News Canterbury Bulldogs the sleeping giants of the NRL

bradtalo

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NRL 2023 Health Check figures: Canterbury Bulldogs the sleeping giants of the NRL
If the Bulldogs can get it right on the field they will become an absolute powerhouse of the NRL. See the membership details, TV ratings, crowd figures and social media numbers of every club.

Phil Rothfield and Adam Mobbs

3 min read
August 8, 2023 - 2:41PM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/s...=934ad7b90c95a351e36bef90bddac4b1#share-tools
Canterbury is the sleeping giant of the competition.

Canterbury is the sleeping giant of the competition.
NRL

Their NRL rivals hope that Canterbury let sleeping dogs lie, for fear of awakening a giant.
And here are the stats to justify their concerns.
The Bulldogs have been a rabble for the better part of a decade.
No finals appearances since 2017, in a period where they collected a wooden spoon, haven’t finished better than 11th place, have won just 37 of their 132 games and averaged just six wins per season.
As coach Cameron Ciraldo attempts to rebuild the club, they are also in the midst of one of the top three worst seasons defensively in the their proud history, dating back to 1935.
Off the field has been a similar story.
Six coaches in seven years, broken pathways, questionable recruitment and retention, board infighting and needing massive leagues club grants to bail them out of trouble.
However, the Bulldogs remain hugely popular with a strong supporter base behind them.
Despite languishing in 15th place with just seven wins this season, Canterbury are second in Sydney for average home crowds (18,824) and fourth for memberships (21,571).

Playing the majority of their home games out of the 80,000-seat Accor Stadium provides the Bulldogs with commercial opportunities that clubs who play out of smaller suburban grounds.
BIG DOGS BACKYARD
Canterbury’s social media reach is huge.
Across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, they are the fifth-most popular club in the NRL with 853,394 followers, second in Sydney only to South Sydney (1,210,658).
That gives them a greater following than western Sydney powerhouses Parramatta (817,939) and Penrith (784,821).
Due to their struggles for success, they’ve featured in just five free-to-air games this season, which has ranked 14th in TV viewership.
If Ciraldo and Bulldogs general manager of football Phil Gould can turn around their on-field performances, they could become an absolute powerhouse of the competition.
NRL 2023Club Data

Brisbane Broncos
Attendance Rank: 1
Average Home Attendance: 33,322
Total Home Matches (#): 10
Facebook: 719,000
Instagram: 408,000
Tiktok: 266,800
Twitter: 161,533
Total: 1,555,333
Merchandise Sales Rank: 2
Viewership Rank: 1
FTA Games (#): 9
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 10
Total Matches Played (#): 19


Bulldogs
Attendance Rank: 7
Average Home Attendance: 18,824
Total Home Matches (#): 11
Facebook: 293,000
Instagram: 213,000
Tiktok: 242,700
Twitter: 104,694
Total: 853,394
Merchandise Sales Rank: 7
Viewership Rank: 14
FTA Games (#): 5
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 14
Total Matches Played (#): 19


Cowboys
Attendance Rank: 6
Average Home Attendance: 19,012
Total Home Matches (#): 11
Facebook: 359,000
Instagram: 241,000
Tiktok: 165,600
Twitter: 93,940
Total: 859,540
Merchandise Sales Rank: 3
Viewership Rank: 8
FTA Games (#): 8
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 11
Total Matches Played (#): 19

Dolphins
Attendance Rank: 3
Average Home Attendance: 21,758
Total Home Matches (#): 10
Facebook: 104,000
Instagram: 114,000
Tiktok: 119,700
Twitter: 12,243
Total: 349,943
Merchandise Sales Rank: 6
Viewership Rank: 6
FTA Games (#): 8
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 10
Total Matches Played (#): 18


Dragons
Attendance Rank: 16
Average Home Attendance: 12,394
Total Home Matches (#): 10
Facebook: 200,000
Instagram: 139,000
Tiktok: 117,600
Twitter: 72,884
Total: 529,484
Merchandise Sales Rank: 13
Viewership Rank: 12
FTA Games (#): 8
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 10
Total Matches Played (#): 18


Eels
Attendance Rank: 10
Average Home Attendance: 17,767
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 405,000
Instagram: 230,000
Tiktok: 100,800
Twitter: 82,139
Total: 817,939
Merchandise Sales Rank: 5
Viewership Rank: 5
FTA Games (#): 8
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 11
Total Matches Played (#): 19


Knights
Attendance Rank: 5
Average Home Attendance: 19,316
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 251,000
Instagram: 143,000
Tiktok: 84,900
Twitter: 68,888
Total: 547,788
Merchandise Sales Rank: 16
Viewership Rank: 15
FTA Games (#): 4
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 14
Total Matches Played (#): 18


Panthers
Attendance Rank: 9
Average Home Attendance: 18,153
Total Home Matches (#): 10
Facebook: 319,000
Instagram: 287,000
Tiktok: 96,900
Twitter: 81,921
Total: 784,821
Merchandise Sales Rank: 1
Viewership Rank: 3
FTA Games (#): 9
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 9
Total Matches Played (#): 18

Rabbitohs
Attendance Rank: 12
Average Home Attendance: 16,261
Total Home Matches (#): 10
Facebook: 574,000
Instagram: 306,000
Tiktok: 203,900
Twitter: 126,758
Total: 1,210,658
Merchandise Sales Rank: 4
Viewership Rank: 2
FTA Games (#): 11
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 8
Total Matches Played (#): 19


Raiders
Attendance Rank: 13
Average Home Attendance: 14,900
Total Home Matches (#): 10
Facebook: 226,000
Instagram: 163,000
Tiktok: 47,400
Twitter: 71,394
Total: 507,794
Merchandise Sales Rank: 8
Viewership Rank: 13
FTA Games (#): 4
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 14
Total Matches Played (#): 18


Roosters
Attendance Rank: 2
Average Home Attendance: 22,657
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 281,000
Instagram: 235,000
Tiktok: 37,900
Twitter: 89,413
Total: 643,313
Merchandise Sales Rank: 14
Viewership Rank: 9
FTA Games (#): 8
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 10
Total Matches Played (#): 18


Manly
Attendance Rank: 14
Average Home Attendance: 13,214
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 217,000
Instagram: 134,000
Tiktok: 77,200
Twitter: 73,818
Total: 502,018
Merchandise Sales Rank: 11
Viewership Rank: 7
FTA Games (#): 10
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 8
Total Matches Played (#): 18



Sharks
Attendance Rank: 17
Average Home Attendance: 10,950
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 187,000
Instagram: 153,000
Tiktok: 109,600
Twitter: 75,827
Total: 525,427
Merchandise Sales Rank: 9
Viewership Rank: 10
FTA Games (#): 8
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 10
Total Matches Played (#): 18


Storm
Attendance Rank: 8
Average Home Attendance: 18,385
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 613,000
Instagram: 340,000
Tiktok: 58,100
Twitter: 155,871
Total: 1,166,971
Merchandise Sales Rank: 10
Viewership Rank: 4
FTA Games (#): 9
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 9
Total Matches Played (#): 18


West Tigers
Attendance Rank: 15
Average Home Attendance: 13,129
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 277,000
Instagram: 151,000
Tiktok: 69,800
Twitter: 97,727
Total: 595,527
Merchandise Sales Rank: 12
Viewership Rank: 11
FTA Games (#): 8
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 10
Total Matches Played (#): 18

Titans
Attendance Rank: 11
Average Home Attendance: 16,585
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 270,000
Instagram: 144,000
Tiktok: 93,200
Twitter: 73,457
Total: 580,657
Merchandise Sales Rank: 17
Viewership Rank: 16
FTA Games (#): 3
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 15
Total Matches Played (#): 18


Warriors
Attendance Rank: 4
Average Home Attendance: 20,553
Total Home Matches (#): 9
Facebook: 467,000
Instagram: 306,000
Tiktok: 31,800
Twitter: 107,998
Total: 912,798
Merchandise Sales Rank: 15
Viewership Rank: 17
FTA Games (#): 2
Fox Exclusive Games (#): 17
Total Matches Played (#): 19

CROWDED HOUSE
The Sydney Roosters, despite their on-field struggles this season, are reaping the benefits of the new $828 million, 45,500-seat Allianz Stadium.
Trent Robinson’s men can lay claim to Sydney’s highest crowds with an average home attendance of 22,657, helped by blockbuster Round 3 match against South Sydney (36,639) and the traditional Anzac Day fixture against St George Illawarra (40,191). Often mocked for supposedly not having fans, their 2023 numbers are second only to Brisbane (33,322) and more than city rivals Canterbury (18,824), Penrith (18,153), Parramatta (17,767) and South Sydney (16,261).
THE PREMIERS
Penrith are an intriguing case that points to a loyal, albeit not massive, supporter base. They sit atop of merchandise sales following three straight grand finals and back-to-back premierships. They are also third in TV viewership.
However, their premiership success hasn’t led to an avalanche of support.
The Panthers have 22,000 members, which is only 2000 more than they had in the 2019 season.
In comparison, the team they beat in last year’s grand final, Parramatta, have boosted their membership by almost 10,000 from the pre-Covid season in 2019 (25,258 to 34,848), an increase of 27 per cent.
Penrith are ninth for attendance with an average crowd of 18,153 filling their 22,500-capacity BlueBet Stadium for home games. That is expected to rise substantially in 2026 when their new 30,000-seat stadium is completed.
2023 NRL membership figures.

2023 NRL membership figures.
THE NEGATIVE
The problem for the NRL is that there is such a divide between the top and the bottom clubs.
Cronulla have the lowest average crowds (10,950) because Shark Park can hold only 12,000 fans.
The outdated facilities affect ticket sales, membership numbers and corporate support.
The Gold Coast Titans are also struggling in key areas. They are 11th for social media followers, 16th in TV ratings and membership, and last in merchandise sales.
The analysis also reflects badly on St George Illawarra, who have the least members of all Sydney clubs (19,655) and the second-lowest average crowds (12,394) of all 17 clubs.
Once a giant of the game, the Dragons are now 12th placed for TV viewership.The study also shows Manly has work to do in fan engagement, with only 502,000 followers across all platforms - the lowest of the established clubs and only ahead of newcomers the Dolphins (349,943).
The Sea Eagles are 13th in memberships (16,332) and 14th in home crowds, with an average attendance of 13,214 at their 18,000-person capacity Brookvale Oval.
The Roosters have the highest home crowd average of any Sydney club up until round 22. NRL Imagery

The Roosters have the highest home crowd average of any Sydney club up until round 22. NRL Imagery
THE VERDICT
The analysis shows it is such an uneven playing field.
There are enormous challenges for the nine Sydney based clubs, although western Sydney powerhouses Penrith and Parramatta are in great shape.

It helps that Penrith in 2026 will play out of a new stadium, the Eels have CommBank and the Roosters are locked in at Allianz Stadium.
You wonder about the long-term viability of the smaller clubs playing out of suburban grounds – and the fight to survive and compete with the likes of the Broncos.
Not next year or the year after – but 20 years down the track.
rs down the track.
 
Last edited:

Doggfather

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We have the most engaged multicultural supporter base in the competition.

We should be higher on the list.

I envisage a day where we consistently get 30-40K at every home game, not just for Good Friday and Queens Birthday weekends.

I brought my Asian mate to his first NRL game vs Titans this year. He is now a lifelong Dogs supporter thanks to Okunbors amazing finish (not in bed).

We should have a 'bring an Asian' or 'Bring a mate' round. Free GA tickets for every member to bring a friend. Our supporter base would explode.
 

SPEARTAKVIDREFS

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I think our membership numbers dont look too bad considering.
We've performed poorly both on and off field for 5-6 continuous years.
Lets be honest, wed become a joke at times. At 1 stage Raelene Castle was our CEO.
Wouldnt be surprised if members walked during the years of empty promises.
I truely beleive we are way past that, unfortunatley its been the season from hell due to injuries.
2 good seasons on field and wouldnt be surprised if membership numbers jump dramatically.
 

chihuahua dog

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We have the most engaged multicultural supporter base in the competition.

We should be higher on the list.

I envisage a day where we consistently get 30-40K at every home game, not just for Good Friday and Queens Birthday weekends.

I brought my Asian mate to his first NRL game vs Titans this year. He is now a lifelong Dogs supporter thanks to Okunbors amazing finish (not in bed).

We should have a 'bring an Asian' or 'Bring a mate' round. Free GA tickets for every member to bring a friend. Our supporter base would explode.
I rate the bring a friend idea massively. Preferably not a week we serve up some 66-0 loss trollop though.
 

maroondog72

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This is what shits buzz so badly, we are getting closer to regular on field success and the minute that happens the bulldogs will be back where we belong at the top both on and off the field.
Fuck the haters
Fuck the fair weather supporters
Fuck the media
And
FUCK YOU BUZZARD!!
 

Kempsey Dog

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What a took from this is that warriors fans only show up when they are winning haha. 6000 nah
 

bulldogsfan_88

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Stopped reading when I saw it was written by Drunkfield
 

Shnissss

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What drugs was Buzz on writing something that wasn’t negative about the bulldogs?
 

Burt Matton

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We have the most engaged multicultural supporter base in the competition.

We should be higher on the list.

I envisage a day where we consistently get 30-40K at every home game, not just for Good Friday and Queens Birthday weekends.

I brought my Asian mate to his first NRL game vs Titans this year. He is now a lifelong Dogs supporter thanks to Okunbors amazing finish (not in bed).

We should have a 'bring an Asian' or 'Bring a mate' round. Free GA tickets for every member to bring a friend. Our supporter base would explode.
1691487105365.gif
 

InGusWeTrust

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I only read half. Did they mention merch sales? I haven’t spent a cent on the club in years, mainly because I live a few hours from Sydney, but I still buy merch occasionally and most recently got the indigenous jersey from a couple of years ago.
 
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