Commercial aspect of CQ NRL bid is sound

I HAVE explained the many opportunities that will be presented to the general and rugby league population of central Queensland as a result of the establishment of a NRL Club in the region.

The financial benefits to the economic activities of the wider community are immense, as is the social and cultural benefits that sit beside or a little downstream of the NRL business.

But in all honestly, these massive increases to our liveability and to our social wellbeing are irrelevant to the decision makers, the NRL, and more importantly to the current frontline stakeholders, the NRL clubs.

The NRL is mainly motivated by the commercial aspects of the business, which is understandable because without good commercial outcomes, the NRL cannot conduct its business of running and securing the future of the game.

I really mean revenues - money.

The NRL receives most of its income from media rights. We have spoken directly to the media partners of the NRL and they want and need more and popular television audiences, for which they are prepared to pay.

We talk of the ninth game when we discuss NRL expansion. This means having an 18-team NRL, expanding the NRL by two teams.

Now the clubs. The clubs are primarily motivated by commercial factors as well.

Again, I understand this because they battle sustainability and long term viability at all times.

They have three main revenue streams - NRL distribution, corporate investment (sponsorship) and game ticket sales, which includes memberships.

They are constantly facing cost pressures, so they distrust anything that may have an adverse effect on any of their income streams or add to their costs.

As a result, unless they see real benefit they will oppose expansion because of the unknowns.

Club revenue from the NRL comes from media rights, which will be increased because the media partners have more games which means more income and subsequent increases in club payments.

The other two revenue streams - sponsorship and ticket sales - are quite variable and can fluctuate with success of the team (win/loss), game scheduling, weather conditions, economic conditions, affordability, community goodwill, and a host of other issues including stadium attractiveness, useability and accessibility, the general reputation of the club and the NRL, and quantity and quality participation of locals in the club.

An expanded NRL cannot and should not address any of these issues with any real certainty, but a new NRL club in CQ can have a massive positive effect on these variables with respects to the existing three Queensland NRL clubs - Broncos, Titans and Cowboys, and take some pressures off southern based clubs because of one vital component - rivalry games.

Clubs favour local or rivalry games. A new CQ NRL team will add six rivalry games to the NRL schedule for the Queensland teams from day one.

This boost alone will take most if not all of the risk away from the Broncos, Titans and Cowboys, so CQ should have three strong allies at least.

This scheduling change will allow the southern clubs to have more local games as well. The NRL clubs should support NRL expansion because it is good for their business.

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