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NRL Drives Customer Return To Foxtel And Kayo

Some 4.5 million Australians tuned in to watch the NRL’s 2020 round-three games, making it the fifth-largest TV audience for a regular weekend games in the NRL’s history. This surge in popularity is driving customers’ return to the popular sports streaming service Kayo and Foxtel.

Fox Sports accounted for approximately 2.28 million of the 4.5 million.
According to the latest figures from Roy Morgan, over 6 million Australians aged 14+ (29% of the population) watch NRL matches on TV. This marks a decline from four years ago, when this number stood at 6.9 million.

Now, with pent-up demand following the suspension of sports during COVID-19, the NRL has the opportunity to build upon this recent momentum to attract a younger audience and re-engage fans who have lost interest in the sport over the years.

TV viewership of the NRL has held up better among older age groups, with 36% of 50-64 year-olds, 32% of 65+ year-olds, and 31% of 35-49 year-olds watching. By comparison, just 20% and 21% of under 25 year-olds and 25-34 year-olds, respectively, watch the game.

“For the NRL to turn around the decline in TV viewership it’s vital to find a way to re-engage this audience,” said Julian McCrann, Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan.

All of the games in the 2020 NRL premiership will be played on Kayo, Foxtel and the NRL’s Live Pass (through the NRL Official App). Channel 9 will be broadcasting some of the games.

As of end-March Kayo had 704,000 viewers, while Foxtel (including Kayo) had 4.87 million. A basic monthly subscription to Kayo costs $25 per month.

“The proliferation of fast-growing Subscription TV services captured in the latest Roy Morgan figures for Subscription TV in Australia offers the NRL, and other sporting codes, new opportunities to reach diverse audiences in an increasingly competitive sports viewing market,” McCrann said.

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