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  1. Balmain1969

    Luke Gale returns to action

    Castleford look like they have better facilities than Manly
  2. From an interview in the Daily Telegraph with Manly owner Scott Penn In fact, Penn said he wanted to increase his role at the club, which could seek to launch a New York club to play England’s Super League, a proposal revealed last year in The Daily Telegraph. “We are looking at potential expansion. We absolutely wouldn’t rule out a New York team. “We haven’t put a lot of effort into it as yet but it’s certainly of interest. I am spending an increasing amount of time over there,” Penn said.
  3. The one positive I can see here is that we have actually made it to the point where this is a conversation, not long ago Eng v France was nothing more than Professionals v Part Timers. Toulouse in Super League plus more French players into other Super League squads will hopefully give France the depth they need to start competing on the big stage, if France can be competitive against England then they should look at building a regular mid year fixture, even if it doesn't include NRL based players.
  4. To add to the above post, the Swans game in Sydney rated 54k viewers in Sydney and 19k viewers in Brisbane on FTA television prime time Saturday night for their biggest game of the year. All NRL games in Sydney rate around 400k on FTA in Sydney and between 200-300k on Subsciption TV. Also just a little thing I noticed the other day, here is a recent photo from the new Parramatta Stadium. Now all the dooms dayers keep saying how the AFL are taking over Sydney, spending $250m with AFL fields appearing everywhere. Note below the little ground with AFL posts in the background, in the foreground is the $600m stadium that the NSW Govt is building, the first of 3 in a $2b deal. The AFL does an amazing job with club memberships and getting people to the games, something the NRL need to learn from. But the media are always trying to talk down the NRL when in reality its not going to bad. Crowds are not great but plenty of things to be positive about.
  5. This article is a couple of months old but gives a bit of perspective, NRL is not dead yet. NRL on course for TV ratings victory over AFL At the halfway mark of the season, the NRL is set to eclipse the AFL as the most watched football code on TV in 2018. If current trends continue, the NRL will have a higher premiership season audience than the AFL for the first time since 2011. The Oztam ratings relate only to club games in both codes and, with State of Origin matches always represented in the top five most watched programs on TV, rugby league is headed for a historic season. The quality of play in both codes has its critics, with NRL games too stop-start via a referee blitz and AFL games marred by congestion at the ball, resulting in scoring being the lowest in 50 years. However, most NRL games are decided in the final minutes, while the result of many AFL games is determined by the beginning of the final quarter. Rugby league’s dominance occurs at a time cumulative TV ratings in the Australian market have experienced a disturbing 8.9 percent decline for the first half of 2018. Add to shor Compared to 2017, AFL TV ratings are falling even faster ... down 13.9 percent to the end of round 9, while the NRL season, which began two weeks earlier, has recorded a drop of only 0.6 percent to the end of round 11. Significantly, comparing TV time slots where NRL games are shown, with programs on other networks, the overall national TV market is down 4.7 percent, meaning NRL is holding its ground. The cumulative live audience for NRL games in Australia has been 43.0 million for the first 11 Rounds, compared to 43.3m last year. The AFL’s cumulative live audience is 36.9m for its first 9 rounds, compared to 42.9m last year. The average free-to-air Audience for the NRL is 612,689 in 2018, compared to 317,003 for the AFL. The AFL will say that it has cross-over timeslots and doesn’t go free to air with the same games nationally, but the raw numbers show that NRL is dominant. The average subscription TV audience (Foxtel) for the NRL is 244,853 in 2018, compared to 180,387 for the AFL. The TV data confirms what State of Origin has demonstrated this past decade – Queensland is a rugby league state. The Broncos are the highest-watched team across the NRL and AFL nationally (744,103 average free-to-air and 274,619 average subscription), while the North Queensland Cowboys rate third for free-to-air (722,922 average) and fourth for subscription TV (258,826 average). This is despite the Broncos' erratic form and the Cowboys' lowly position on the premiership ladder. The two lowest-watched teams nationally (across both AFL and NRL) are the AFL’s two Queensland teams, the Gold Coast Suns (93,510 FTA average and 97,765 subscription average) and Brisbane Lions (95,510 FTA average and 97,765 subscription average). They are the least popular of 34 teams across both codes. The average Queensland-wide audience of the Broncos (325,494 per game) and Cowboys (311,321 per game) is nearly 10 times the size of the Queensland-wide audience of the Brisbane Lions (40,778 per game) or the Gold Coast Suns (34,365 per game) Regional NSW rugby league fans remain loyal to the code, with overall viewership up 2 percent in northern NSW and up 6 percent in southern NSW, helping to offset some of the slight declines in metro market. Sydney is down 1 percent overall but Sydney is up 3.3 percent on free-to-air. The early-season resurgence of the New Zealand Warriors is reflected in the viewership- up 13.4 percent on last year in Australia and up 9 percent in New Zealnd on Sky. Total viewership of NRL on Sky in New Zealand is up by 18 percent. Given the disenchantment with Super Rugby, the once impregnable fortress of the NZRU may be concerned. The AFL’s Melbourne market has been particularly hard hit by the trend towards streaming services like Netflix, as well as strong Commonwealth Games viewership. AFL is down by 17.5 percent overall in its heartland market. By comparison, the NRL is up by 2 percent overall in Melbourne and the NRL’s free to air viewership in Melbourne is up by 11.2 percent. The Storm’s viewership ranks second out of all NRL or AFL Clubs nationally on free to air, with an average audience of 734,597. By comparison, the most viewed AFL Club is the Hawthorn Hawks with an average free to air audience of 558,234. Rugby Australia’s closure of the Western Force, together with the NRL’s decision to open the 2018 season with a double header at Perth’s new stadium, has seen a 17 percent increase in overall viewership in Perth over the first half of 2018 to 860,245 cumulative viewers. Free-to-air is up 37.5 percent in Perth. By comparison, the AFL is down by 8 percent overall in the Perth market. Insofar as both NRL and AFL receive approximately the same revenue from broadcasters on a per game basis, Rugby League Central would be wishing 2018 was the last year of its current deal, rather than the first.
  6. Ticket sales seem to be moving, and they are also nicely spread out all around the ground. We could end up with a crowd something like this which will be very respectable, i'd assume the crowd in the picture is somewhere between 20-30k. Also saw some photos today of the field for Saturday and thankfully it will have the proper RL markings which will look brilliant, and the main thing that stands out is the similarity between league field markings and American Football markings so hopefully helps the locals a bit with some familiarity.
  7. Do not underestimate that team, a bit skinny in the halves but outside that they are all players in good form. DWZ has been averaging over 200m at FB for Penrith so will be a more than capable replacement for RTS.
  8. Balmain1969

    New Grounds.

    I like the idea of building grounds to suit current requirements, 10k would be great for Cas at the moment. As long as there is enough thought put into the design so it wont be to hard to increase capacity later on if required. It would be great to think that sometime down the track a team like Cas would outgrow 10k and need an upgrade.
  9. Balmain1969

    Denver Test - Ticket Sales

    Dont underestimate that kiwi team, pretty much all players selected are in form and with a new coach there is a chance they will show up with a better attitude than last year.
  10. Balmain1969

    Rugby League World Cup 2021

  11. Balmain1969

    Denver Test - Ticket Sales

    I think this is what its potentially going to look like crowd wise at this stage.
  12. Focus should be on lowering the amount of rounds but getting more games on TV, maybe add a Sunday arvo game and make it the game of the week. Make sure that the marquee games are usually played in the Sunday timeslot, more friendly for crowds and daytime football is usually more attractive to watch. I know teams like Wigan, Leeds and Saints will get a lot of Sunday games but thats what happens here with the Broncos on Friday nights, its not ideal but it does add $$$$ to the TV contract.
  13. Balmain1969

    Denver Test - Ticket Sales

    Article in todays SMH shows the hypocrisy of the NRL, wanting players to back up 2 days after origin but don't want players to travel to Denver because of welfare concerns. Young Panthers Origin stars need to learn to back up, starting Friday By Matt Encarnacion 7 June 2018 — 10:28am Penrith coach Anthony Griffin believes his young State of Origin stars need to learn how to back up for their club side after an Origin match. Griffin is confident Blues debutants Nathan Cleary, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tyrone Peachey, as well as veteran James Maloney, will all play against Canberra on Friday night. The quartet fly straight from Melbourne to the nation's capital on Thursday. "At this stage, they've all pulled up really well. We'll check them when we get there after they've done some rehab but at this stage it looks positive that they'll all play," Griffin said. Griffin pointed to the recent representative retirement of Cameron Smith as proof of player burnout, however he insists it is vital his youngsters maintain their form at club level. "If you want to be an Origin player, the important thing is you can get your club stuff done as well. Obviously we make a decision there whether that's in their best interests from game to game," he said. "From drawing a line [to] Cameron Smith, that was one of the main reasons he retired, he felt he couldn't back up for his club. "They're pretty proud these days, players. We don't ever want to put them in a position where they risk injury but if they're fit to play and want to play, it's important that they do." Griffin has experience in managing player workload in his time as coach of Brisbane, who have perennially provided the bulk of the Maroons squad since its inception. He oversaw for the Broncos the final series of Queensland champion Darren Lockyer. "We rested him for two [games], but the younger guys backed up," Griffin said. "I know with my experience with the guys in Brisbane - we used to play a lot of Friday nights - they found it a lot easier to play Friday night than if we had a Sunday game."
  14. Balmain1969


    I love SOO and as a NSW supporter had a great night last night, but i'd rather see Kangaroo's v England in front of 90k at Wembley, thats what we should be aiming for. This will be the biggest crowd this year, ANZ holds 82k so we should get that for SOO2 and the GF. Outside that an all sydney Prelim Final (Dragons v Souths?) might pull 60k.
  15. Balmain1969

    Denver Test - Ticket Sales

    Lot of blocks have been closed for sale, assuming they are trying to encourage sales around the half way line as there has been a lot of sales in the cheap seats.