Super 15 popularity increasing

2012-06-27 16:59

Cape Town - With Super Rugby taking a break for the June Internationals for the first time, SANZAR can announce that going into the break all three territories were tracking beyond comparative numbers from this time last year.

Gallery: Stormers prepare for Lions

Attendances have been strong, with many fixtures throughout the season setting new records for teams and grounds alike.

SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said this was further proof that Super Rugby was arguably the best international interprovincial competition in world rugby.

“This is the second year Super Rugby has been in its current conference guise with 15 teams, and it is pleasing to note that fans are registering their approval of the new format with record numbers,” Peters said.

“The conference system and increased local derbies are again showing the intense competition within each territory, with grounds, as well as our broadcasting partners revealing some stunning figures.”

“Fox Sports in Australia, Sky Sports in New Zealand and SuperSport in South Africa have been thrilled with viewing numbers this season, and as a result our stakeholders have been pleased that the current format is yielding desired outcomes.”

New Zealand has been seen the biggest growth, with Peters stating that this was exactly the follow on from Rugby World Cup that had been hoped for.

“The Legacy Programme implemented by the New Zealand Rugby Union was designed to capture the effects of hosting the third largest sporting event in the world, and as a consequence New Zealanders are watching the game in record numbers.”

The cumulative figure continues to rise for NZ with 9 916 300 fans tuning into the 100 matches played to date.

While 2011 had one less match played, with 99 matches played by end of Round 15, a total of 7 458 600 tuned in, seeing 2012 with a considerable increase of 32%.

A combined total of 538 959 NZ fans have attended 32 home matches (an average of 16 842 per match) over the first 15 weeks. That is two more matches than the 30 that were played by this time in 2011, with a total of 390 946 (average of 12 217 per match). This represents a 37% increase in average crowds per match.

Australia, the boom performer in 2011, spearheaded by the inaugural championship success of the Brisbane-based Reds, has continued to turn in strong numbers.

“Numbers in Australia have been consistent with the remarkable results achieved in 2011, where the Reds' title success resulted in new viewing records across the country, while Queensland Rugby has since turned in some great results off the field, maintaining record attendances while shattering membership numbers,” Peters said.

After fifteen rounds a cumulative total of 5 888 000 fans have viewed the 100 Super Rugby matches in Australia. This average is only slightly down 3% on the highs of 2011 and has climbed considerably as the season progresses.

With 34 matches played on home soil, 633 847 Australian fans have attended Super Rugby matches to date (average 18 642 per match). 2011 at Round 15 was one game behind with 33 matches played, but was slightly ahead in the cumulative crowd with 640 910 attending those matches (average of 19 421 per match).

South African viewing numbers continued to increase, while their match attendances were slightly down compared with this time last season - but these figures are likely to change with a host of local derbies to come.

“Once again South Africa continues to pour in strong numbers” Peters said.

“While their numbers are down on this time last season in terms of ground attendance, we expect this figure to jump, especially considering some of the remaining derbies to come in the South African Conference.”

A massive cumulative total of 34 074 497 South African fans have tuned into the 100 matches to date. By the end of Round 15 in 2011, 99 matches had been played with a total of 28 658 402 viewers. While only one game less had been played in 2011, the difference of 5 416 095 is a significant gap and therefore a great increase in viewership for South Africa compared to 2011.

It must also be noted that the SuperSport figures exclude HD viewership. There are over 400 000 HD households in SA, which if measured would add significantly to the viewership numbers.)

A total of 852 838 fans have attended the 32 matches played to date (an average of 26 651 per match). This is two matches less than the 34 that were played by the end of Round 15 in 2011 with a total of 914 249.

There have also been reports of some great viewing numbers in the United Kingdom, with BSkyB reporting an average of 35 000 live in-home viewers per Super Rugby match.
Peters said that the second stage of the 2012 Super Rugby season would only build the momentum seen over the first 15 rounds.
“With three rounds still to play, we have nine teams still in Super Rugby finals series calculations, a heady group including the defending champions, three former Super Rugby winners, and a collection of other contenders who have exceeded expectations this season,” Peters said.
“What will make the run home special are the local derbies and that any team is capable of beating any other and upsetting the finals series contenders.”


  • harold.lloyd.520 - 2012-06-27 17:09

    The desperate Newlands crowd scews the figures.

      Billy - 2012-06-27 17:25

      awe is duidelik

      jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-06-27 17:34

      Slightly hung up over the stormers or anything related to them aren't we...

      paul.sdoow - 2012-06-27 17:35

      or is it the desperate bulls that now stay in the cape like you mentioned about the jwc? make up your mind now please. you probably one of those bulls supporters that only wear the pink shirt when they win !

      lean.sadie - 2012-06-27 17:36

      Supporting your team is desperate? Poor Boks, All Blacks, AUsies, English, French etc etc must all be desperate hey.

      sean.bagley.50 - 2012-06-27 18:10

      Personally I would like to see a global season contest between Super Rugby teams and any of the top French teams like Toulouse or the likes of Leinster,Ulster,Saracens,Leicester Tigers play against each other at the end of the year time.Any of these Northern Hemisphere club teams would fancy their chances at home against any of the teams from Super Rugby.

      leeann.mentorcarstens - 2012-06-28 00:19

      The only time that loftus is packed, is when the Stormers come to visit. That says alot about the loftus crowd and who they really come out to support...

  • John - 2012-06-27 17:13

    Based on the numbers above SARU should call all the shorts the numbers on supersports are miles ahead the other markets........

      ej.smith.589 - 2012-06-27 17:21

      Its due to population size. % is a better indication

      pieter.thefuture - 2012-06-27 17:30

      @ej.smith.589 - why? do you pay less per ticket if a larger portion of your population goes to the matches? or do you pay less for tv subscriptions? money does not care what portion of you population pays- it only cares about raw numbers - and from the figures above John is right, Saru should be calling the "shorts"(shots)

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-06-27 17:42

      ej, % of population is not relevant ? Total number of viewers count when it comes to the bottom line? John, my take is that they want to make $ and they have us in the bag and they're not going to grow us much bigger . They see Oz as a growth market , big sports obsessed population ( hence the conference system ) where RU doesn't have a lot of market share yet. After that Arg and then ..? All they have to do now as far as SA is concerned is ensure they don't f things up too much for SA fans and we'll keep watching .

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-06-28 10:25

      Not numbers but value of that fan base. Aussies are rich, the average wealth will make the millionaires in SA.

      Geoff - 2012-06-28 11:51

      Don't forget our population is vastly bigger than either the Aussies or the New Zealanders, but I agree we should call the shots but obviously the other two boards out vote SARU all the time. Maybe Argentina will help change this???

  • Dhirshan - 2012-06-27 17:18

    definitely the best and toughest! the rugby equivalent of la lig or epl, but the format needs an overhaul. the system is complicated for the average viewer. plus it doesnt make sense that argentina doesnt have representation, given the fact that they are now added to the rugby championship.

  • david.tannahill.98 - 2012-06-27 17:38

    ...and yet South Africa continues to allow itself to get screwed adminstratively by the antipodeans - it's time SARU woke up and flexed some muscle

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-06-28 10:30

      South Africa screw itself with the politcal interventions that cause embaressment . Cannot blame NZ and Aussies if they score when SA kicks an own goal.

  • david.tannahill.98 - 2012-06-27 17:38

    ...and yet South Africa continues to allow itself to get screwed adminstratively by the antipodeans - it's time SARU woke up and flexed some muscle

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-06-27 18:10

    Personally I would like to see a global season contest between Super Rugby teams and any of the top French teams like Toulouse or the likes of Leinster,Ulster,Saracens,Leicester Tigers play against each other at the end of the year time.Any of these Northern Hemisphere club teams would fancy their chances at home against any of the teams from Super Rugby.

      andile.nokhetshe - 2012-06-27 19:08

      @Sean i would also love to see that...

      christopher.collings.9 - 2012-06-27 19:32

      Super 15 teams play more than enough rugby, logistically it would not be feasable, when each relevant countries have their own local competitions going on. Along with the internationals being played there is no space for such a competition.

  • Ken - 2012-06-27 18:22

    Popularity will decrease again next year when the ANC and their Southern Kings arrive!

      christopher.collings.9 - 2012-06-27 19:37

      I take it ur a lions supporter, if u guys were so concerned with Super rugby why didn't u fill Ellis Park week-end after week-end? Instead of complaining

  • Jason Pearce - 2012-06-27 19:10

    This schedule is killing the players

      Robsschele - 2012-06-27 20:02

      Maybe they should think of a rule that each player should sit out 2 or 3 matches. That will give a more players the chance to play in the starting group.

  • jo41782 - 2012-06-27 22:30

    Why not come play a few Super 15 games in Europe? You would always guarantee a full stadium.

  • madison.wright.9003 - 2012-06-28 00:11


  • Alan Forbes - 2012-06-28 03:37

    Greg Peters is a muppet!

  • Gregory - 2012-06-28 07:34

    This competition is way too long and it is hurting our players. I just wonder how long their bodies would be able to continue taking this pounding week after week and all these mf's are concerned about is numbers at games and viewership figures.If the competition had ended in mid May like with the previous format,our Boks would have been rested and much better prepared for the June tests.

  • rory.hewitt2 - 2012-06-28 08:10

    I really think websites like #Superbru also contribute to the figures, basically because you suddenly have a vested interest in all the games, not just your teams or your countrys.

  • Francois - 2012-06-28 08:23

    i miss the Super 12-like format

  • michael.hendrickse.58 - 2012-06-28 12:58

    The season is tooooooo long and its hammering the players. I would suggest stick with the previous formula where each S15 team plays each other once (iso of the teams in each conference playing each other twice)......even the 2 bye weeks do not suffice for rest......the old S14 was finish around end May/1st week June. Gave the guys a break. Thereafter have a straight 3 week incoming tour from end June into mid July. Start the 4nations and Currie Cup in August. End of year tour in November to the North. Season done.

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