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NRL CEOs meet for game update

Photo © Townsville Bulletin
Photo © Townsville Bulletin

The NRL and clubs met in Sydney on Thursday to review a range of topics approaching the midway point of the 2016 rugby league season.
 
All 16 NRL clubs were represented at the meeting, during which CEOs were presented updates on some of the key focus areas of the game.
 
The group was given a briefing by Head of Integrity Nick Weeks, while Chief Digital Officer Rebekah Horne also provided an update on plans to further develop the NRL digital network.
 
The CEOs were told that average attendances were up 4 percent on 2015, memberships were up 13 percent on 2015, while all clubs boasted more than 10,000 members for the first time in the game’s history. Television audiences have also increased by 20 percent on 2015 figures.
 
The group discussed the impact of football reforms this season, and were told:

  • Decision times for video referrals are down 14% on 2015 (from 77 seconds to 66 seconds per decision)
  • Average scrum times have reduced by more than 14 seconds, while average drop-out times have dropped by more than 10 seconds
  • Season 2016 has seen 11 one-point games so far

The CEOs were given an update on the progress of a working group which is exploring a number of alternative models to the current match review committee system.
 
Some of the alternatives include a fines system, increasing the carry-over points reduction per match, as well as increasing the demerit points required to miss marquee matches.
 
The CEOs were also given a presentation by Peter Sorckoff, EVP of Brand and Marketing of NBA team Atlanta Hawks, on rebranding the franchise.
 
With less than 500 days to go until Rugby League World Cup 2017, the group was given an update on the tournament by RLWC2017 CEO Michael Brown.