State of Origin once again recorded the highest ratings for all shows on television for Game III. Declines in television audiences of 3% over the record 2016 result when simulcast was introduced.
Some of this can be attributed to the replacement of Monday night games with the 6pm Friday game. However, we believe the early Friday game gives us an opportunity to capture new fans, particularly, young people
While total audiences declined, the NRL’s share of the TV market again rose in our core markets. So, while fewer people are watching television overall, a greater proportion of these people are continuing to watch rugby league than other forms of entertainment.
Total television audiences for the premiership have increased by 2.45% between 2013 and 2017 with the broad structural shift in viewing behaviour seeing free to air viewer (FTA) television numbers declining
21% offset by a 69% increase in subscription television numbers.
FTA audiences for State of Origin have fared better but over the same period have still declined by 11%. While this structural shift plays out, there are four very positive signs that point to revenue growth beyond 2022. Firstly, the premiership’s share of television audience has increased over the 2013-17 period and, as in previous years, in 2017 rugby league matches retained four out of the six top spots for all shows on FTA television.