Rugby League

The Australian Rugby League Commission has advised its members that the game will report an operating surplus of $58.2 million, as well as net assets of $260 million.

Total revenue increased by $107.3 million to a record $701.1 million, up 18 percent on 2022.

ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys AM said 2023 was one of the most successful years in the game’s 116 year history.

“The NRL’s financial position continues to considerably improve,” Mr V’landys said.

“Far from merely recovering, our game is in much better shape than it was pre-pandemic. Rugby league is Australia’s most watched sport, the women’s game is booming, crowd attendance is at a decade-high, and grassroots footy is expanding rapidly.

“Thanks to strong revenues and efficient operations, we’ve lifted club and player payments to record levels while investing more in our grassroots than ever before.

“Because we’ve been able to bolster and diversify our assets the NRL can now stride forward with the fearlessness that epitomises our great game.”

The game’s assets now include the Quest Hotel Woolooware Bay and Mercure Sunshine Coast Kawana Waters.

Mr V’landys said total viewership was 171.8 million, up 14 percent from 150.6 million in 2022.

He said in 2023, 3.5 million fans attended games, with average crowd attendances increasing by more than 25 percent. The 2023 NRLW season also reached an historic high – with 8.4 million viewers.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo thanked key stakeholders for supporting the game.

“I am proud of the record distributions we have made to our clubs, players and grassroots and participation pathways, which are up 22 per cent on last year,” Mr Abdo said.

“The game’s record high revenues are proof that our business strategy is working. Importantly, there has been strong growth in all revenue streams, not just broadcast revenues. We are fortunate to have extremely loyal partners and passionate, engaged fans, as evidenced by the record attendance and viewership.

“The strong surplus allows for reinvestment back into the game, which means the Commission can plan for an exciting period of growth.

“We are looking forward to an even bigger 2024, taking the game to the United States, continuing the game’s expansion of the footprint in the Pacific, expanding the women’s game further with three State of Origin matches, and growing the number of registered grassroot participants.”