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The New South Wales Rugby League has enjoyed one of its most successful seasons in history on and off the field with record commercial revenue helping deliver a surplus of $2.16 million, the Annual General Meeting of the NSWRL was told today (Friday 21 February).

Commercial revenue, including sponsorship, marketing, membership and royalties, rose 6.5 per cent from $8.77 million in 2018 to $9.36 million for the 12-month accounts period ending 31 October 2019.

The commercial figure includes $1.25 million generated through the Blatchys Blues program in support of the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues, who this year defended the Holden State of Origin Shield for the first time since 2005.

The latest result continues the solid financial performance of the NSWRL with combined surpluses totalling $19.182 million being produced since 2011 to place the organisation on a solid footing to deliver further growth and success.

“I’m extremely proud of the results we’ve been able to deliver as it continues a sustained period of success for the NSWRL,” NSWRL Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM said.

“We remain committed to the long-term growth and success of Rugby League across the state and I would like to thank our corporate partners for their ongoing support in helping us achieve this goal.”

Other significant developments in 2019 included the opening of the world-class, multi-million dollar NSWRL Centre of Excellence and the decision by the NSWRL and the Country Rugby League to unite to deliver even further Rugby League benefits across the state.

The NSWRL Centre of Excellence assisted the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues and the Harvey Norman Women’s State of Origin teams to win their respective Origin campaigns, the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Under 18 team won their inaugural Origin match, while the CABE Under 20s, the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League team and the NSWRL Pioneers also registered wins over Queensland.

The NSWRL also enjoyed success with the state’s premier competition, the Canterbury Cup NSW, which recorded a 10 per cent increase in television ratings on Nine and Gem and Fox League on FOX Sports.

The Grand Final between Newtown Jets and Wentworthville Magpies returned the highest-ever ratings, with an average audience of 129,783 and a peak audience of 215,614. The Jets went on a week later to win the NRL State Championship against Burleigh Bears on NRL Grand Final Day.

Rugby League participation continued to grow across the state with a combined total of 102,500 (Sydney metropolitan and regional NSW) players registered to play the game in 2019, the second successive increase in six years.

Women’s participation continues to record impressive growth with an additional 2,400 females registering to play in 2019 to take the total to almost 17,200.

The NSWRL also continued to embrace community programs, with Try League for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities reaching 150 children while $1.65 million was spent on other programs in schools, junior leagues and the broader community.

“The decision by the NSWRL and the CRL to work as a single entity has put us in a strong position to deliver even more programs and resources across the state,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.

“I’m confident that the success our organisation and state has enjoyed will continue into the future.”

The NSWRL also admitted three new Life Members at the Annual General Meeting including Peter Mullholland, Steve Ghosn and Terry Rowney. Life Memberships are awarded to a person who has provided 40 years continuous service to the game or in the opinion of the Board has provided an extended period of outstanding service to the NSWRL.

To view the 2019 Annual Report, click here.