The NRL’s 2016 financial results revealed that the league distributed $184 million to clubs last year, yet recorded an overall loss of $2.6 million.
The loss was posted despite a 12 per cent jump in non-broadcast income, including increased sponsorship deals, from $129.3 million in 2015 to $144.2 million in 2016 and a four per cent increase in administrative costs.
The 2016 deficit compares favourably to 2015 when the league posted an $18.7 million loss.
The $184 million distributed to clubs did not include the NRL-owned Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast Titans. If so, then the league’s deficit would have blown out to $8.6 million due to losses made by the two clubs.
Total revenue to the NRL plus clubs in 2016 was $582 million, with the league contributing $375 million and the 16 clubs $207 million.
NRL chief Todd Greenberg told Fairfax Media, “These results show we have invested a majority of revenue, both broadcast and non-broadcast, back into clubs and grassroots football.
“Over the next few years, clubs and players will receive more revenue than ever before – and we will be investing more funds into grassroots.”