Strong start for NRL’s $120 million digital investment
The National Rugby League’s (NRL) $120 million investment into their own digital platforms is providing promising signs, according to NRL Digital boss Rebekah Horne.
NRL Digital, encompassing a central news website, and sites and apps across the competition’s 16 teams, went live in December with the purpose of taking control of its digital assets from Telstra.
The NRL has reported 24.4 million live streams, via its digital platforms, across the last 87 games.
Horne says NRL.com and associated websites have an average of 2.6 million visitors per week and the number of live pass subscriptions consumers are buying via Telstra to watch matches on the handsets and devices are up 95 per cent compared to last year.
“We are averaging about 300,000 streams per game, and if you add that to the TV numbers – which are broadly holding steady after the first 11 rounds – we think that is pretty good. As an industry we’ve learnt the lesson that people no longer watch just on TV, so we think this is making a difference.”
Both South Sydney and the Melbourne Storm, are on track to write about $1 million in digital advertising revenue each this year, according to Horne.
“Memberships across all the clubs are up past 300,000 already this season [ahead of the same time in 2017]. Some clubs are up 30 per cent from last year, some are up 10 per cent. So we think this helps us. And there are also clubs doing well commercially from their digital assets as well.”
The NRL now has about 2.5 million fans across all the social media accounts, and the NRL will use the accounts to amplify events during and around the three State of Origin clashes, beginning with game one in Melbourne.’
The audience will be provided with information and statistics via the Telstra Tracker feature, which will also be pushed out via graphics and data via NRL social media accounts and websites. The data is gathered from tracking devices made by ASX-listed Catapult Group International and worn by all the players.