 1 half of the country dominated by AFL and the other half dominated by Rugby League.

    • December 7th 2011 @ 8:40am
      Ben of Sydney said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      Not bad results for the NRL considering so many NRL fans aren’t included…..

      Outside of the 5 city metro the AFL has Geelong and Gold Coast, whereas the NRL has Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Townsville, & NZ…..

      So you are comparing a competition with 16 capital city teams (AFL) with an competition with only 11 capital city teams (NRL).

      Although to be fair most of GWS’ fans are ex victorian public servants living in the ACT, they won’t be counted either……

      • December 7th 2011 @ 9:00am
        Whites said | December 7th 2011 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        Geelong is part of Melbourne and most of the Gold Coast is part of Brisbane(Yes, I know there is a regional/metro overlap issue with the Gold Coast).

      • December 7th 2011 @ 9:11am
        B.A Sports said | December 7th 2011 @ 9:11am | ! Report

        That seems a bit of a stretch.

        What about the 25% of Victorians who don’t live in Melbourne, the 25% of West Australians who don’t live in the South West corner and the 30% of South Australians not in Adelaide. And probably less than 1% of these people would follow the NRL. Then you have regional NSW and QLD where AFL is followed, particualry in regional NSW south and west of Wollongong where i would say (purely from my observations) that AFL has become more popular already. And to be honest, it isn’t that far away from taking voer here in Wollongong.

        TV Ratings from last year are only part of what you are able to do to sell your sport. TV Ratings, number of ad breaks etc put aside, the reason the AFL is able to get a better deal, is because they are and have been a better run business. They can show TV Networks, that they are crushing it in terms of their expansion plans and equally as importantly they can show how dominant their junior participation programs are. Junior participation programs, means viewers not just now but in the future and junior particiaption programs can mean families. Thats a big chunk of a TV networks advertisers that are going to be interetsed in those demographics.

        • December 7th 2011 @ 9:44am
          db swannie said | December 7th 2011 @ 9:44am | ! Report

          What about the 25% of Victorians who don’t live in Melbourne, the 25% of West Australians who don’t live in the South West corner and the 30% of South Australians not in Adelaide. And probably less than 1% of these people would follow the NRL. Then you have regional NSW and QLD where AFL is followed, particualry in regional NSW south and west of Wollongong where i would say (purely from my observations) that AFL has become more popular already. And to be honest, it isn’t that far away from taking voer here in Wollongong.

          Oh my…
          This has to be trolling…taking over in the Gong…Jeez..
          The cheersquad would have us believe that AFL has taken the ACT ,All of southern NSW & now taking over the rest…
          Have a read of this ..
          http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news…t/2379965.aspx

          Rugby league helped keep WIN on top in Canberra, where half of the year’s 10 highest-rating programs were NRL or State of Origin telecasts.

          WIN claimed the capital’s most-watched show overall (the NRL grand final) and the most-watched drama (Underbelly Razor).

          Rugby league underpinned the ratings of Nine and its regional affiliates.

          ”In NSW and Queensland NRL is all-important,” Mr Allen said. ”The minute this is off ratings and share for Nine drop down.”

          Southern NSW, Australia’s first aggregated TV market, came into effect in March 1989 when Canberra, Wollongong and Orange/Dubbo were combined into one regional market.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 10:23am
            B.A Sports said | December 7th 2011 @ 10:23am | ! Report

            “db”, I think I know what that stands for, but I won’t lower myself.

            For your info, I watch almost every game of NRL on TV every week, and I have worked in rugby league media (at different levels, which I state not to big note, because it wasn’t that impressive, but to emphasise that I like league!) so I will push your “trolling” comment to the side and take it to be a reflection on your inability to have a open conversation with different views.

            I will clarify for you my thoughts
            1 – TV ratings are not the be all and end all of a sports popularity.
            2 – “purely from my observations” – so from what I have seen and from the discussions I have, the AFL is surpassing, if it hasn’t already the NRL in terms of popularity in the South East and South West of NSW. I travel to all parts in my work and speak to people in sport and local government and they are all providing more AFL grounds, and comment that they are seeing a drop in league numbers.

            I don’t know where you live “db”, I live back in Wollongong now. I can see the collapse of the Carlton League, I can see how many more people are playing AFL in the area, just when I go out on my weekend runs. Even running through Stuart Park, you see just as many AFL balls as NRL balls getting played with recreationally.

            I have also written in previous conversations about what the AFL is doing in North QLD and in particular in Cairns (where I lived for three years), the AFL has an office full of staff in Cairns while league has two development officers and it is the same in Townsville and in Mackay. I spent every Friday night for two years in the Cairns Casino in the sports bar watching the NRL Friday night games with many other people with a smattering of people watching the AFL at the other end of the room. I was back in Cairns in September and the split was now almost 50-50, I was shocked!

            These are the stories that the AFL have that the NRL doesn’t, and they carry plenty of relevance when negotiating TV deals because they represent the future, not just ratings from years past.

            My views from my obesrvations and experiences, but hey i’ll go troll somewhere else now.. Whats happening in V8’s?

            • December 7th 2011 @ 11:53am
              db swannie said | December 7th 2011 @ 11:53am | ! Report

              You have no idea what db stands for so go wherever you want.

            • December 7th 2011 @ 2:02pm
              Ben G said | December 7th 2011 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

              “These are the stories that the AFL have that the NRL doesn’t, and they carry plenty of relevance when negotiating TV deals because they represent the future, not just ratings from years past.”

              That is simply not true. Aside from the fact that it seems intuitively unbelievable that the media would care at all about grassroots in terms of their TV deal dollars, it would mean that football (soccer) would be raking in by far the biggest TV deal in Australia, given their grassroots numbers. Last time I checked, that was not happening.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 11:47am
            Jaceman said | December 7th 2011 @ 11:47am | ! Report

            Canberra Times (Fairfax) wants some of the AFL money being thrown at News to promote GWS so has a vested interest like all struggling newspapers.

            NRL FTA Fridays nights are big raters in Canberra – no argument but TV Southern NSW has 1.2m people (300 K in Canberra). However I think BA sports may be embellishing his personal experiences to give a wider impression. I cant comment on his personal AFL/NRL experience but the TV numbers suggest otherwise…

            • December 7th 2011 @ 12:58pm
              B.A Sports said | December 7th 2011 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

              Jaceman

              My point is simply that everyone keeps going back to “ratings” as the sole determining factor in the value of a TV deal and the popularity of a sport. yes it is an important facotr, but not the sole determining criteria. If it were, the NRL would have a deal significantly larger than the AFL.

              I was just giving an opinion based on what i have seen, living and working in marginal markets which appear (from a participation persepctive) to be changing. Now we know participation doesn’t translate directly into professional sport popularity as soccer’s enternal struggle for the mainstream will atest but the AFL will no doubt have used this to get a better deal, and it is something the NRL don’t have.

              I also have here on my desk a survey from last year done by a research company on “passion”, which most will agree is an indicator of consumer engagement in a sport..

              In this survey of 5,000 people (which is probably more than the TV ratings survey, I don’t know) 29% of people are “fanatical” about AFL and a further 16% are fans (the remaining 55% are disinterested). The NRL scored 23% as fanatical an 14% as fans (the remaining 63% are disinterested). I illustrate not to be critical of the NRL (again, i love league, have been a club member and season ticket holder for many years in the past), but to illustrate that there are loads of indicators out there that can be used to determine a sports popularity other than TV ratings.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 1:42pm
                db swannie said | December 7th 2011 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                & what survey is that??,Please dont say Sweeney.
                They ask the same amount of people from each state the same questions…Which gives a very unbalanced result…
                ie…you ask 10 people from TAS..what their fav sport is…9 say AFL
                You ask the same Q to 10 people from NSW ..you get 7 RL,1 AFL,2 Soccer.
                They then say we surveyed 20 Australians & the results are more people like AFL…while discounting million & millions more in NSW compared to TAS
                Unless a survey is done proportionatley to population figures ,you will never get a result that accuratley reflects trends.

            • December 7th 2011 @ 1:46pm
              Stevo said | December 7th 2011 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

              “NRL FTA Fridays nights are big raters in Canberra ”
              Ironic considering how infrequently the home team features on the Friday nights FTA broadcast.

              Didn’t they have to beg WIN to show the Canberra v Brisbane game as the live game earlier this year, instead of the usual Sydney team 1 vs Sydney team 2?

              • December 7th 2011 @ 2:13pm
                Ticker said | December 7th 2011 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                That was the round 26 match in 2010.

                I’m not sure that ‘ironic’ is the right word. The NRL rates well here in Canberra because there are a lot of NRL supporters, in fact for every Raiders supporter, I’d say there’s at least one more that supports another team, partly due to our transient population.

        • December 7th 2011 @ 9:49am
          canberra said | December 7th 2011 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          The AFL Grand Final wasn’t even one of the top 10 programs in Canberra.

          Their support in southern New South Wales is grossly overstated.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 11:50am
            db swannie said | December 7th 2011 @ 11:50am | ! Report

            Bingo…you would think if SNSW & the ACT were now AFL territory then it would reflect that in the TV numbers…
            I believe that over what someone posts on a forum..

            • December 7th 2011 @ 12:14pm
              me, I like football said | December 7th 2011 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

              I believe what NSW and Victorians consider Southern NSW to be is different geographic locations.
              For most Victorians Southern NSW is the Riverina district which is not included in the Southern NSW ratings and for a lot of NSW it’s the South coast which is included in the Sothern NSW ratings.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 1:24pm
                cos789 said | December 7th 2011 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                That suggests “most Victorians” definition is wrong. Typical though, Victorians tellling NSWelshmen whats what in NSW.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 7:03pm
                stabpass said | December 7th 2011 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

                That is correct, southern NSW TV ratings go all the way up to the QLD border, not on the coast, but inland.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 1:04pm
            me, I like football said | December 7th 2011 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

            TV viewers is just one measure of popularity. look at google trends for another. Though admittedly would not add much value to the organisation

            http://www.google.com/trends?q=afl%2C+nrl&ctab=0&geo=au&geor=aus.act&date=2011&sort=0

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              December 7th 2011 @ 3:24pm
              Brendan said | December 7th 2011 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

              me, I like football; Interestingly a lot of the search items were for a USA government Union movement called Afl-cio which bumped up the Australian Football Leagues numbers. Not surprising considering the core government sector which resides in Canberra. The other key stories were around the TV rights deal which a lot of NRL supporters are interested in.

              Only really reflects on the popularity of worldwide government news & NRL in the ACT.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 3:51pm
                Whites said | December 7th 2011 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                The AFL-CIO is the US version of the ACTU.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 6:36pm
                me, I like football said | December 7th 2011 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

                if you do a trend for AFL-CIO in the ACT you get nothing.

        • December 7th 2011 @ 1:37pm
          Rob C said | December 7th 2011 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

          B.A, nether let the facts get in the way of a good story. I live in Wollongong and I can tell you that the two most popular sports by a long way are rugby league and soccer. Soccer would be on its own at the top if it had a decent administration to push its national profile. AFL is a minor sport that gets a lot of money thrown at it. Tell me how many senior AFL teams there are in Wollongong. I can only think of one and that team plays in a regional competition. Wollongong has its own Rugby league competition with three senior divisions. This is only getting stronger, not weaker. The problems with Port Kembla and a couple of the smallers clubs is finance driven, not popularity or playing numbers driven. That is what happens when a couple of clubs have huge leagues clubs that can support them. The smaller clubs overspend to compete and eventually go broke.
          As for Soccer, there number of senior divisions is significant.

          At a junior level, the disparity i even more significant. Clubs like Wests and Shellharbour have multiple teams in each age level. Soccer dwarfs everything in Wollongong.

          Please stop talking dribble as you clearly do not know what you are talking about.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 2:08pm
            Al said | December 7th 2011 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

            It is a shame that Wollongong has never been properly considered for an A-League team, the support that the Wolves got back in the NSL days should have been enough to convince the FFA in setting up a club up there ahead of Gold Coast.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 2:11pm
            B.A Sports said | December 7th 2011 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

            Rob, I agree with two things you said.
            1. soccer is very popular in Wollongong and
            2. “never let facts get in the way of a good story”!
            I never said AFL was more popular than rugby league in Wollongong, but i said i could see the gap closing. The number of league clubs is dropping, the standard of those clubs is on the slide as well and kids as far south as Batemans Bay have to travel to Wollongong to get a game!
            Meanwhile the number of AFL senior clubs is increasing – yes you see there is 1 team, the Illawarra Lions who play in the Sydney AFL and then a seperate local league – an entire competition Rob – The South Coast League. That league folded in 1998, now it is growing. There is also 12 junior AFL clubs in Illawarra compeition which i will guess is about 12 more than there probably was 10 years ago. I would call that growth, wouldn’t you?

            • December 7th 2011 @ 4:10pm
              Tiger said | December 7th 2011 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

              But you said that the afl isn’t far from taking over in Wollongong in your original post which is simply not true!

          • December 7th 2011 @ 5:56pm
            stabpass said | December 7th 2011 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

            Senior Australian football clubs in and around the gong,

            1 Kiama
            2 Figtree Kangaroos
            3 Wollongong Uni Bulldogs
            4 Bomaderry
            5 Shellharbour City Suns
            6 Northern Districts
            7 Ulladulla
            8 Port Kembla
            9 Nowra Blues
            10 Albatross
            11 Woolindilly

            In 1997 there were next to no juniors playing Australian football in the Illawarra, fast forward to 2011, there are 11 junior clubs, although all are not attached to senior clubs, including Dapto, Albion park, Shellharbour and Port Kembla.

            BTW Batemans Bay juniors also play in the South coast juniors comp but Batemans Bay seniors play in the Sapphire Coast comp, the Illawarra junor comp is a different comp again.

            The Sapphire coast comp that is from Batemans bay down would be the premier football comp of any code in the S/E part of NSW.

            • December 7th 2011 @ 7:11pm
              Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

              4 rl clubs now in Hobart ,a couple of year ago nil.Population of Hobart 90,000 odd,All done with little finance,or promotion.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 7:27pm
                stabpass said | December 7th 2011 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

                Good luck with that, the comp i guess will rely on kiwi immigration to survive, like pretty well all southern state RL comps.

              • December 8th 2011 @ 1:23am
                Queensland's game is rugby league said | December 8th 2011 @ 1:23am | ! Report

                stabpass,

                If the Victorian expats who live in QLD didn’t play in the QAF and force their sons to play in the local junior competition then there would probably be no more than 500 people playing the game.

              • December 8th 2011 @ 11:24am
                Tony said | December 8th 2011 @ 11:24am | ! Report

                I suppose the teachers in Brisbane catholic schools who had Aussie Rules teams in the 60’s were all Vic public servants! Or maybe a Melbourne Jesuit plot 🙂

            • December 8th 2011 @ 9:15am
              stabpass said | December 8th 2011 @ 9:15am | ! Report

              Interesting that Mogo, a very small town a few minutes out of Batemans Bay has entered some Australian football teams in the SCJAFL comp, with around 80% indigenous kids in the teams, the Mogo magic have a couple of teams, and a auskick program, people travelling through the area may remember the historic village and/or Mogo Zoo.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 6:24pm
            stabpass said | December 7th 2011 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

            The Riverina once had four rugby league competitions and 40 clubs.
            Now there are two competitions and 19 clubs.
            This sickening statistic is the result of two decades of decay.

            http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/news/local/sport/general/bush-footy-an-indicator-of-leagues-health/1381467.aspx?storypage=3

            etc etc, could find a dozen stories all saying the same thing,

            • December 7th 2011 @ 7:33pm
              Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

              Well Stabpass,the big increase in registered weekend rl players have come from somewhere.Maybe some form the AFL states oh noooo .The big increase also in participants has to come from somewhere.
              I note Moruya and Merimbula Pambula are fielding 1st grade sides in 2012.
              Group 11 club Dubbo westside are set to be reformed in 2012
              Gooloongong has returned to rugby league and will field a team in the woodbridge Cup 2012.
              the Oberon Tigers have returend to group 10 for the first time since 2007.
              there is now talk of Warialda getting back on the park in 2012
              In Qld country .After nearly two decades out of the game The Collinsville RLFC has reformed and is ready to play in the newly formed Bowen and district RL

              You paint the picture blue,I paint it white.
              The Riverina issue would have nothing to do with drought ,lack of finance from the NRL,the Super League war.No of course not ,it is a result of AFL promotion.
              And we could find many stories of growth in areas for rugby league.It is not replicated everywhere.In fact some bush areas for AFL are experiencing decline in numbers.
              Do you have any idea of the numbers of farmers who have left the industry over the past 30 odd years in NSW.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 7:45pm
                stabpass said | December 7th 2011 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                Well crosscoder, i am sure there are some great RL stories, and clubs reforming, new clubs etc, but i think overall the picture you are attempting to point is not the truth of the matter, even without farmers leaving the land, kids moving to cities, RL is IMO a game in decline in both the city and bush, a few good stories not withstanding.

                We can both think what we want, but i reckon i am far closer to the mark than you are.

                And BTW RL may well end up like American football where there is no real grass roots, but just a couple of big/bigger/biggest comps, the physical nature of the game means that it is almost impossible to play it socially.

              • December 8th 2011 @ 1:28am
                Queensland's game is rugby league said | December 8th 2011 @ 1:28am | ! Report

                “RL is IMO a game in decline in both the city and bush, a few good stories not withstanding.”

                You couldn’t be any further from the truth. There are more registered players in the greater Brisbane area today than there ever was in the past.

                The game has never been stronger. unior registrations keep on rising.

                The same cannot be said about cricket and Aussie rules in QLD.

            • December 7th 2011 @ 8:06pm
              Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

              stabpass
              .Good luck not neede,just hard w3ork already being done.The comp was actually started by a northerner. All Kiwi migrants(some no doubt prefer ru),LOL.coming from WA ,you have no doubt a complete insight in what is going on.The beauty of rl(and of course ru) the players can come from the Nthn states,NZ,Nthn England the Pi and dear oh dear, some born and bred locals, who wish to try their hand.
              The locals from the Nth West wolves in melborune, are hardly all Kiwi immigrants.Tthe club was started by an AR man.

              Of course southern migration has nothing to do with growth or support of AFL in the north .Not bleeding much.And all those students participating in rl at school gala days and or schools matches are all Kiwis in Victoria.Sounds like a fact from Big Footsie.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 8:14pm
                Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

                stabpass.Are you perchance calling me a liar.As the grassroots rl figures shown for 2011 showing tremendous growth in the code,make your comments look rather deluded
                EG Iif you are in decline you are not growing.The game is clearly growing ,which in true one eyed fasghion,you have difficulty in accepting.
                You had better not wish the NRL gets to the popularity of the NFL in this country,because the best athletes will aspire to play the code
                You are as close to the mark,asI i am to Jennifer Hawkins.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 8:22pm
                stabpass said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

                Nope, you will need both, especially when the RL ‘season’ in Hobart is played in cricket season, as i said good luck with that.

                You seem to think i have a problem with RL played in the south ?, and Australian footballers having a go ……. just to set it straight, i think RL suits some players, no matter where they come from.

                Just posting what i see/read and hear, which BTW co-incides with many posters on this board, good to hear an alternative view, i dont agree with your overview, but you are welcome to post it

              • December 7th 2011 @ 8:29pm
                stabpass said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

                I wouldn’t and haven’t called you a liar, because i reckon you actually think what you post is correct.

                I just find it ironic that you continually call Australian football fans gullible for believing AFL spin, when you trot out the same ‘participation’ figures for RL.

                FWIW i dont think you actually really take the time to read peoples posts properly, and you just bombard any post you dont agree with these ‘participation’ figures and spin straight from Gallops bedtime reading.

        • December 7th 2011 @ 2:18pm
          Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

          B.A Sports
          And what about the growing number of East coast expats in the mining industry who are flocking to WA,and do not appear in FTA ratings figures.even tasmania npow has a rl comp around Hobart..Or the new Melbourne club the Nth west Wolves started by an Aussie Rule chap,and has got quite a few teams already from senior to juniors.OMG its a takeover.

          My comment is awaitng moderation, to fit in with AFL policy perhaps ?

          Please champ you are not the only person who gets around this sunburnt country,or has some insight.
          The NRL report of 2011(neither yours or my observation) shows more people are playing Rugby league than ever before in this country.They are coming from somewhere :Tasmania ?????
          The NRL has more fans engaging in social media than any sport in Australia,setting new records on facebook and becoming the first code in the country to launch both a finals iPad app and club iPhone apps.

          The NRL this year recorded the largest Facebook following of any sporting code in the country (over 375,000 fans):the largest team following (Maroons with 322,000) and largest club following (Broncos with 205,000)
          2100 Origin series is the most watched in origin history,with a cumulative audience of 10.7million up 10% on the 2010 series.
          Over 1.7million Australian viewers watched the VB test match at skilled Park GC
          Almost 1 million watched the Indienous All Styars v NRL ALL Stars game.
          Yet Tv ratings for AFL in sydney continue to slide.
          And for your comment about participation numbers for rugby league
          “A record 163,000 registrations in weekend Club Rugby league has been recorded.
          72,406 participants registered in the 6-12 age groups,the highest in the history of the game
          Female participation increased 9% in 2011 to 4,824 participants
          record participation in REGULAR school comps of 132,692 students(up 2% from the 2010 record)
          Students playing in formal gala days increased by 6% to 184,425
          And a little further info on Illawarra
          http://www.steelers.com.au/documents/grandfinals.pdf
          http://crlnsw.com.au/index.php?id=13&tx_ttnews%5Bttnews%5D=275&cHash=6a0f6339c1

          If you believe because on the outside some areas appear to be struggling and extrapolate this to apply to rugby league in toto,you are sadly misguided.
          Just because you have goal posts put up on an oval ,that at times are infrequently used,does not mean a takeover is taking place.

          NB FYI You mentioned the code has only 1development officer in the Far NTh qld/Cairns area.As of 17/3/11there are 3 employed by the QRL.One stationed in Cairns,1 in Bamaga/Torres Strait and 1 in Weipa.

          Also a new comp this year The Three rivers Rugby league comeptition was formed based around Cooktown -2 teams from Hopevale,1 from Wujai Wujai and 1 from Nth of cooktown.david westely a former Qrl D/O and now new coach of the Kangaroos a grade side was instrumental in getting the comp off the ground.So much for the 1 D/O argment as being ineffective.
          It reminds me of the AFL exe(MClachlan) who called Brisbane football territory,the Broncos must have been running scared.

          So you are correct,it is not all about Tv ratings ,as the rugby league community involvement figures show.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 3:00pm
            B.A Sports said | December 7th 2011 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

            Crosscoder: best arguement i have seen on this site. Thanks for taking the time to actually read my point of view. You have good stats to back up yours. I am guesing you work in or close to league to have some of that detail. I am sure an AFL person would have something to counter much of it – why, well again, becaus they seem to be able to secure bigger TV rights deals and seem to have a more successful business model.

            The NRL should have you in the negotiation room when they are talking to media companies as you have the informaiton they need to be presenting.

            I am pretty sure this site says at the top something like “The Roar Your Sports Opinion” – i was giving mine based on my views and experience, i don’t understand why people have to call me a “troll” and a “dribbler”.. I have my view based on what i see and experience and I would rather build my opinions that way than rely on mainstream media which usually has bias, or misinformation skewing it.

            By the way, when i left Cairns there were two league devleopment officers – 1 employed by the QRL/ARL one by the NRL/Cowboys. I knew both guys really well and know how much time they spent in the Cape and away from home – they simply had too much area to cover effectively. So if they have finally got some support that is great. The Pride were trying with Chey Bird, but didn’t have the resources. They needed it though because the AFL had a team of devleopment officers out there and were, when i left building an academy training base in Cairns (at an old rugby site) to bring kids down from the Cape and outlying areas and get them into the game.

            • December 7th 2011 @ 7:09pm
              Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

              BA Sports.
              Point taken,the code has realised they are in fierce competition for players at grassroots ,and with the limited resources up to 2012,they had to make deecisons to increase the number of D/Os within budgetary restraints or get left at the station.
              you may hav met one of them Peter Narducci who was doing the job solely for close on 11 years.and finally hung up his boots in March this year.
              A pleasure debating with you.I respond at times,when I feel a point of view flies in the face of facts I have at hand or a gut feeling.
              i will accept the code is well under resourced,and that is why the next Tv deal must be maximised .The historical TV ratings are there,the growth in the game is there,the expansion teams waiting in the wings are there,and a new bells and whistles i.C is champing at teh bit for action.There should be no excuses in the final TV outcome.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 6:39pm
            me, I like football said | December 7th 2011 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

            over 50,000 club participants (does not include schools or Auskick)for Aussie rules in Qld and NSW.

            less than 6,500 club participants in Rugby League in Vic, WA, SA, NT and Tas

            • December 7th 2011 @ 8:20pm
              Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

              The 6,500 are club registrations as you say.

              They therefore do not include participants with gala days and school comps ,they do not allow for the growth of registered players itn the northern states.They do not allow for the fact there is no Perth NRL team ATM,nor Adelaide team,nor FTA viewing at decent hours..They are the result of efforts with little finance in virgin states.
              For the code to have record registration and participation at this juncture,despite this is a decent effort.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 9:10pm
            Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

            Stabpass.
            Not only think what I know is correct but back it with figures.Not a case of thinking from afar.I have been involved with this game for as long as i care to remember.to distinguish the spin from the reality.
            If I read post that are way of the markiI respond..
            Club registrations are what they are,they are not spin.You can argue till your hearts content on participation figures if you wish.

            • December 7th 2011 @ 9:28pm
              stabpass said | December 7th 2011 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

              Dont agree, i dont think you can distinguish spin from reality, because of your passion for the game, and truth be told, RL is a long long way from coming close to Australian football in this country at most levels.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 10:22pm
                Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 10:22pm | ! Report

                stabpass.
                Sorry to say you are wrong.Because I could argue the same with your passionate views.Just because someone is passionate about a code,does not one iota prevent then from being objective or extremely critical.

                It is patently obvious the growth in grassroots registration numbers must have hit a raw nerve,because we are told by the knockers the code is supposedly dying.That argument has been going on since the 80s,when the code was really down and the mid 90s SL war.

                i have openly been critical of the admin under Gallop,the salary cap debacle,the salary cap and 3rd party arrangements,refereeing,club admin,and where money is to be expended.

                You see a miniscule amount of my views,which are hardly confined to this site.

                As to the comparisons.The NRL si at least on a par with the AFL on Tv ratings,It exceeds the AFL in merchandise sales.it has a NZ side.with strong growth at grassroots.it plays internationals without having to change the rules.
                it has a UK govt and local council supported world cup played in 4 counries in 2013.It will soon have an I.C run by people of the highest business acumen.
                The area of difference is the crowd numbers and memberships which I believe will remain in AFLs favour for yonks.
                The code has only scratched the surface when it comes to grassroots development in the other non heartland states.there is still plenty of scope for grassroots growth and Tv growth.

                Yes the code is played in the cricket season,just as the code is played at a different time in the N.T.it does not prevent the code from growing.Luck !!!! Hard work is doing the job not luck.

      • December 7th 2011 @ 4:25pm
        Queensland's game is rugby league said | December 7th 2011 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

        “Although to be fair most of GWS’ fans are ex victorian public servants living in the ACT, they won’t be counted either……”

        Same story with the Lions and Suns. I’d be surprised if more than 20% of the Lions and Suns fans are born and bred Queenslanders. Most of them are Victorians who refuse to assimilate.

    • Roar Guru

      December 7th 2011 @ 8:44am
      The Cattery said | December 7th 2011 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      The NRL has 4 premium matches to the AFL’s 1 premium match – that has been the case now for over 20 years.

      The three SOO matches get excellent ratings, nationwide, they have some value – about the same value as 11 home and away AFL games.

      We need to be very clear on something, the big dollars doesn’t come from getting ratings for a few games.

      The AFL doesn’t earn its billion plus dollars from having one grand final per annum – it’s good PR, a fitting end to a season – but that’s not bringing in the big dollars.

      200+ games per season, spread over seven months, over 600 hours of sports viewing, each hour getting a solid viewership, about 600,000 viewers per hour, the aggregate viewers on an hourly basis reaches 360 million (or 120 million aggregate audience on a per game basis).

      It’s the volume of viewers that matters over a full season – not the peaks for a handful of games.

      • December 7th 2011 @ 10:38am
        Ian Whitchurch said | December 7th 2011 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        What Cattery said, and also – for FTA – the number of ad breaks you can easily put in a 3 hour AFL broadcast as opposed to a 2 hour NRL broadcast.

        • December 7th 2011 @ 1:27pm
          cos789 said | December 7th 2011 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

          which suggests the NRL rights should be worth somewhere around $950M to $1050M, considering the NRL has more product to sell at domestic, state and international levels.

      • December 7th 2011 @ 1:39pm
        Crosscoder said | December 7th 2011 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

        We also need to be very clear on one thing,i’t áin’t “just about FTA.

        Are you serious Cattery “The big dollars don’t come from getting ratings for a few games “”(premium).
        Have you noted David leckie of ch7 on SOO,Lachlan Murdoch ch 10,and Gyngell of ch 9,these guys have knocked that comment into the outfoeld. .
        Take away the grand final of the AFL or the SOo of the rl.and see what the Tv deals would be.

        And none of the 4 big NRL games are on live on subscription TV.You know where the viewing numbers for rugby league dominate.
        One of the funniest comments reported was on an AFL fan site which went something like”rugby league fans do not watch their game as intently on TV as AFL fans do”.That would have to be nthe most hilarious quote of the sporting century.
        Apparently there are secret cameras installed, to watch the intesity of rl viewers.

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