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Gallop talks up NRL’s 2009 season

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    National Rugby League boss David Gallop hopes a positive set of figures will cause some of the code’s critics to eat their words towards the end of a tumultuous season for the sport.

    Addressing the media at NRL headquarters in Sydney on Wednesday, Gallop reeled off a list of positive statistics for the code.

    He outlined increased television ratings and particularly booming attendances, with the three millionth fan of the season set to attend a game this weekend.

    Gallop conceded there was plenty to be done by the NRL following a spate of incidents of bad player behaviour which brought weeks of grim headlines, but he felt the bevy of positive statistics showed the game itself in ruddy health.

    “I’d like to think that some of the stuff will make some our critics eat some of their words,” Gallop said.

    “But the fact is we have had some issues this year that we need to get on top of as best we can.

    “At the same time we’ve got a fantastic compelling sporting competition the people are getting behind and they are going to get behind over the next few weeks.”

    Gallop said rugby league had defied the trend of every other Australian football code by actually increasing average crowds by 2.12 per cent so far in 2009.

    “Only 88,968 fans stand between the round 25 tally of 2,935,181 and the 2007 NRL (season) record of 3,024,149.

    “The only previous occasion in which the game passed three million fans in the competition rounds was in 1995 when a 20-team competition recorded 3,061,338 during the regular season.

    “Even this record remains under threat in 2009.”

    Gallop also reported growth in club membership, licensing, participation and on-line engagement.

    He also produced statistics to show the NRL was producing closer and faster competition this season and outlined an increase in the number of hours clubs and players were devoting to community and charity activities.

    – Crowds are up 2.12 per cent on 2008, “defying a downward trend in other codes”.
    – Ratings for Friday-night matches on the Nine Network are up 3.6 per cent in Sydney and 16.1 per cent in Brisbane. Figures for Sunday matches are up 16.2 per cent in Sydney and 6 per cent in Brisbane.
    – Rugby league can boast 60 of the top 100 programs on Australian pay-TV.
    – Unique visitors on the NRL website are up 62 per cent on 2008.
    – Club player registrations have risen 6.8 per cent to a new record.
    – Figures show less tries are being scored through kicks in 2009 compared to the previous year, with more running of the ball and a closer competition.
    – Suncorp Stadium’s first-ever double-header in round 19 attracted a sell-out crowd of 50,109.
    – For only the third time in NRL history, total attendances for the premiership rounds are set to pass 3 million. The others were in 1995 (20 teams) and 2007 (16).
    – The clubs with the greatest increase in home crowds are the Bulldogs (44.6 per cent), Warriors (35.7) and Penrith (25.9).
    – Game one of the 2009 Origin series was the most-watched since inception, with an average of 2.322 million viewers across the five capital cities.

    © AAP 2018

    The New South Wales State of Origin team for the 2018 series remains a mystery, with new coach Brad Fittler facing plenty of selection headaches. So we want you to tell us - and all your mates - who should start for Blues in Game 1 with our team picker.

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • September 3rd 2009 @ 7:50am
      Crosscoder said | September 3rd 2009 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      Doesn’t surprise me, with the quality of games and players making their marks on the field in spectacular fashion.
      Similar anti social issues happen in the movie and pop world.They have a share of loopies who go over the top,be it drugs,assault,drink driving etc ,yet people still go to the movies,buy DVDs and attend gigs.
      People are finally getting it into their heads that these problems exist throughout all levels of society and will continue to do so.It will continue whilst we have alcohol and drugs available.
      The average Joe one assumes,would know the majority of people in all walks of life,are decent upstanding citizens.

      • Roar Guru

        September 3rd 2009 @ 8:09am
        Pippinu said | September 3rd 2009 @ 8:09am | ! Report

        Is that players making their marks on the field in spectacular fashion or players taking spectacular marks on the field?

        • Roar Rookie

          September 3rd 2009 @ 3:29pm
          cuzybro said | September 3rd 2009 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

          you taking the piss or what pip????

        • Roar Guru

          September 3rd 2009 @ 3:43pm
          Pippinu said | September 3rd 2009 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

          actually – half piss taking and half half-serious

    • September 3rd 2009 @ 8:01am
      Luke W said | September 3rd 2009 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Like I’ve said in an earlier thread, I’ve always believed that all the negative press surrounding rugby league this season would only serve to unite and rally the fans. You only have to look at this site to see how passionate people can get about their code when others are deriding it. Spouting negative stories is just News Ltd’s creative way of making a profit from the people.

    • September 3rd 2009 @ 9:17am
      Michael B said | September 3rd 2009 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Good news, but still a long way to go to be on the same map as the AFL in terms of crowds and memberships. This is what they should be aspiring to.

      This year the on field product has improved quite a bit, with more razzle dazzle, which is a welcomed change from the negative wrestling tactics which were introduced by Melb Storm over the past few years. These tactics then spread like a disease to the rest of the competition. 2 refs have fixed this.

      If the product is good, then people will watch it and the game will grow. Pretty simple.

    • Roar Guru

      September 3rd 2009 @ 10:01am
      AndyRoo said | September 3rd 2009 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      Unless your a Roosters fan it has been a great season. All the big games have delivered

      SOO was excellent then the Tigers vs Eels game received massive hype …. and delivered.

    • September 3rd 2009 @ 10:56am
      oikee said | September 3rd 2009 @ 10:56am | ! Report

      Good point, yes the 2 refs have been excellent for a faster free flowing game, and lets face it, thats all we want.

      Anyone see that report about Spike t/v america taking the semis and final this year. 100 million audience right their, hope some are watching.
      Also a guy from the springboks is whinging about league stealing their young players. Why would you not want to be part of a aussie football club, weather that be league AFL or Union. Australia is the best sports country in the world, we have such a diversity of great sports all at the top level. Even hockey is good to play over here, i heard vossy doing the call the other day.

      • September 3rd 2009 @ 11:31am
        Luke W said | September 3rd 2009 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        America actually has around 300 million people, if that was the 100 million figure you were referring to. Also, I suppose league will boom in America much the same way NFL has taken over our sporting scene every time the Superbowl is beamed live to our TV screens?

        • September 3rd 2009 @ 12:32pm
          Mushi said | September 3rd 2009 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

          I think the 100m is households

    • September 3rd 2009 @ 11:09am
      TammyS said | September 3rd 2009 @ 11:09am | ! Report

      Ive really enjoyed this year probably more than I have any other year and Im not surprised by the increase in crowds and tv ratings. Having said that, I still think we need to make a few changes on and off the field especially the video ref. I hope they do something about that next year

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