The NRL is riding high financially in 2018.
The NRL is riding high financially in 2018.

NRL on track to post $45 million yearly surplus

THE NRL is on track to record a $45 million surplus this year after releasing its half-year figures on Friday.

The NRL recorded a $27.8 million surplus in the first six months of 2018, with the results presented in a meeting of club bosses and chief executives on Friday.


Key figures included:

* A 29 per cent increase in sponsorship revenue

* A 39 per cent increase in distributions to clubs - from $79.7 million to $110.5 million

 * A 17 per cent increase in funding to states - from $13.8 million to $16.1 million.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter Beattie said the results showed the game was in a strong financial position.

"Our aim is to not only meet our financial targets but to exceed them," he said.

"And if, over this broadcast cycle, we beat our targets, the funds will be distributed evenly between grassroots, players, clubs and the NRL.

"In other words, everyone has skin in the game and there is an incentive for every part of the game to perform strongly."

The NRL also said Australian TV audiences were up one million viewers compared to the same time last year, while crowds had grown by three per cent.

"This is the first time that this has actually happened, that we've shared every bit of the finances with the clubs, the chairs and the states," Beattie said.

"That's the kind of transparency that will build trust and confidence in the game."

Beattie had promised to be transparent after his predecessor, John Grant, was ousted from power following a dispute with the clubs over the allocation of funds and the game's finances.

Gold Coast chairman Dennis Watt praised Beattie and NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg for opening the game's books.

"From a club's point of view we applaud the partnership and transparency around the finances," Watt said.

"What's particularly pleasing is there's less reliance on our wonderful broadcast partners in terms of driving results.

"The NRL have driven those non-broadcast revenues, those commercial arms in particular in terms of sponsorship, wagering and the digital fields.

"There's also been incredible discipline shown by the NRL around costs and containment."

- With AAP

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