Melbourne Storm most widely supported NRL club in 2022 as Premiers Penrith Panthers enjoy jump in support

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2020-March 2021, n=66,050 and April 2021-March 2022, n=65,365.
Base: Australians aged 14 and over. *New Zealand Warriors support includes Australia-based supporters only.

Latest data from Roy Morgan shows the NRL’s total fan base has increased slightly from a year ago, up 0.5 per cent to nearly 6.4 million 14-year-old Australians and more (30.1%) in 2022 as the code emerged from two seasons heavily interrupted by COVID in 2020-21.

The NRL was forced to move all 16 clubs to Queensland last season after large outbreaks of COVID-19 in the key New South Wales market as well as secondary markets in Victoria and the ACT. Additionally, the border with New Zealand remained closed throughout last season, with the NZ Warriors able to play their first home game in their own country since 2019 only less than three weeks ago.

The good news for the NRL is that despite the upheavals of the past two years, club support has strengthened with 10 of the 16 clubs seeing an uptick in support from 2021.

The Melbourne Storm again topped the ladder as the most widely supported NRL club in 2022 with 1,199,000 supporters, a 1.7% increase on a year ago after the fifth ‘Minor Premiership’ ‘ club official in 2021, although the club failed to defend their 2020 Premiership victory.

Second is the Brisbane Broncosthe only other club with more than a million supporters out of 1,025,000, a slight increase of 0.7% from a year ago as the club chase their first final victory in five years since 2017.

The most widely supported Sydney-based club is again the Parramatta eels with 460,000 supporters, an increase of 0.4% compared to a year ago. The Eels have the longest drought of any club in the NRL, with the team having failed to win a Premiership in nearly forty years since 1986.

Reigning NRL Prime Ministers Panthers of Penrith have seen the biggest increase in support over the past year, rising from 86,000 (+38.9%) to 307,000 after winning the Premiership in 2021.

NRL Club Supporter Scale 2022


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2020-March 2021, n=66,050 and April 2021-March 2022, n=65,365.

Base: Australians 14+. *New Zealand Warriors support includes Australia-based supporters only.


Three other 2021 finalists have increased their support over the past year, led by the Sydney South Rabbitohsup 8.4% to 440,000 and in fourth place overall along with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, up 12.5% ​​to 298,000 and the Gold Coast Titans, up slightly by 0.2 % to 131,000.

Other clubs to increase their support include Wests Tigers, up 0.3% to 337,000, Cronulla Sharks, up 15.4% to 210,000 and New Zealand Warriors, up 7.9% at 164,000 despite not playing any New Zealand home games throughout the 2020 or 2021 NRL seasons.

As well as growing support from the majority of clubs, the NRL is consistently seen as one of Australia’s favorite ‘TV products’. More than 6 million (28.4%) Australians now watch NRL on TV, up 1.1% from a year ago when many viewers were forcibly blocked from the biggest market code in New South Wales.

Overall, ten NRL clubs have increased their support in the year to March 2022, including six clubs based in the NRL heartland of suburban Sydney. Detailed and in-depth profiles of NRL supporters, Australians who watch the NRL on TV, Australians who play Rugby League and fan profiles for all 16 NRL clubs are available on the Roy Morgan online store for those who wish to know more about the sport.

These key findings are drawn from detailed in-depth interviews with over 60,000 Australians each year as part of the Roy Morgan Single Source survey.

Julian McCrann, director of industry communications, Roy Morgan, says the Melbourne Storm have topped the annual Roy Morgan NRL club support scale for the second consecutive year in 2022 with 1.2 million supporters – up from 1.7% compared to a year ago:

“The Melbourne Storm’s long-term success is paying off with the club’s support overtaking their closest rivals, the Brisbane Broncos, for the second consecutive year. The Storm have been the most successful NRL club of the past two decades, making the NRL final for 11 consecutive years (2011-21), winning three Premierships in the last decade in 2012, 2017 and 2020, and competing in the 9/16 Grand Finals and winning five of them (although two were later retired due to salary cap violations).

“The Melbourne Storm with 1.2 million supporters (+1.7% compared to a year ago) and the Brisbane Broncos with 1.03 million supporters (+0.7%) are among the ten clubs in the NRL to increase their support for a year. The Broncos have been at the top of the NRL club fan ladder for most of the past two decades, but a new club, the Dolphins, based in the Brisbane Bayside northern suburb of Redcliffe, will join the NRL next season and is likely to split his supporter base.

“The most widely supported NRL club in Sydney are again the Parramatta Eels with 460,000 supporters, up 0.4% from a year ago and 2021 runners-up South Sydney Rabbitohs with 440,000 supporters (in up 8.4% from a year ago). Despite their lack of Premiership success since winning in 1986, the Eels are set to make the final for the fourth consecutive year in 2022.

“The biggest increase in support was for 2021 Premiership winners Penrith Panthers – the first Premiership for the Panthers since 2003. Support for Western Sydney’s ‘Mountain Men’ rose by 86,000 (+38.9 %) to 307,000 after returning to -back Grand Finals for the club for the first time in thirty years.

“Overall figures are also impressive for the NRL with almost 6.4 million Australians now supporting an NRL club, up 0.5% from a year ago, and almost as many, 6 million , now watching NRL on TV – up 1.1% on a year ago.

“Contact Roy Morgan to find out more about the types of supporters each of the 16 NRL clubs attract both in the stands and on television, as well as what sets these supporters apart from their peers in wider society. based on the qualitative and quantitative data collected. through in-depth personal interviews with over 60,000 Australians each year.

For comments or more information, please contact:
Roy Morgan – Information

Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
[email protected]

Comments are closed.