AFL to take the NRL's lead and take a game to the US?

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It's about gambling ultimately.

But they don't make the money from the gambling itself, as US bookies don't have to pay them a cut like they do here. They make money if punters watch it whilst betting on it.

In other words …

They make money off broadcast rights (including streaming) …

… and the value of the broadcast rights depends on the value of the product to the advertisers …

… and a lot of advertising revenue has come from the gambling companies …

… so in order to increase broadcast venue, pitch to the gambling companies?
 
In other words …

They make money off broadcast rights (including streaming) …

… and the value of the broadcast rights depends on the value of the product to the advertisers …

… and a lot of advertising revenue has come from the gambling companies …

… so in order to increase broadcast venue, pitch to the gambling companies?
No.

If you download a betting app, there's obviously a bunch of sports that you can bet on.
Bookies know that people are more inclined to bet on things that they can watch. So they include a live stream of various sports in their app. The bookies pay the sports to be able to show their games live through their app.

Punters win cause there's sport to watch and punt on. Bookies win cause people are punting more. Sports win cause the bookies give them money.


The NRL are hoping to get enough interest from gamblers, that bookies pay them to show NRL games via their app. Basically a broadcast deal.

And there is also the flipside, where bookies will give the punters what they want, before they know they want it. Like The table tennis example above.

If you're a desperado American punter and it's 2am and the baseball games in the West Coast are wrapped up, you scroll the betting app looking for a sport to bet on. The bookies will put some obscure shit up there and before you know it, it becomes popular.

It's these scenarios that the NRL are hoping to exploit.
 
If you're a desperado American punter and it's 2am and the baseball games in the West Coast are wrapped up, you scroll the betting app looking for a sport to bet on. The bookies will put some obscure s**t up there and before you know it, it becomes popular.

Surely in that scenario they’d choose to bet on the Japanese baseball league before the NRL?
 

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Did anyone else find the coverage by Fox really weird?

The commentators were borderline emotional about how much playing in Vegas meant. Like they'd achieved something by being there.

It was so strange.

I mean, the NRL administrators and project teams behind it would have been chuffed that they'd pulled it off from a logistical perspective - but paying a huge sum of money to play at Raiders Stadium isn't exactly something to get emotional over. You write the check, and they let you do it. You don't need to achieve anything to get the right or the honour.

Obviously the presenters would have been instructed to build up the hype and excitement - but it seemed like they genuinely meant it. There was a real 'we've finally made it to the big time' type vibe about their broadcast.

Since when is playing NRL in Vegas to a total audience of about 100k people that couldn't really care less 'the big time'?

It wasn't like an Aussie comedian or something selling out Madison Square Garden, or a local band playing at Wembley or anything.

I found it really strange.


It was the fact that there were people there at the stadium who weren’t just Aussies.

I think there were always expectations that they would get 10-15k diehards who would go over and make it somewhat watchable but to get a crowd tantamount to an SFS crowd and a genuinely decent atmosphere was actually meaningful for them
 
It was the fact that there were people there at the stadium who weren’t just Aussies.

I think there were always expectations that they would get 10-15k diehards who would go over and make it somewhat watchable but to get a crowd tantamount to an SFS crowd and a genuinely decent atmosphere was actually meaningful for them
Yeah, maybe.


To me it felt like they got caught up in the incredible atmosphere inside Raiders Stadium and forgot what the whole thing actually was - a very expensive marketing event.

It's a bit like the brides on MAFs getting emotional at their 'weddings'.
 
Yeah, maybe.


To me it felt like they got caught up in the incredible atmosphere inside Raiders Stadium and forgot what the whole thing actually was - a very expensive marketing event.

It's a bit like the brides on MAFs getting emotional at their 'weddings'.

Perhaps. I got right into it watching from home.

I thought they might have got 20k maybe and had a half empty stadium, to have the two bottom tiers full was a nice surprise and having a good atmosphere I was really impressed with.

The league has money to spend, not an infinite supply but it’s calculated so good luck to them
 
Having 20,000 people go to Penrith park is obviously a smaller crowd than 90,000 at the MCG but it is no less meaningful to the actual community where it is held, something the AFL no longer has.

Would have thought that varies across the AFL - and would have thought Geelong would have been one of the clubs that would be quite meaningful to its community?
 
Perhaps. I got right into it watching from home.

I thought they might have got 20k maybe and had a half empty stadium, to have the two bottom tiers full was a nice surprise and having a good atmosphere I was really impressed with.

The league has money to spend, not an infinite supply but it’s calculated so good luck to them
Don't get me wrong - I was into it.

I just didn't understand the seemingly emotional response they were having to it.

It was cool. Exciting. New. And was obviously a big show - but it wasn't an 'achievement' for the sport as such. And playing in Vegas didn't have any significance. It's not like Vegas is the epicenter of Rugby League in the world or anything.
 
I suspect next year there will be a game involving 2 British clubs for their competition points alongside the 2 NRL games to get more people there.
Possibly a 5 figure number from the UK, as we know the Brits like to gamble and drink beer, which will mean more hotel bookings, more casino betting and more trade for the bars.
 

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I suspect next year there will be a game involving 2 British clubs for their competition points alongside the 2 NRL games to get more people there.
Possibly a 5 figure number from the UK, as we know the Brits like to gamble and drink beer, which will mean more hotel bookings, more casino betting and more trade for the bars.
I've seen British Rugby League games on TV when Ive been in the US. I think it's the UK Super League.
So rugby league has had a presence for a while.
 
Well yeah we do.

Having 20,000 people go to Penrith park is obviously a smaller crowd than 90,000 at the MCG but it is no less meaningful to the actual community where it is held, something the AFL no longer has.

Yeah, it means a lot to the fans that show up, but it is in general not a well attended sport unless it is state of origin or the odd big game, it isn't as much of a loss to play an entire round somewhere else.

Clubs here rely a lot on the home game revenue and the AFL allocates a tiny fraction of broadcasting revenue to clubs, so it will be as popular in the AFL as the plague.
 
Yeah, it means a lot to the fans that show up, but it is in general not a well attended sport unless it is state of origin or the odd big game, it isn't as much of a loss to play an entire round somewhere else.

Clubs here rely a lot on the home game revenue and the AFL allocates a tiny fraction of broadcasting revenue to clubs, so it will be as popular in the AFL as the plague.

That’s fair
 
It was the fact that there were people there at the stadium who weren’t just Aussies.

I think there were always expectations that they would get 10-15k diehards who would go over and make it somewhat watchable but to get a crowd tantamount to an SFS crowd and a genuinely decent atmosphere was actually meaningful for them
But the amount of people there that weren't Aussies isn't there is entirely meaningless and the fact that they're getting emotional about the fact that they rented the stadium being kind of emotional is very much the point.

We know 15k Australians travelled. We know another 7.5k came from other countries outside America to go there too. I'm gonna estimate another 5k people travelled in from within America conservatively and are either also Australians/Poms or otherwise Americans already engaged as part of the Rugby League community (for instance they gave almost 1000 tickets to the asociated 9's carnival).

What are you left with? Not much more than 10,000 actual Americans who had the opportunity to go to one of the cheapest events in the stadium and one of the cheapest professional sporting events in the city. They were selling tickets 2 for $20 US.

By the very nature of the fact there was an event of any sport at the stadium, youvd expect a few thousand to show up. It is the second most expensively constructed brand spanking new stadium after all.

Therefore there was only a tiny minority of fans in the stadium that went because of a direct desire to newly experience the event or because of new NRL advertising. It's hardly a crowning achievement.
 
But the amount of people there that weren't Aussies isn't there is entirely meaningless and the fact that they're getting emotional about the fact that they rented the stadium being kind of emotional is very much the point.

We know 15k Australians travelled. We know another 7.5k came from other countries outside America to go there too. I'm gonna estimate another 5k people travelled in from within America conservatively and are either also Australians/Poms or otherwise Americans already engaged as part of the Rugby League community (for instance they gave almost 1000 tickets to the asociated 9's carnival).

What are you left with? Not much more than 10,000 actual Americans who had the opportunity to go to one of the cheapest events in the stadium and one of the cheapest professional sporting events in the city. They were selling tickets 2 for $20 US.

By the very nature of the fact there was an event of any sport at the stadium, youvd expect a few thousand to show up. It is the second most expensively constructed brand spanking new stadium after all.

Therefore there was only a tiny minority of fans in the stadium that went because of a direct desire to newly experience the event or because of new NRL advertising. It's hardly a crowning achievement.

Who cares what they sold them for. Even then your maths is off.

You’ve rounded up 14k to 15k.
You’ve just made up a random figure out of hammerspace of expats who travelled within the US to be there.

Who cares how many tickets they gave away.

I very much doubt they were looking to recoup anything from ticket sales.
 
Who cares what they sold them for. Even then your maths is off.

You’ve rounded up 14k to 15k.
You’ve just made up a random figure out of hammerspace of expats who travelled within the US to be there.

Who cares how many tickets they gave away.

I very much doubt they were looking to recoup anything from ticket sales.
There are 300,000 Australians living in the US. The four teams that played have approximately 100,000 members in Australia. That's 0.4% of the Australian population. Let's assume that the equivalent amount of passion in Australia to buy a membership would be similar to the 0.4% of Australians in the US that support one of the four teams and would fly themselves to Vegas to watch their team closer than Australia. That's 1,200 people.

Add in the 20 free tickets per team of the dozens of teams that flew into Vegas to play in the carnival 9's tournament and you have at least a couple of thousand.

Maybe 5k is a tad high but it's not a mile of logically given the fact that there would be expat Aussie NRL passionate fans that don't support the four teams but would still travel. Common sense would dictate it's a few hundred at least.

Keep in mind that Los Angeles is the highest amount of Aussie expats and the flight to Vegas is a very cheap and short flight with many flights every day.

The reason how "who cares if they gave away tickets" and "how much they recouped from ticket sales" is kind of missing the point - the justification for such a venture by the NRL is because of future revenue sources from the US, especially as the event was run at a loss so it's being treated as an "investment" for the future of such revenues.

The point I'm trying to make is that it's apparent that they're starting from an incredibly low base of any genuine American engagement - like ridiculously low - that they've got a hell of a long way to go before any meaningful revenue can be generated. In the most literal sense - they could have doubled the American engagement as it was with another 15,000 American Tickets being purchased for $10 each and 120,000 viewers instead of 60k, and the event still wouldn't be profitable and would still cost them well over a million dollars.
 
Don't get me wrong - I was into it.

I just didn't understand the seemingly emotional response they were having to it.

It was cool. Exciting. New. And was obviously a big show - but it wasn't an 'achievement' for the sport as such. And playing in Vegas didn't have any significance. It's not like Vegas is the epicenter of Rugby League in the world or anything.
Right. There are pockets where rugby union has a grass roots presence like in Denver (well technically Glendale) or the 13 other cities where the Major League Rugby teams are based that probably would have made more sense from a US fan engagement perspective. But you aren't going to convince too many Australian fans to travel to Denver, Houston or Seattle over LV.
 

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