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Rugby Australia choose Nielsen to future proof in evolving broadcast landscape

2 minute read | March 2020

Rugby Australia has long had a passionate fan base in the country. Today, these fans are skewing young and increasingly digitally connected. To better connect with its fans, Rugby Australia has renewed its partnership with Nielsen, as it continues to negotiate the code’s next broadcast deal. 

Rugby Australia undertook an extensive review of its insights and data provisioning and suppliers, which culminated in a competitive RFP process that concluded late last year.

“For partner evaluation, Rugby Australia was looking for expertise in measurement, and is happy to continue its relationship with Nielsen Sport, which has access to best practice measurement methodologies and broad research experience from around the world through the wider Nielsen organisation,” says Peter Sciberras, Rugby’s General Manager of Commercial Partnerships. 

“Rugby Australia’s partners will benefit from this expertise over the next two years as we tackle measurement issues like the growing size of (un-reported) streaming audiences for sport in Australia, including the emergence of Kayo Sport.”

The governing body will use our Sports24 measurement platform to provide holistic partner coverage across the game, including Wallabies, Wallaroos, Super Rugby, Super W and NRC, along with each of the Australian Super Rugby clubs. 

Rugby Australia has also subscribed to Nielsen’s Fanlinks research database, bringing together two existing Nielsen data sets, Nielsen Consumer & Media View (CMV) and Nielsen SportsLink, which will help Rugby Australia gain further insight into their fans and the ever evolving Australian sports and entertainment landscape.

“A key area where Rugby Australia is championing growth for our Partners is with the Rugby digital content network and social media accounts,” added Melisande Carnegie, Strategy & Insights lead at Rugby Australia. “Rugby fans skew more to under 35 years than some other sports (Source: FanLinks CMV). So it’s important that as our audiences change their preferred channels for consuming our content, all of the value we deliver to our partners is captured and reported in the same measurement.“

“This aids understanding of brand growth spaces. For example, for the Sydney 7s, one of Rugby’s premier annual events with a relatively youthful audience, 2019 saw a concerted shift in where value was delivered to our partners into online video.”

With consumption habits changing rapidly, rights holders, sponsors and advertisers will need to decide how they measure data coming from a variety of different platforms in what is quickly becoming a fragmented measurement landscape. 

Nielsen Sports Managing Director Monique Perry says, “we are excited to be continuing our partnership with Rugby Australia, as they share our belief in providing holistic and transparent data for the industry, providing a platform for both buyers and sellers to trade from.”