On a tumultuous day where the future of two of Australia’s five Super Rugby franchises are still far from clear, the Australian Rugby Union also posted a surplus of $3.7 million for 2016.
The surplus is a big turnaround on the $9.84 million deficit for 2015. During that World Cup year as revenues from domestic matchdays, broadcasting and sponsorship was down due to only two international tests being played in Australia.
The new $285 million broadcast deal and an increased Test schedule has helped the ARU return to the black in 2016, according to the ARU’s 2016 annual report.
As expected broadcast revenues were up, accounting for $61.4 million, of the total $127.8 million in total revenue, up $43.3 million from 2015.
The ARU also reported match-day revenue rose by $13.2 million and a $5 million increase in net sponsorship revenue.
On the other side of the ledger, the ARU spent $3.6 million on the Western Force due to their ownership structure with Rugby WA.
Lastly, women’s particpation in rugby is up. A 33 per cent increase in the number of women playing Sevens rugby was recorded, largely driven by high participation in Queensland and New South Wales schools. Coincidentally, women’s Sevens participation increased 33 per cent from 2014 to 2015.
In the fifteen-a-side version of the women’s game, club rugby participation increased by 24 percent.
Read more at the ARU.