Super League showing growth signs

Figures released today show Betfred Super League has started the 2019 season positively with increases in TV audiences, attendances and an expanding digital footprint.

Compared to games up to Round Four last season, Super League’s cumulative TV audience is more than 25% up, with over 1.7m viewers to date.

Wigan Warriors vs Leeds Rhinos has attracted the biggest TV average match audience of 2019 (250,300) which exceeded all regular season average match TV audiences from 2018.

Betfred Super League’s season opener between St Helens and Wigan Warriors had a match average TV audience that was more than one-third higher than the opening fixture last season (230,400).

Average attendances* are the highest for games from Rounds One to Four in the last five years (9,185).

Hull KR, St Helens and Warrington Wolves are currently ahead of five-year-high average attendances and all three, plus Salford Red Devils are attracting average attendances more than 12% higher than last season.

And, the Betfred Super League continues to grow its digital footprint too:

  • The #NewBeginnings season launch video, produced by The City Talking, is the top-ranked video post via Super League channels with over 128,000 minutes viewed, 494,500 video views and a reach of over 728,500 to date.
  • Marc Sneyd landed Super League’s first Golden Point against Wigan Warriors, a moment which saw over 92,500 impressions, 32,500 video views and 9,000 engagements.
  • Jimmy Keinhorst captured the moment of Round 1 with his last minute try to win the Hull Derby and fans reacted via social media to produce over 95,000 video views and a reach of over 225,000
  • Super League social media channels have generated over 5,500,000 video views since January 1 and a total reach of over 15,700,000
  • Super League also continues to reach out to new international audiences with the extension of an OTT streaming platform, taking live game coverage into territories not currently serviced by a traditional broadcast deal. The paid for service has seen subscribers join in locations such as Spain, Norway, Poland, Philippines and UAE.

2019 saw the introduction of new rules, including Shot Clock, ultimately aimed at speeding up games and reducing elapsed time. Over the first four rounds of fixtures, games have been significantly quicker with an average elapsed time of just over 91 minutes; more than 7 minutes shorter than the average in 2018.

Games up to Round Four are also proving to be more competitive, with the average points difference decreasing to 13.1 points (against 14.3 in 2018) and five games decided by a margin of 2 points or less.

The opening rounds of the 2019 season have also seen more tries per game (7.42 v 6.85) and a smaller final points margin (13.1 v 14.2) than the 2018 average.

There have been more offloads (18.6 v 17.7) and more quick Play-the-balls (33.88 v 29.21) in 2019, a sign the speed of the game has increased.

Super League Chief Executive, Robert Elstone said; It’s great to start 2019 with such positive news. We have seen some great games live on Sky Sports in the opening four rounds and these figures show Betfred Super Leagueis off to a great start in 2019.”

Get a copy of Monday’s League Express for a full discussion of some of the issues raised in this story.